It's business as usual for 49ers scouting department

It's business as usual for 49ers scouting department

Even without a general manager in place, the 49ers’ personnel department is going about its usual duties in preparation for free agency and the draft.

The 49ers have a full complement of scouts at the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Alabama, according to sources, while the team’s top individuals in the pro personnel department continue to work at the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara to prepare for free agency.

The 49ers have narrowed their known list of general manager candidates to Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough and Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton. Both men are scheduled to interview with presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan on Saturday in Atlanta.

CEO Jed York announced the firings of general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly shortly after the conclusion of the 49ers' 2-14 season.

Typically, a new GM hire at this time of year will immediately hire a person or two to join his new organization. But the bulk of the team’s personnel department remains intact through free agency and the draft.

This is generally considered a chance for those who remain with a team’s scouting department to prove themselves to the new boss. York said on Jan. 2 that the new general manager and head coach will have full power to assemble their own staffs.

The 49ers have lagged behind most of the other NFL teams in signing their own practice squad players to reserve/future contracts since the end of the regular season. The only player retain thus far is offensive lineman Norman Price. The team has also free agents signed wide receiver Rashad Ross, kicker Nick Rose and punter Brock Miller to reserve/future contracts.

Assistant general manager Tom Gamble and director of pro personnel Mike Williams are most likely responsible for the 49ers' free-agent signings up to this point. Matt Malaspina, the 49ers' director of college scouting, is among those at the Senior Bowl.

No shortage of athletic guards who fit 49ers scheme at Senior Bowl


No shortage of athletic guards who fit 49ers scheme at Senior Bowl

The 49ers could be in the market for a guard this offseason, and they will have plenty of options to evaluate during the week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Right guard Mike Person started all 16 games last season and played well, but he remains unsigned as a free agent. Laken Tomlinson started all 16 games at left guard and did not miss a snap until the final game of the season, when he sustained a knee injury that was expected to keep him sidelined for the first three months of the offseason.

The 49ers will undoubtedly look to improve their depth in the interior of their offensive line, and this is considered a good year to be looking for athletic guards.

Here is a look at the South team’s interior offensive linemen who appear to fit the 49ers’ scheme:

C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State, 6-3, 300
The 49ers signed veteran center Weston Richburg on the first day of free agency last year, so center does not figure to a spot where the 49ers would invest an early draft pick. But Bradbury has elite quickness and athleticism, which would suit him well in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system.
Projected: Early rounds

G Dru Samia, Oklahoma, 6-5, 303
He has toughness and a bit of a mean streak. He also has the athleticism to get to the second level and adjust to make blocks on moving targets as part of the 49ers’ outside zone running game.
Projected: Mid rounds

G Ben Powers, Oklahoma, 6-4, 313
It is a big week for Powers, who, oddly enough, must prove he has the power to stuff NFL-caliber competition in the one-on-one drills that lead up to the Senior Bowl.
Projected: Late rounds

North guards

G Michael Deiter, Wisconsin, 6-6, 310
He played every position at one time or another at Wisconsin. With his athleticism, he is another good fit for the 49ers’ system. Deiter was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and broke the school record with 54 starts in his career.
Projected: Early rounds

G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College, 6-4, 310
The question for him during the week will be how well he runs and whether he can finish blocks in space.
Projected: Mid rounds

2019 NFL mock draft: Surprise pick for 49ers at No. 2 overall


2019 NFL mock draft: Surprise pick for 49ers at No. 2 overall

Nick Bosa? Josh Allen? Quiennen Williams? Keep guessing. 

Daniel Jeremiah, former scout and current draft analyst for NFL.com, has a bit of a surprise pick for the 49ers at No. 2 overall. One day after ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. projected San Francisco to select Allen, Jeremiah has the team picking Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary

Here's what Jeremiah wrote about the prospect: 

Gary has the size of a defensive tackle but the skill set to play on the edge. He'll give the 49ers one of the best young D-lines in the NFL.

At 6-foot-5 and 287 pounds, Gary has the ideal frame for the NFL. He can play all over the line and was the No. 1 high school prospect in the class of 2016. 

In his final year at Michigan, Gary played in nine games and had 3.5 sacks, plus 6.5 tackles for loss. He totaled 9.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss for his three-year college career. 

How does Gary stack up with Allen? Let's take a look at some measurables and numbers. 

Height: Gary 6-5; Allen 6-5
Weight: Gary 287; Allen 260
Tackles (2018): Gary 38 (6.5 TFL); Allen 88 (21.5 TFL)
Sacks (2018): Gary 3.5; Allen 17 

The two are much different players, making their stats hard to compare. Allen is a stand-up edge rusher who uses his speed to attack the quarterback and is also an outside linebacker. Gary is a classic defensive lineman who has the speed for sacks and the size to stuff the run. 

There's slightly more than three months until the NFL draft, and the debates have just begun with who the 49ers should select. Don't expect that to slow down anytime soon.