49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 25, 2008
NFL combine with a Senior Bowl slant

Bee colleague Jason Jones is packing it up after almost a week in Indianapolis. Of course, his coverage had a silver-and-black slant, but the Raiders and 49ers have a lot of the same needs, so check out what he had to say here. I've been peeking in on the combine via the wonders of television and have been looking at it with a Senior Bowl slant. Here are my observations:

• I'm still sticking with my throwing-darts-while-blindfolded guess of OT Carl Nicks to the 49ers with pick No. 29. From what I could see, the big fellow acquitted himself nicely in all the drills. Nicks hoisted 225 pounds 31 times - a very solid number - and he ran his 40 in 5.17. I think that time is quite good considering he tips the scales at 341 pounds. By comparison, Texas DT Frank Okam weighs 347 and lumbered to a 5.32 in the 40. Here are the other stats for the top OTs with which to compare with Mr. Nicks. All numbers are unofficial.

Jake Long 5.17; 37

Chris Williams 5.07; 21

Gosder Cherilus 5.21; 24

Jeff Otah 5.56; 27

• I also like my second-round pick of Trevor Laws, the Notre Dame DT who had a sterling 35 reps on the bench press. He showed up at the combine at 304 pounds, seven pounds heavier than what he weighed in Mobile. Yet he still motored to a good 5.08 in the 40 (unofficial) and leaped 30 inches in the vertical jump. Not too shabby for a bowling-ball shaped DT. Another DT who looked good was Maryland's Dre Moore who had a 4.88 and 31 reps while weighing in at 305 pounds. The two D-linemen who may have helped themselves the most were Ohio State's Vernon Gholston and Florida's Derrick Harvey, who both put up outstanding numbers. A lot of people thought Harvey might be a 'tweener linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. However, he weighed in at 291 pounds and still ran a 4.8 with 31 reps. Those aren't quite Mario Williams numbers, but are pretty dang good (as Scot McCloughan would say). Sadly, Harvey is a guy the 49ers would have been in a position to take if they still had the No. 7 pick.

• As far as WRs, there are a ton of them. Two that jump out as far as their numbers are Va. Tech's Eddie Royal and Kansas State's Jordy Nelson. Royal ran a blazing 4.39 in the 40, had 24 reps in the bench press and leaped 36 inches. He's a nice possibility as a return-man/slot receiver in the mid rounds. Nelson, meanwhile, weighed 217 pounds yet still ran a 4.49 in the 40. Other Senior Bowl standouts who had impressive numbers in Indy were Florida's Andre Caldwell, Appalachian State's Dexter Jackson and Houston's Donnie Avery.

• Who will replace Derek Smith at Ted linebacker? How about Vandy's Jonathan Goff, who weighs 245 pounds, ran a 4.68 40 and had 28 reps on the bench press. Oh, and he was very productive in the SEC, just like the linebacker the 49ers drafted last year.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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