The San Francisco 49ers have held meetings with a host of prospects ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of everyone they’ve “met” with so far.
The San Francisco 49ers are currently going through the typical process of meeting with prospects ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Except, this year’s process is anything but “typical.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, teams are not permitted to meet with draft prospects in person. As a result, teams have taken to different means as they look to get to know their top prospects ahead of the draft.
That means more video chatting instead of in-person visiting.
The 49ers have scheduled and participated in FaceTime meetings with a variety of 2020 NFL Draft prospects to this point. While the process may be different, the outcome may be the same.
Last draft season, San Francisco held pre-draft meetings with the teams’ top three selections in Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, and Jalen Hurd. The year prior, they met with both Dante Pettis and Fred Warner who were each selected in the top 70 picks.
It’s clear there’s a correlation between who the 49ers bring in — or in this case, FaceTime — for pre-draft visits and who they end up selecting come draft day.
So who has the team met with so far? Thanks to various reports from Matt Barrows of The Athletic and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, we have compiled a list of nine players the 49ers have chatted with to this point.
- Salvon Ahmed, RB, Washington
- Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
- Lynn Bowden, WR/QB, Kentucky
- Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
- Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
- Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
- Cordel Iwuagwu, OG, TCU
- Daniel Thomas, SS, Auburn
- Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
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There are a few notable names on that list including a couple who could go in the first round. None of those nine players will likely be drafted as high as pick No. 13, but both Blacklock and Cleveland could be targets at No. 31 overall.
Blacklock is an athletic, penetrating defensive tackle who could step in and fill DeForest Buckner‘s role right out of the gate. His swim move is particularity impressive and he excels rushing the passer from the 3-technique, a perfect fit for San Francisco.
Cleveland, on the other hand, is a fast-rising prospect who’s starting to garner some Round 1 hype. The Boise State product is an athletic specimen running a 4.93 40-yard dash at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds.
His athleticism makes him a perfect fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme and the front office could see him as the eventual replacement for Joe Staley at left tackle. Drafting him in the back-half of the first round would give the team one extra year of control with a fifth-year option.
Of the other seven players they’ve met with, Bowden is perhaps the most intriguing. The Kentucky product started eight games at quarterback and five at wide receiver while also contributing as a returner.
He was his team’s jack of all trades, but his best position in the NFL will likely come at slot receiver. Some will claim he’s the next Taysom Hill, but expect Bowden to make a full-time switch over to receiver in the pros.
If the 49ers follow recent trends, we should see at least one or two of their pre-draft visits actually drafted by the team come late April. Perhaps it will be one of the players they’ve “met” with so far.
Only time will tell.