College area scout Todd Brunner has been in town the last few weeks for the 49ers Draft Meetings. Find out about the process of stacking the draft board in this latest blog! **
We arrived here in Santa Clara the Wednesday before the Super Bowl and spent the next two days going over the all-Star games. Each of us had been given positions (as you might remember from Senior Bowl, I had defensive backs) for all of the all-star games to grade, so we all convened in the war room to go over those players and our grades.
Then that Saturday before the game we got started with our positional break downs in order to stack our draft board, and we've pretty much been grinding ever since.
We did take a half day on Super Bowl Sunday to go over to Scot McCloughan's house to watch the game. It's the third year in a row we've done that, and it's nice to get away from the facility and just to not be sitting in a dark room all day watching tape.
On Monday, we started back the grind and up until yesterday we had gone nine straight days from about 7:30 in the morning till about 7 every night where we go over players. To date, we've done 590 players. We go position at a time, and then alphabetically and watch tape and talk about who we've written up. Basically we are eliminating people in this process because we won't have 590 players on the board. We still have about 200 players to go and of that 790 players, we may have 150 or so who end up on our draft board either as a draftable guy or a free agent type.
We put guys on the board how they fit us, not necessarily how they fit in the entire NFL. For instance, we prefer the bigger corners so defensive backs who aren't as tall as we'd like them to be who might go in the first round somewhere else, we might not have them until the second round because of how they'd fit for us.
So through our discussions, we'll start our preliminary stacking of the board, which will change somewhat after the Combine and some of the Pro Days.
The main thing in these meetings is not to back pedal on a guy just because someone might have a different grade than you. You've really got to stand firm on your grade and stick with your convictions and go with what you saw throughout the fall. No one is really right or wrong, because in the end we are just trying to get this right as a team and make sure we slot everyone correctly.
We did have one major breakdown in our meetings, and that was when the video machine broke down on Sunday. Being the well-oiled machine that we are, we had a backup. Ethan Waugh had one in his office and we yanked it right out there and went right back to work.
We make the mood light for the most part because it is a long day of meetings. There is lots of joking around and ribbing. Ethan and Trent Baalke have watched some of the same players in this local area, so they are constantly at each other, and I get tons of ribbing all of the time about the Rutgers guys and how I'm biased. Matt Malaspina is just fair game to everyone because he's food and beverage coordinator so if it's a bad lunch day, everyone points the finger at him.
Nobody has had to use Spark yet this year to stay awake, although there's been lots of Diet Cokes downed (namely by me), coffee, etc. Dave McCloughan is always bouncing off the walls anyhow because he's a real high-energy guy so he keeps everyone going as it is hard to sit in the same seat all day.
Since I'm assigned to grab the cards off the board and read out their particulars, at least I move around a lot. However, if I fail to put them in exact alignment when I place them back on the board, I will hear about it from Scot McCloughan.
The sad part about being gone was when my wife informed me that my four-year old son has been carrying a picture of me to preschool with him. I guess he's having some issues being gone. I hope it's because he misses me and not because he's forgetting what I look like.
I haven't had my hair cut since I got here, and I've gotten some grief from some of the staff here, but I refuse to let anyone cut my hair but my barber back at home. So after 19 days of being gone, I'll go see my wife and kids and then head straight to my barber.
We all head home Sunday and then have about two days before we head to Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine. I'll check in again from there.