College area scout Todd Brunner has been in town all week for the final round of draft meetings. In this blog, he sums up his final Pro Days, the week of meetings and Friday's Local Pro Day at the 49ers facility.**
Since last checking in, I finished up the last of my Pro Days, hitting William and Mary, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Villanova, and Rutgers.
The Villanova day was like a Pennsylvania Combine so there were about 50 plus guys there, and then I also attended one in North Jersey where about 70 players showed up.
I'd say one of the biggest highlights of those Pro Day visits was seeing Matt Ryan throw live at Boston College. There were tons of teams there, tons of media including the NFL Network and probably 50 plus kids working out.
Virginia Tech also had a great Pro Day being that they have several draft prospects, most notably Duane Brown, Josh Morgan and Brandon Flowers. The disappointment at that one was that Eddie Royal did not work out.
I then had a couple of days to sit and hang out with my family before heading out to Santa Clara on April 13. We started meetings Monday morning bright and early and for four straight days we went through our draft board on both sides of the ball twice. We moved guys around a little bit based on workouts or by watching more tape on guys. Basically, we wanted to make sure that we have them slotted correctly. Guys who we felt were close on the board, we'd watch tape on them back to back and then decide collectively who we thought was better of the two.
Next week we will meet with the coaches and get their input and see where they see guys and then as an organization we'll finalize the board.
Today is Friday, and we just wrapped up watching the tape of the Local Pro Day, which we held a few hours ago. Since Scot McCloughan has been here, the scouts turn into coaches on this day and we run the drills and workouts for each position group.
I worked with the quarterbacks, which as I've mentioned before is the position I used to play in college. This gives our coaches a chance to evaluate the guys live, and gives us a chance as scouts to direct the drills so that we see exactly what we want to see. I am not going to correct their technique, drop or throws. I just give them a basis for what they need to do and then see how they do it. You can always correct their technique later. The key for us is just to see what they do naturally.
Each year at this Local Pro Day, it's a different crop of quarterbacks, mainly west coast guys, and so it's usually my first live exposure to them. I've heard a lot about Dennis Dixon and Kyle Wright in particular, so it was a good chance to be one on one with those guys and see what they can do and what their personalities and style of play were like.
We will resume our meetings on Monday so I'll use this weekend to verify phone numbers for my assigned position, which is defensive backs. We absolutely need to make sure that in case we draft or want to sign a player as a free agent that we have the correct phone number to track them down. I can remember two years ago trying to reach Vickiel Vaughn, but I got his dad who said he was out and asked to take a message. I was like, "no, I need him RIGHT now." That was the number he had given us, and thankfully his dad did get a hold of him right away and Vickiel quickly called in. But, that can be stressful and is something we like to avoid.
Other than that, I will sit around my hotel room, check in a bunch with my kids and take it easy. My daughter Annie has a few softball games this weekend and I'll be anxious to hear how she pitches! I'll be back next week for an update as we near the big draft weekend.