49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 22, 2010
All eyes on O-lineman at Shrine practices

The 49ers scouting department has been in Orlando all week to scout the East-West Shrine game, and - lo and behold! - the one player who has really distinguished himself in those practices is an offensive linemen. My spies in Orlando say Indiana tackle Rodger Saffold has been dominant in one-one-one drills. Saffold isn't massive - he's 6-4, 312 - but he's physical and strong. He'll play tackle in tomorrow's game (12 p.m., ESPN2) but short arms may force him to guard at the next level. He's looking like a late first-, early second-round pick.

Who are the other guys to keep an eye on? Remember, the East-West game usually features mid- to late-round picks. The best seniors will be at next week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. ... By the way, college all-star games, which feature a bunch of guys who have never played together, usually are terrible. Whether I watch will depend on a.) how hung over I am and b.) whether it's still freakin' raining. I'm starting to develop gills ...

QB John Shelton, Fordham, 6-5, 244.
WR Arlick Arnett, West Virginia, 6-2, 183
T Kyle Calloway, Iowa, 6-6, 322
DL, Mike Neal, Purdue, 6-3, 298
DE, Willie Young, N.C. State, 6-5, 251
DE Greg Hardy, Ole Miss, 6-4, 279
LB O'Brien Schofield, Wisconsin, 6-2, 242
S Barry Church, Toledo, 6-2, 217
S Justin Woodall, Ala, 6-1, 218

The West squad isn't as strong. One guy to watch is SMU receiver Emmanuel Sanders (5-11, 182), who was one of the top return men in the country last year. He reportedly has looked good as a receiver as well. Here's Sanders' highlight reel. I apologize in advance for the terrible rap music.

RB Patrick Paschall, North Dakota State, 5-11, 206
WR Carry Meier, Kansas, 6-2, 219
TE Dennis Pitta, BYU, 6-4, 245
OL Mike Tepper, Cal, 6-5, 325
DL Ekom Udofia, Stanford, 6-1, 326
LB Dexter Davis, Arizona State, 6-1, 244
S T.J. Ward, Oregon, 5-10, 199
CB Alterraun Verner, UCLA, 5-10, 181

-- Matt Barrows

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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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