49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 12, 2010
Combine questions for potential Niner picks

The annual scouting combine is around the corner. Over the next week I'll be looking at the players that could tempt the 49ers with their two first-round picks in April. Each of those players has questions that scouts and front-office officials will hope to answer at the combine. Some of them will be answered with a medical test, some in the interview portion. Other answers will come on the field and weight room as players are asked to perform strength and agility drills. As always, NFL Draft Scout's Rob Rang spent a lot of time on the telephone helping me compile the list. Remember, the 49ers pick 13th and either 16th or 17th depending on coin flip with the Titans, which will be conducted at the combine. The list is alphabetical. The first three prospects happen to be junior offensive tackles ...

Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa, 6-6, 312, junior.
Because Bulaga is an underclassmen, he did not take part in the Senior Bowl and was not weighed and measured there. Scouts obviously will be interested to find out exactly how he and the other underclassmen stack up. Bulaga's biggest question mark is medical. He was diagnosed with a thyroid condition three days after the season opener and missed three games. Bulaga suffered from shortness of breath in practice and was briefly hospitalization. The good news is that he seems to have overcome the issue. His play steadily improved as the year went on, and he had a very good showing in the Orange Bowl against a Georgia Tech team that had one of the best defenses in the country last year. New 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari said he plans on running both gap and zone-blocking schemes this season. Of all the offensive linemen projected as first-round picks, Bulaga and Maryland's Bruce Campbell seem to have the best feet for zone blocking.

Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland, 6-7, 310, junior.
When I visited the Maryland campus last year for a story on Vernon Davis, I, of course, had to check in with Terps strength coach Dwight Galt. As predicted, Galt gushed about Davis' weight-room prowess. But he also mentioned he had another pupil in Davis' mold. That's Campbell, who like Davis is a muscular, freakish athlete who will put up eye-popping numbers in the weight room. Rang said that Campbell is expected to perform so well in the 40-yard dash and agility tests that if he doesn't it could take him down the boards. In that way, he is a victim of high expectations. The most important part of the combine for Campbell, however, may be the interview process. Campbell only has 17 career starts at Maryland. He missed three starts as a junior last season --his first season as a full-time starter - due to an MCL sprain and turf toe, and he probably could have benefited from another full season. Because of that, there was some surprise that he chose to enter the draft as an underclassmen. Teams will be very interested in how he responds when they ask, "So, why are you here?"

Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers, 6-6, 325, junior.
The interview portion will be perhaps more critical with Davis than any prospect I'll be writing about. There's no question the big offensive lineman has talent, but he didn't have the best work ethic at Rutgers and struggled to maintain his weight. In that way, he's similar to former Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith. The Bengals, who ended up selecting Smith sixth overall last year, reportedly have a "weight clause" in his contract. Davis, meanwhile, was suspended a game for violating team rules in 2008 and missed a team meeting in 2009. You can bet he'll get grilled about those incidents in Indianapolis. "Those are the types of questions they're going to hit him with," Rang said. "It's all going to come down to the interview with him."

Next up: Brandon Graham, Mike Iupati and Sergio Kindle.

-- Matt Barrows

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


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.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.