These articles are meant to show connections between teams draft preferences and RAS. RAS is Relative Athletic Score. Created by Kent Lee Platte. It uses a special formula that uses all of a players combine/pro day workout numbers and puts out a 1-10 overall athleticism score pertaining to their position. 1 being being the worst and a 10 being best. You can access his website here: ras.football. Here we take a look at the San Francisco 49ers drafts and their RAS.
In the previous part the Indianapolis Colts were evaluated. Since every GM and or front office are different we are only evaluating John Lynch’s picks starting with the 2017 draft and through the 2021 draft.
The 49ers have only drafted two quarterbacks in the John Lynch Era. CJ Bethard and Trey Lance. Bethard had a RAS score of 7.67. Which for a quarterback means he’s a solid athlete. Now while Lance did not do any physical testing, based off film he looks to be a pretty athletic player himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had tested 8.0 or higher. So safe to say they at least like guys who can move around and get some yards on broken plays at the very least.
To the running backs the 9ers have drafted three guys under Lynch. Joe Williams, Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell. Their average RAS score is a high score of 8.98. Round off its basically a 9. This shows high overall athleticism is very important to the 49ers at this position. All three are similar in size between 200-215. All three put up good explosive grades.
Now Lynch’s history with his receiver draft picks is kind of interesting. Lynch has drafted seven receivers in his time. He has either drafted highly athletic players or unathletic players. Not much in the middle. The overall average of all the receivers is a 6.47 Four of the picks had a RAS score of 7.92 or higher. The other three? 6 or lower with one of them being a 4 and another a 2.73. Also the less athletic guys were later picks. All taken in the 5th or later.
A lot of times when you see teams when drafting receivers later they take highly athletic guys. Usually guys with special teams potential. Either as a returner or gunner. The guys San Francisco took were not, and they were also smaller slot type receivers. The four very athletic guys were taken in the 3rd round or earlier. They were all also bigger dudes outside of Pettis. All of them were 205 pounds or heavier. Again outside of Pettis. So this shows they have two types of receivers they draft. Big, athletic, physical type receivers or smaller less athletic slot types.
Lynch has not drafted very many tight ends in his time. He has drafted three. Of course because of who his first pick ended up becoming it makes sense. Their average score is a decent 6.76. George Kittle tested out highly athletic with a score of 9.52. Then at the other end of the spectrum is Kaden Smith with a 3.84. Of course in the middle is Charlie Woerner with a 6.93. Which is close to a 7. So he is a borderline above average athlete. All three interestingly enough were drafted on day 3. It seems they do have a size preference all three are 6’4-6’5 and all are 245-255. As far as athleticism it is hard to say what the 9ers preference is. Maybe a couple more draft picks will bear out some more consistency.
Another interesting position for the 49ers and Lynch. In his time in San Francisco John Lynch has drafted only five offensive linemen. Four of the five were offensive tackles. Their average RAS score is a 6.55. There is no score for Mike McGlinchey. Although coming out of Notre Dame he was never known to be a athletic freak. He did have a 28.5 vertical jump and a 8’9″ broad jump which are seen as average. Interestingly enough three of the four that there are scores for have a RAS between 7.16-7.49. That might just be a coincidence though.
They do however like tall tackles. three of the four that they have drafted are 6’6 or taller. Jaylon Moore is the only tackle under 6’6 and there was talk coming out of the draft he might be better as a guard. I have not heard weather they have moved him there permanently or not. High agility scores seem to not be a priority for Lynch as well. There has been word from people who have been to San Francisco’s training camp have said it looks like they are having depth issues on the offensive line. The lack of picks is a symptom of this.
Interior Defensive Line:
The 49ers have drafted four defensive linemen since Lynch took over. Only three of them have RAS scores. The average for those guys is a 8.35. A small sample yes, but Kinlaw is the 4th, and while he does not have any testing. It was well known that he was a freak athlete at South Carolina. You could bet he would have scored at least a 8 or higher. John Lynch likes to have athletic interior defensive linemen.
It makes sense. Those guys are hard to come by. By the look of it they like their defensive linemen to have a quick get off. All of them have a fast 10 yard split. Between 1.66-1.75. Interestingly two of the four are “smaller” type guys. Both Street and Taylor are sub 300. The other two though are both over 319. So it seems the 49ers like a combination of smaller guys and bigger guys. Always athletic and with a quick get off though.
Lynch has drafted three edge defenders(or defensive ends) since 2017. Which is some what surprising since they run a 4-3. The average for the three is a 8.54. Two of the three have been high level athletes. Both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas rated out as 9.44 or higher. Which means elite athletes. The third Pita Taumoepenu only had a RAS of 6.46 which is slightly above average. His speed and agility grades really helped him out. His size did hurt his grade only being 6’1 243. This highlights what they prioritize with their defensive ends. Speed and Agility! Specifically their 10 yard splits. This seems to be a common theme amongst a a lot of their picks. Lynch also seems to value long arms. All three have 32 inch or longer arms. Thomas and Bosa both happen to have exactly 33″ arms.
Now in regards to their linebackers there is not much to go on. Since 2017 they have only drafted three linebackers, and one of them Ruben Foster has no testing data. One thing that can be inferred is that they like smaller, quicker linebackers. All three are 236 pounds or less. Fred Warner is a freak athlete with a 9.67. Greenlaw had a 4.96 so borderline average. What they both share in common besides not being the biggest linebackers is they both have good 20 yard splits. All three also have 32″+ arms. The difference is Foster is 6’0 and Greenlaw is 5’11, but Warner is 6’3. So another statistic to point out is they like their linebackers to have long arms. Which means they like linebackers that can shed blocks.
Now to the final group. The defensive backs. A position that I think will have a lot of commonality amongst the teams. That is a lot of draft capital spent on this position. Its two fold. You need to have at least three good cornerbacks in the NFL now. Also they are great on special teams.
The 49ers have drafted nine defensive backs since 2017. Five cornerbacks and four safeties. All together they average an RAS score of 7.75, which isn’t too bad. Looking further into the numbers five of them scored a 7.59 or higher. There are two players that really brought down that average score. Adrian Colbert with a 5.03 and Talanoa Hufanga with a 5.77. Both of them were day 3 picks. DJ Reed who had a 6.6 was also a day three pick. Outside of DJ Reed all of the defensive backs were 5’10 or taller. All of them were 188 pounds or heavier. We can say the 49ers do not like small defensive backs. Five of them were 197 or heavier. Interestingly enough only one was over 200 pounds. Marcell Harris was 216.
Looking at their cornerbacks they really value speed scores. That includes 40, 20 and 10 yard splits. They all had a 40 of 4.51 or faster. As well as 10 yard splits of 1.58 or faster. This is another position group where the 49ers find speed to be important. All their CBs also had a broad jump of 10’1″ or better. So it looks like that is something that is important to them as well. Agility drills do not seem super important for them. As long as a player gets an average score there. There are only two safties with RAS scores so not much can be learned there. Both are kind of average athletes, so that might not be a priority with John Lynch. Not enough data to say definitively.
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