The 2014 NFL Draft is a little over two weeks away. Day one will take place on May 8th. The San Francisco 49ers hold the 30th pick. I will be taking a look at some possible options for the 49ers and how they could impact their already talented roster. Next up is Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.
Calvin Pryor has made a late surge into the top half of the first round. He is the number two safety on most boards. At one point, the 49ers felt that they will have a chance to draft him whether it be by way of a trade up or staying put at pick 30. I spoke to Pryor at the NFL Scouting Combine and he told me that he met with defensive backs coach Ed Donatell along with Jim Harbaugh. Pryor lit up when I asked him about the opportunity to play along side of Eric Reid and in the physical defense that the 49ers have.
“I am just fearless. That’s what I love to do. I like to bring that aggressiveness and play like my hair is on fire. Man, that would be a dream come true. I would be in for a long ride. They put guys in position for success. They bring that fearless style of play. They bring toughness. That’s what I love about them. Eric Reid is a smart player, I am a smart player. We would make a nice team, a nice combination playing together.”
Pryor is a tone setter at the safety position. He is able to come down and deliver a big time hit on ball carriers. This is why I gave him the name “Louisville Slugger” which he gladly approved of. He is rangy enough to play single high safety which is something that he did a lot of in his first two years. One of his signature plays was a one handed interception against Central Florida. His ability to drop back into coverage from the box is similar to Troy Polamalu.
How will he help the 49ers?
Calvin Pryor will help the 49ers in that he brings a physical presence against the run. The 49ers are a hard hitting team at almost every position. He would definitely live up to that mentality on defense. His ability to force fumbles will remind many 49ers fans of two safeties that they used to have in Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. Pryor can also cover. He will be an intimidator when it comes to receivers making plays across the middle. They will need to brace themselves for a big hit. Antoine Bethea is signed on for at least two years with the 49ers but Pryor can come in on big nickel situations and he is able to play special teams. He played on kickoff team while he was at Louisville.
NFL Comparison: Louis Delmas. When I watch Pryor, I see a player that is similar to Dashon Goldson as well but Delmas is a good comparison because both players have more compact frames that they unleash on ball carriers. Delmas and Pryor are both 5-11 but Pryor is five pounds heavier, weighing in at 207 pounds. They both seem to relish delivering the big hit. They play a good bit in the box but are still able to drop back in coverage from close to the line of scrimmage.
5-11 207 pounds
31 1/8 inch arms
9 1/8 inch hands
4.58 40 yd dash
34 1/2 inch vertical
9.7 broad jump
18 reps bench press