49ers select WR DeAndre Smelter at pick 132


The 49ers finally add a wide receiver to their 2015 draft class, this time by selecting Georgia Tech wide receiver DeAndre Smelter. One thing of note on Smelter he will join Baalke’s All-ACL team. He suffered an ACL tear late in the 2014 season.

School: Georgia Tech Experience: Junior
Height: 6-2 Weight: 226
40 yard dash:
OverviewStrengthsWeaknessesCompares toBottom Line
A three-sport star in high school, Smelter earned all-state honors in baseball, basketball and football, but decided his future was in baseball as a pitcher and didn’t play football his senior season in high school.
He was drafted in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and would have gone much earlier but teams knew of his commitment to playing collegiately at Georgia Tech. After multiple seasons of shoulder discomfort, Smelter realized his baseball career was over and returned to football in 2013, earning his way onto the field and flourishing.

It is tough to fully evaluate him considering the quarterback play and offense at Georgia Tech, but his natural athleticism and impressive skill-set makes him one of the more intriguing prospects in this class – the late-season ACL tear will knock him down draft boards, but he is still deserving of a draftable grade.

Big receiver with physicality to match. On hitch routes, showed shake to make first defender miss and also showed he can punish defenders with a stiff-arm. Talented after the catch. His football intelligence really stands out. Has understanding of leverage within his routes and will adjust his route to counter the defender’s actions. Able to create separation underneath by pushing cornerbacks with good route speed. Consistently worked back to quarterback when plays got off schedule. Uses wide frame to box out cornerbacks on back-shoulder throws near the boundary. Wins when ball is in the air with physicality, body control, well-timed leaps and strong hands. Capable run blocker. Great competitor with mature background.
Suffered an ACL tear late in season and timetable for 2015 return is uncertain. Average foot quickness for his size, which could lead to some slowness in release against press coverage. Takes an extra step to gear down into breaks. Played just two seasons of college football. Limited exposure to full route tree in Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense. Overly reliant on size and body control for catches. Ability to separate from athletic cornerbacks is a concern for scouts and has been exacerbated thanks to ACL tear.
Eric Decker
Like Eric Decker, Smelter is a former baseball player with outstanding hand-eye coordination. Both will have entered the draft with questions lingering about a season-ending injury (Lisfranc for Decker). Smelter is an uber-athlete with a background of excellence in every sport he has played. He plays well beyond his experience level at wide receiver. His toughness, natural instincts and football intelligence should earn him a spot on a depth chart, provided there are no lasting effects from his ACL tear.

Draft Info – [NFL.com]

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