Today the Scouting Spotlight highlights a couple of intriguing and versatile draft prospects at positions of need for the 49ers.
Greetings Faithful! For this article, I have a scouting profile of two prospects: Guard, Kendrick Green of Illinois, and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste of Minnesota. After the quarterback pick, all eyes and attention will focus on the other critical picks to keep this team competitive for years to come! Let’s just jump right on in!
Kendrick Green, Guard, Illinois
Weight: 6’2” Height: 302 lbs.
The first thing I love about Green is her versatility along the line. Can lineup at guard or the center position.
Kendrick Green = twitched up w/excellent center of gravity & core strength at 6’2″ 305. Dude is a ball of lighting with an iron head to jolt/stun defenders at the point & strong hands to latch/control. Former super HS athlete & high level wrestling background shows up on tape. pic.twitter.com/sFlRMa8DSP
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) April 10, 2021
Both concerning areas for the 49ers at the moment. Green has the ability to move off the ball off the snap, and his lateral movement is quite impressive. He has the athleticism to cut off oncoming defenders in pass protection. He can get into space and build up momentum and accelerate himself throughout the duration of the play.
#Illinois LG Kendrick Green Thread
– First Team All-Big Ten Guard
– Started 33 Straight Games
– DL Converted To OL
Tape: 2020 Northwestern pic.twitter.com/DiAR2ybshN
— #FieldsAt3 (@GrahamTSFN) March 3, 2021
Will rarely let up. Uses his hands well to contend with oncoming pass rushers. Lastly, he has demonstrated good initial burst in the short-area.
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 25, 2021
One of the best attributes of his game is his run-blocking abilities.
On tape, defenders are able to find separation off of his blocks. He will not always naturalize and trust the power that he has. He does not have the longest arms and so, blocking on long, extended plays can leave him vulnerable. Will overextend at times, which can allow pressure along the edge. He is still polishing up his technique as a pass blocker.
It’s the pass blocking that is keeping Green from the second round. He could even slip to perhaps the fourth round. However, his run-blocking is what has me intrigued the most. For a team that loves to run the football as much as the 49ers do, there could be value with Green, especially due to his ability to shift from guard to center. This gives the 49ers options and depth. That, to me, shouts value late in Day 2 or early in Day 3.
Benjamin St-Juste, CB – Minnesota
Height: 6’0 – Weight: 202 lbs.
The first thing that stands out with St-Juste is his size and length, particularly for the outside. I absolutely love his physical ability from press and in one-on-one coverage.
— Cat Crave (@CatCraveBlog) January 30, 2021
On the first and second level in short and intermediate routes he has the ability to quickly end plays with wrap-up tackles and instant contact with the receiver. St. Juste has the will and springboard in him to go up for contested jump balls.
#Gophers CB Benjamin St-Juste is 6-foot-3 and moves extremely well. He also has fantastic agility & flexibility.
St-Juste quickly changes direction and uses his length (80 1/4″ wingspan) to disrupt passes. He is a scheme diverse CB who can press-man or break on the ball in zone. pic.twitter.com/iY7huS8Aje
— Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) March 29, 2021
His ability as a tackler, whether on the outside or in open space has been consistent throughout his collegiate career. He’ll swat and deflect balls often and bust up potential big-plays and gains.
Benjamin St-Juste is all over this double move. Impressive fluidity at 6033! pic.twitter.com/N1rpXKsaYO
— Lorenz (@ScoutingLenz) March 24, 2021
He has played and has experience in a number of schemes and defensive line-ups. In all honesty, he can be quite versatile at the next level.
Route recognition and following the quarterback’s eyes are still a work in progress, and more growth is a must at the next level. While I think he has good speed, his initial burst, and sudden agility leave a little to be desired. St. Juste has been an inconsistent and shaky run defender along the line of scrimmage. Will over-anticipate and put himself out of position at times. He can get passed by even some of the average route-running receivers. This, too, is a work in progress.
An exhilarating and sometimes electrifying prospect who is still a work in progress and raw in multiple areas. That is why I believe he can fall as low as the fourth round. There are times on tape where St-Juste looks like a first-round can’t miss prospect. However, his lack of consistency and further growth have him as a mid-round prospect instead. He seems to be a popular pick among 49ers’ mock drafts, and for a good reason. If the team is patient and gives him time to grow, mature, and develop, St-Juste can develop into a future starter.
What are your thoughts on Kendrick Green? Is Green a late day two pick as a center/guard with strong run blocking skills? Is St-Juste a near-perfect fit for the 49ers, yet a work in progress? Share your thoughts in the comments below!