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49ers Coaches, Scouts in Concert at Combine

Posted Feb 19, 2014

Greg Roman has a part to play in Trent Baalke's pre-NFL Draft preparations.

For what seems like weeks to Greg Roman, general manager Trent Baalke and his staff have been “grinding,” locked in a room across the hall from his office.

They’re considering future 49ers.

With the NFL Scouting Combine on deck in Indianapolis, it’s worth noting how coaches like Roman and talent evaluators like Baalke work alone, yes, but also in concert.

“What we get presented with as coaches is a shorter list of (college) players,” the offensive coordinator told 49ers.com at San Francisco’s Santa Clara facility. “Say at the quarterback position… they may have already eliminated certain guys for possibly not being a fit for us.

“They do a lot of the groundwork, and then we’ll come together and build a consensus.”

The organization, Roman said, is currently gauging three separate components: evaluating current players, free agents and potential draftees.

While San Francisco will be a player in free agency – 10 members of the 2013 squad have contracts expiring when the league period begins March 11 – this week represents a key juncture in its draft preparations.

Even with the selection process pushed back to its May 8-10 timeframe this year, 49ers coaches will use the combine to watch college players run 40-yard dashes, test their vertical leaps, undergo wingspan measurements and answer questions in a private interview setting.

“The combine gives you an opportunity to make it real life and meet people,” Roman said. “It really helps connects the dots because you can watch film on a player and say, ‘Well why is he doing this?’ At the combine, you can ask him.”

Roman acknowledged the challenge of getting to know the prospects as they truly are, not as their strength and conditioning coaches, agents and advisors have instructed them to be.

“You got to be prepared to get these guys out of their stock comfort zone and really dig down,” he said, “find out, ask them some tough questions, throw some curveballs at them because this process that they go through is one that gets them so well prepared.

“They almost become as good at (combine drills) as they are at playing football.”