With the uncertain return of San Francisco 49ers ILB NaVorro Bowman, it should be no surprise that Louisville ILB Preston Brown will be brought in today for a pre-draft visit. The former Louisville product who had a stellar Senior campaign as he led the team with 98 tackles last season while providing support in the passing game evident by five pass break-ups and one interception, it’s no wonder he is one of GM Trent Baalke’s 30 pre-draft visits.
A player that ranks No. 4 on both ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s positional rankings at the inside linebacker position, Brown would no doubt be a solid addition to the 49ers defense while adding a fountain of youth. In addition, Brown checks off all the boxes especially with his elongated wingspan as he measured at 33 3/8-inch arms. Not to mention, he has huge hands that measured 10 1/4-inch, you can see why Brown is the prototypical H-W-S athlete.
Aside from his god-given size it’s his durability, tackling, and production that will solidify himself as a late second or early third-round draft pick. Brown played all 52 games during his tenure at Louisville and made 37 starts. How’s that for durability. And with his hard-hitting ability to knock back defenders while using proper form tackling, the 49ers scouting department can’t help but love his attention to detail as far as fundamentals are concerned. Speaking of fundamentals it’s imperative that under DC Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme that the front seven maintain proper gap integrity and Brown does that to a tee.
But with the 49ers recent off-field troubles, the question remains is Brown a high-character player? The answer is yes. He has no red flags as far as off-field distractions or run-ins with law enforcement. In fact, he’s considered an upbeat player whose well-liked by his coaches and teammates. Not a true leader in the locker room but doesn’t need to be as they already have one in ILB Patrick Willis. In the end, Brown would create competition for ILB Michael Wilhoite and ILB Nick Moody while trying to make a splash on special teams.
At the NFL scouting combine Brown ran a 4.86 40-yard dash, 23 reps on the bench-press, 33.0-inch vertical, and 116-inch broad-jump. And if the 49ers want Brown they may have to trade-up in front of the Tennessee Titans who already hosted him on a pre-draft visit and held a private workout with him.
Top 30 Pre-Draft Visits
Interview after Pro Day
SS Shamiel Gary (Oklahoma State) w/Regional Scout Bob Morris
WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M) w/Director of College Scouting Matt Malaspina
WR Odell Beckham (LSU) w/Regional Scout Bob Morris
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) w/HC Jim Harbaugh
Dinner w/GM Trent Baalke