Matt Barrows of The Athletic put together a list of some of the known pre-draft interviews the San Francisco 49ers have held while preparing for next month's draft, revealing four new names that we have added to our 2020 Pre-Draft Visit/Meeting Tracker.

The 49ers have conducted virtual interviews over FaceTime — or similar software — with the following draft prospects, according to Barrows. NFL teams are holding pre-draft discussions this way as the league practices social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • WR Lynn Bowden, Kentucky
  • T Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
  • LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State
  • S Daniel Thomas, Auburn

Also on Barrows' list were DL Ross Blacklock and OG Cordel Iwuagwu of TCU, both of whom were already known.

Conversations with draft prospects can't last more than an hour, with no more than three with a single player per week. NFL teams also aren't limited to speaking with just 30 prospects, as has been the case in past years when face-to-face non-local prospect visits were allowed. Although, the maximum number of virtual interviews has not been revealed.

The 49ers, like other teams around the league, are working this offseason remotely from their homes.

"This draft is absolutely huge for us," general manager John Lynch said this week in a video posted to Twitter. "There's no excuses, no explanations. We've got to get our work done, albeit from home. ... Our scouts, led by Adam Peters, Martin Mayhew, Ethan Waugh, have done just a tremendous job. And our coaches are doing a tremendous job after the season getting caught up. And we will be ready for that draft."

Barrows wrote the following about each of the four prospects above.

Bowden: He did a little bit of everything for the Wildcats, starting eight games at quarterback, five at receiver and also contributing as a return man. His best position in the NFL might be as a slot receiver. He's a tough and elusive runner with the ball in his hands, and his background as a quarterback means he could take some Wildcat snaps or be useful for trick plays. In other words, someone like Kyle Shanahan would have a blast with Bowden on the field.

Cleveland: A former defensive lineman and wrestler, Cleveland is light on his feet — especially for a 6-foot-6, 311-pounder — and in that way seems to be a good fit for the type of zone-style blocking the 49ers require. He ran his 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.93 seconds, which is excellent for an offensive tackle. He appears to be an option for the 49ers at pick No. 31.

Davis-Gaither: Davis-Gaither is a lot like other inside linebackers the 49ers have acquired in recent years in that he's smaller than a traditional linebacker (6-1, 224 pounds) but makes plays all over the field and is strong in pass coverage. Davis-Gaither led his team in both tackles and pass breakups this past season. He was recovering from a foot injury at the combine and did not take part in any of the running drills.

Thomas: Jaquiski Tartt is the clear starter at strong safety. However, he's only signed through the upcoming season and there was a prominent dropoff when he was out of the lineup this past season. Thomas is a lot like current 49ers backup Marcell Harris in that he's strong around the line of scrimmage. However, he's faster than Harris and may be better in coverage. Thomas ran his 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds at the combine, a strong time for someone who measures 5-10, 215 pounds.


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