While NFL Draft pundits and fans alike can give instant reactions to their team's player selections, it's easy to forget that the true value of the picks cannot be fully assessed until after a couple of seasons. Some players become instant starters (Deebo Samuel) while others remain a work in progress (Solomon Thomas). Having said that, I want to pull out the receipts on what draft analysts were saying prior to the draft, along with their player comparisons. With the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, let's review what various scouting outlets were saying about the 49ers' day three picks. The San Francisco 49ers traded running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the 153rd pick to select West Virginia offensive tackle, Colton McKivitz.


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Dane Brugler of The Athletic thinks McKitvitz has a 'workable skill set' in his 2020 NFL Draft Guide:

A basketball-first athlete most of his life, McKivitz has adequate feet and moves well laterally, but he doesn't show the same type of control in space and is vulnerable to outside moves. While his patience in his pass sets can be a strength, it also leads to him being late with his punch, especially vs. long-armed rushers. Overall, McKivitz has a workable skill set to push for playing time in the NFL (he is viewed as a tackle by some teams and a guard by others), but he must become more assertive and timely with his hand strike to hold up vs. NFL-level defensive linemen.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein appreciates McKivitz' 'dirt-dog mentality' as he competes at the next level:

Tackle prospect with below-average arm length, average athleticism and above-average nasty. While he's likely to be tagged as a right tackle, he may have the tools to fit into a swing tackle role if needed. He's got good natural strength but some lower body tightness hinders leverage both as a drive blocker and in his pass anchor. McKivitz can be a little tardy on backside cutoffs, but moves well enough to handle blocking duties in space. His dirt-dog mentality will be welcomed in offensive line rooms, but he will have to fight to be become an NFL starter.

ESPN Scout Inc.'s Draft profile of McKitvitz gave him a 68 grade:

McKivitz, four-year starter, moved from right to left tackle in 2019. He rewraps and gets his hands inside in pass pro. He flashes the ability to stay in front of his assignments, but he loses inside leverage and gets beaten to the inside at times. He's late delivering punch. He doesn't bend well and has below-average length, making him vulnerable to long arm moves and speed to power. He gets off the ball and generates good initial push in the run game. His pads rise and he falls off blocks late.

Anthony Treash and Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus thought he 'plays like a teddy bear' with their live analysis of the 2020 NFL Draft:

McKivitz looks like a monster at 6-foot-7, but he plays like a teddy bear. His play strength was poor for his size — he'd get beat by undersized edge rushers at times. McKivitz allowed the seventh-lowest pressure rate over the last three years, but as PFF Lead Draft Analyst Mike Renner said, he'd be in the quarterback's lap constantly if he were on an NFL field tomorrow.

While I'm sure many 49ers fans were taken aback by the Breida trade for this draft selection, let's consider the context. Breida boasts a career 5.0 yard per carry average but he also fell out of favor in the 49ers' running back rotation due to injuries and fumbles. The undrafted free agent rookie from 2017 was an excellent find by the 49ers' front office and they parlayed that into a fifth-round draft pick. I wish Breida all the best in Miami; he should have more opportunity to compete for a team in need of playmakers.

The lowdown with McKivitz is that his massive 6'7" frame and skillset didn't necessarily translate well on the field; he struggled against speed pass rushers. While McKivitiz was used primarily as a tackle in college, I think his best chance at seeing the field lies at guard. His toughness should bode well at the right guard spot where he can compete with Tom Compton and Daniel Brunskill while also serving as a potential swing tackle with Shon Coleman and Justin Skule. I'm glad the 49ers were able to trade back into the fifth-round and address depth on a position that welcomes more competition.
  • Justin Wong
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    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.