Austin Corbett - R-Sr., Nevada
Ht/wt: 6-foot-5, 304 lbs.
2017: 12 starts (48 career starts), 0 sacks allowed in conference play, first-team All-Mountain West, Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist, All-Mountain West academic honors, Outland Trophy preseason watch list
The 49ers reportedly sent offensive line coach John Benton to Reno to work out Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett. Despite the presence of six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley and the addition of Weston Richburg, the offensive line still needs help at guard, which is where Corbett projects to play at the next level.
Currently the 49ers’ four guard options are Laken Tomlinson/Jonathan Cooper (left) and Joshua Garnett/Erik Magnuson (right). It is a group that lacks promise, and if they perform around the same level they have to date, Jimmy Garoppolo will be more vulnerable to hard hits and potential injury over 16 games.
Corbett would be an upgrade.
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He basically began as a walk-on with a wrestling background, and went on to start 48 consecutive games in college. He played his junior season at right tackle before switching to left tackle as a senior, following in the footsteps of Browns second-round pick Joel Bitonio.
Off the bat, I really like Corbett as a left guard or center with the flexibility to move all throughout the line if need be.
He’s got a nice initial punch. Strong left hand and uses it to get under people and turn them; very strong with movement to his right. Held his own in the run game in 2015 vs. Myles Garrett. Not athletic or long enough to stick at tackle. I like his push and movement on the inside. Seems like it’d translate to zone scheme. He looked good vs. Boise State in 2017.
Likes/asked to cut block a lot – and is good at it against smaller guys. Can get off balance vs. linebackers at the next level. I’d think that comes down to core strength and athleticism. Corbett rebounds, but not at optimal strength all the time with this.
Not as good as Bitonio out of college. Consistently good in combo blocks. He’s good, not great. Wish he were more athletic and had better rebound balance. Hence the 2/3 round. Not your Will Hernandez type finisher or Isaiah Wynn type mover, but solid.
Demonstrates susceptibility to a bull rush in some plays and lack of leverage and lunge, initially. Also shows how he consistently works, moves his feet, re-anchors to regain position.
Shows good hand placement and leverage to continue to work and drive to finish
Displays good leverage again and a lil nasty in him.
Shows his movement skills and how it could potentially translate into a zone scheme inside (at center and/or guard).
Watch him consistently move and work his feet and hands again.
Corbett would be a solid Day 2 pick for the 49ers. An interesting point initially raised by Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, when Cleveland drafted Bitonio in 2014, their offensive coordinator was none other than Kyle Shanahan. While Corbett is not quite Bitonio's equal at this stage, there are similarities, and he's close.
Corbett needs to be stronger and initially have better leverage. He's not the most athletic, but he is smart, continues to move and work for better position and manipulates players body weight to maneuver out of plays; elite at rebounding and resetting himself. Better pass protector than run blocker. He won't maul guys, but is very consistent. Definitely a guard, but could see a move to center in the future.
Media courtesy University of Nevada Athletics