Bay Area athletes get last chance to impress San Francisco 49ers ahead of 2019 NFL Draft

Friday, April 19, 2019
Bay Area athletes get last chance in front of San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 ahead of NFL Draft.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Francisco 49ers hosted its annual local pro day Wednesday afternoon, which gave dozens of draft-eligible athletes one more chance to get in front of scouts and coaches ahead of next week's NFL Draft.

The athletes, all of whom have Bay Area college or high school ties, took to the field at the Niners' practice facility hoping to impress team executives. This included Keelan Doss, a 2014 Alameda High School graduate who most recently played for UC Davis.

"My versatility, I can move from inside to outside, they really like that of me," said Doss. "I think I could be a really good fit if they were to pick me."

At Sports Fever at Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, manager Matt Rose says his team already has the 49ers merchandise ready to go. More items are scheduled to arrive in the coming months.

"Excited to see what Jimmy Garappolo has," he said. "We only saw him for a couple of games last season, so let's see if he's worth all of the money they gave him and to see if he can take this team back to the playoffs."

Player safety and concussions continue to be topics of concern throughout the off-season. However, NFL officials say concussions were down by 29-percent in the 2018 regular season. A couple of rule changes implemented last year may have contributed to the difference.

"The intensity of football every year is difficult," said San Jose resident and 49ers fan Jarrad Pagan. There's always going to be new talent trying to prove something. They want to be the biggest thing, so they're going to be hitting harder, that's for sure."

As players try to show the scouts what they're made of, many say the risk of getting hurt is one they've come to accept. Fans say it's simply a part of the game.

"Football's a dangerous sport," said Pagan. "It's just the love of the sport that keeps everyone going."

The 49ers Draft Party takes place on Thursday, April 25 at Pier 35. Tickets are still available.

Watch the NFL Draft on ABC7 on Thursday and Friday!