WR Bess, DT Dotson visit with 49ers

Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that Hawaii wide receiver Davone Bess and Arizona defensive end Lionel Dotson have been in for visits with the 49ers. Here's a look at the two college prospects and where they might fit in with the 49ers, and where the team might be able to find them in the upcoming draft.

About Bess: A junior declaring early for the draft, Bess established himself as one of the most prolific receivers in Hawaii history and was Colt Brennan's top target. As a freshman in 2005, Bess caught 89 passes for 1,124 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, was selected first-team All-Western Athletic Conference and named WAC Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, he caught 96 passes for 1,220 yards and 15 touchdowns and again was first team All-WAC. Last season, he improved on his numbers yet again, finishing with 108 catches for 1,266 yards with 12 TDs. Bess ran into some personal issues before coming to Hawaii. He originally was supposed to attend Oregon State out of high school in 2003, but ran into some trouble off the field and was sentenced to 15 months in a juvenile facility for receiving stolen property. Bess also has had pre-draft visits with the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
Strengths: Stands only 5-10 but has good size and bulk at 194 pounds. Is a smooth athlete with good hands who catches everything thrown his way. Runs good routes and is agile. Can change direction and runs well after the catch. Is an experienced receiver with good instincts and awareness. A very productive player in college who also brings some toughness to the table. Has some potential as a kick returner.
Weaknesses: Has more quickness than speed and was timed at just 4.69 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Won't be able to stretch the field vertically at the pro level and may have trouble getting off the ball against physical defenders. Will have to improve his blocking at the next level.
Analysis: There are varying opinions on Bess, who some analysts consider a top 20 receiver in this year's draft and others don't even have in their top 30. He might be a good fit for Mike Martz's offense as a slot receiver, however, and the 49ers probably will have a shot at Bess in the late rounds and maybe even as an undrafted free agent. Bess isn't the pro prospect his numbers might suggest, but he could contribute as a third or fourth receiver and may be able to make an impact in the return game.

About Dotson: A four-year starter at Arizona, Dotson began to emerge as a pro prospect in his senior season, when he had 50 tackles - nine of them for losses - and also contributed 6.5 sacks while earning All-Pac-10 second-team honors. Started 40 games for the Wildcats, finishing with 121 career tackles - 14.5 of them for losses - and 10.5 sacks. A one-gapper with upside, his skills may translate well into San Francisco's 3-4 defensive scheme. Dotson also has had pre-draft visits with the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.
Strengths: Has good athleticism, quickness, size and strength at 6-foot-4 and 296 pounds and has the frame to get bigger. Is mobile with good range and lateral pursuit. Has an explosive first step to shoot into opposing backfields. Is an experienced player with some polish to his game. A sure tackler who displayed improved closing burst to make plays during his senior season.
Weaknesses: Struggles with consistency and his football instincts are suspect. Might not have the size to play inside in 4-3 and other defensive schemes. Doesn't hold up well against double-teams, and can get engulfed by opposing offensive linemen.
Analysis: Dotson is a prospect on the rise who could develop over time, and he has solid potential to play end in a 3-4 system. The 49ers have had success finding defensive linemen in the later rounds - they found Melvin Oliver late in the sixth round in 2006, and he started 14 games as a rookie - and Dotson likely will be available in the closing rounds this year.

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