At EWU, Cooper Kupp garnered most of the headlines. Kupp and fellow draft prospect Kendrick Bourne were the top receiving duo in FCS History. Kupp has generated quite a name from himself in his rookie season, while his counterpart hasn’t quite hit the same heights.
That may be about to change with Pierre Garcon out for the season. The 3-time All-Big Sky Conference selection has talent, and GM John Lynch is rumored to be a huge fan of his.
Bourne’s production was decent, but certainly not at the same level as Cooper Kupp. In his 4 years at EWU, Bourne caught 211 passes for 3,130 yards and 27 TDs. A full breakdown of his college production can be seen below:
Despite some lofty praise in the pre-draft process, Bourne went undrafted, before being signed by the 49ers. The 49ers are clearly building for the future and looking for weapons to build around new franchise QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. George Kittle and Trent Taylor seem to have potential but I’m not sure Garcon and Goodwin are part of the long-term plan. That means the opportunity is there for Bourne.
Bourne tends to be a talented receiver in terms of technique but is lacking physical upside. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein noted, “Scouts expect Bourne to run on the wrong side of a 4.60 40, and if that is the case, it will certainly hurt his draft cause. With that said, he’s tall with strong, natural hands and has the good ball skills teams want down the field. He will have to prove that he has the speed and athleticism to uncover against NFL cornerbacks, but he has enough talent and toughness to compete for a roster spot as a possession receiver.”
That analysis proved quite valid. Measuring in at 6’1”, 230 pounds, Bourne proceeded to run a 4.68 40-yard dash. However, he proved to have some agility finishing with a 6.73 3-cone drill and 4.21 20-yard shuttle. Furthermore, he produced a 34” vertical and 125” broad jump. With good agility and sharp routes, Bourne could prove to be a strong intermediate threat, capable of wrestling balls away from defensive backs.
The obvious question marks will come from his inferior opposition in college, as well as frequently facing single coverage due to Kupp on the other side. Thus, it remains to be seen how he will fare against the NFL’s best.
In a season that is lost for the 49ers, they have nothing to lose. Neither do you. In most leagues, Kendrick Bourne can be had for free along with fellow UDFA WR Victor Bolden. I’ll be keeping a close eye on these guys as the season goes on. He could be the next Wes Welker or Cameron Meredith, or he could be nothing. But with a free price tag, the risk is minimal.