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Charlotte 49ers receiver Grant DuBose shines at pro day in front of 23 NFL scouts

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 3/31/2023 Ellis Williams, The Charlotte Observer

Receiver Grant DuBose had one last chance to show NFL teams why he should be the first Charlotte 49ers player drafted since 2020.

He seized his opportunity Thursday at the 49ers’ pro day during a crisp workout in front of 23 NFL scouts and two CFL evaluators. The 6-foot-2, 204-pound playmaker wowed onlookers by making a 50-yard diving catch halfway through a 50-play scripted throwing session.

The all-out-effort catch was the highlight of the 49ers’ pro day at Jerry Richardson stadium. Those familiar with DuBose weren’t surprised the junior receiver stole the show one last time.

“He’s easy to throw to, that’s Grant (DuBose),” former 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds said. “I just let that thing fly and he did the rest.”

A former zero-star recruit, DuBose worked three jobs in 2020 when there was no football due to the pandemic. His college career began a year earlier at NCAA Division II Miles College. But he transferred to Charlotte in 2021 and helped the 49ers capture their first victory over a Power 5 team in program history by beating Duke 31-28 in his debut. Over the next two years, he amassed 1,684 receiving yards (fourth-most in 49ers’ history) and caught 15 touchdowns (third-most).

His final season ended in disappointment with a 3-9 record, but DuBose quickly shifted his attention to the NFL Draft. He impressed evaluators at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Then a month later he participated in the NFL Scouting Combine. DuBose’s pro day was the culmination of a four-month preparation process filled with early morning workouts and extensive studying to prepare for NFL meetings.

“Today was just another day to come out here and show my skill set,” DuBose said. “Kind of like the last box that you have to check before draft day. So I’m just wanting to come out here and make sure I checked all the boxes. We’ve got a pretty good amount of scouts out here. So hopefully they can say the same thing as well.”

DuBose said he has met with several NFL teams. He has hopes of being a Day 3 selection. If he isn’t drafted then DuBose will likely sign as an undrafted free agent. Either way, he’ll have an opportunity to make an NFL roster come training camp.

He scored nine touchdowns last season and caught the eye of Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who invited him to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. DuBose was just the third 49er in program history to play in the event. DuBose parlayed his Senior Bowl performance into a combine invite and is now firmly a draft prospect.

“A lot of teams like my blocking. During my interviews, they usually bring up my blocking and ability to make contested catches,” DuBose said. “They seem pretty excited about my size as well. “

There is a lot to like about DuBose. He’s capable of playing all three receiving positions and is comfortable running outside routes or navigating the slot. DuBose, a Montgomery, Alabama, native, ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the combine. His impressive 8.15 RAS number (Relative Athletic Score) was highlighted by an explosive broad jump, a quick 10-yard split and precise three-cone running.

The NFL hopeful has even caught the attention of Panthers legend and NFL analyst Steve Smith. On Tuesday, Smith shared a video breakdown of DuBose on Twitter. In the 39-second clip, Smith praised DuBose’s route running and playmaking.

“He has a great knack for getting open and his run-after-the-catch is excellent,” Smith said. “He’s always in the right place at the right time.”

The Panthers were one of the 23 teams in attendance to watch DuBose work out with 15 other teammates. DuBose said hearing Smith compliment his game was a dream come true.

“It was awesome, seeing Steve Smith be able to give me that type of praise,” DuBose said. “I watched him growing up, so it was pretty nice.”

The NFL Draft is still about four weeks away. DuBose said he’ll keep working out to be ready for NFL rookie minicamps in late April. If his pro day was the last opportunity to show pro scouts he’s an NFL receiver then mission accomplished.

As drills concluded, DuBose spoke to the media and made one final pitch to NFL teams.

“They are getting an overall receiver. A big physical guy who can use his frame, and who can win at all three levels. Who can make big plays and make contested catches,” DuBose said. “I do the small things that nobody sees. I block downfield and help spring big plays, too. That’s what I have to say to NFL teams, and I hope they will be able to say the same.”

©2023 The Charlotte Observer. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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