Scouting the 49ers’ scouts

When Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith had his pro day this week, the 49ers did not send a contingent of executives to watch him perform. Instead, GM Scot McCloughan relied on his area scout for the full report.

The Southeast is Matt Malaspina’s territory, so he was there. The 49ers have six area scouts that blanket the country. Each scout has a region.


David McCloughan is the director of college scouting, and Trent Baalke is the director of player personnel, so he oversees the pro and college scouting departments. And, of course, Scot McCloughan is the general manager and he makes the call on draft day.


The whole staff has a voice in evaluating all the players as the draft approaches. After the NFL season concludes, the coaches get heavily involved in looking at draft-eligible players. But the always-important initial reports come from the regional scouts.


Here is a closer look at the 49ers’ regional scouts:


West: Roylin Bradley. This is his fourth year with club. He was a linebacker at Texas A&M from 1997 to 2001. He spent 2004 as a summer intern in the Seahawks’ scouting department under Scot McCloughan. Just prior to his arrival with the 49ers, he worked for AltairStrickland, a mechanical contracting company in Texas.


Northeast: Todd Brunner. He is in his ninth season with the 49ers, so he has proved his value to several different regimes with the organization. He spent two seasons as a scout with the Browns before coming to the 49ers. He was born into a football family. His father, John, coached at Temple, Villanova, Princeton and in the NFL with the Lions, Packers, Buccaneers and Vikings before scouting 13 years for the 49ers. Brunner’s brother, Scott, spent time in the NFL as a QB with the New York Giants. Scott now instructs quarterbacks. His prize pupil as the draft approached last year was Joe Flacco, whom Todd scouted heavily at Delaware.


Southwest: Justin Chabot. He is in his fifth season with the 49ers. He spent five seasons as director of football operations at Northwestern. In that capacity, he served as a liaison to NFL scouts when they visited campus. He was an offensive lineman at Northwestern during their championship teams in the mid-1990s.


Midlands: Kent Kahl. His area covers Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Kansas and Iowa. Kahl is in his second season with the 49ers. He was a running back at Colorado, where he was a teammate of 49ers director of college scouting David McCloughan. After his college career was over, Kahl spent some time in training camp with the Chargers. He then traveled back to home to assist his father as high school coach in Ft. Morgan, Colo. Prior to joining the 49ers, Kahl spent 10 years as a contractor, building homes in the Iowa City area.


Southeast: Matt Malaspina. This is his fourth season with the 49ers after spending five years as an area scout with the Seahawks. He was part of Scot McCloughan’s staff with the Seahawks. Malaspina spent 1999 with the Panthers, where he evaluated players in the southwest region. He also worked for National Football Scouting for one year. He was an assistant offensive line coach at Jacksonville University in 1997 and ’98. He entered coaching in 1997 at Central Florida, his alma mater. He played briefly for the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League.


Midwest: Ethan Waugh. He worked four seasons as a player personnel assistant for the 49ers before his promotion to area scout last year. He scouts prospects from 40 schools across eight states. Prior to joining the 49ers, he spent two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois Wesleyan, where he was also the school’s recruiting coordinator. He was an assistant at Western Carolina from 1997 to 2001, where he worked with linebackers, defensive ends, tight ends, running backs and special teams.


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I just checked a 49ers media guide from 1990 to see how many regional scouts the organization had then under Eddie DeBartolo and Bill Walsh. The answer: six.


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