2011 NFL Draft, 50 in 50: Cameron Heyward - DE - Ohio State (34 of 50)

The 49ers have a decent defensive line already but there;s always the theory that a team can always get better at any position. Well of course, unless you have a quarterback like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Either way, you can always add depth.

The future is uncertain for the 49ers with quite a few different positions. Primarily at the quarterback position and in the secondary. However, there are still concerns and there is still depth that can be added.

The defensive end position as well as nose tackle positions are in that category of can get better at. Justin Smith still has a bit of tread left on the tires and Isaac Sopoaga has done an average job on the left side. At the nose tackle position, Aubrayo Franklin and Ricky Jean-Francois would be the only possible candidates to hold the middle down. If the Niners can re-sign Franklin, then they'd be alright.

With that, it raises the question as to how soon the 49ers should draft a defensive linemen?

Whether it be early on or later in the draft, it's almost certain that San Francisco will be taking a defensive lineman in the 2011 NFL Draft.

After the jump, we'll preview defensive end from Ohio State, Cameron Heyward.

As you can see in the video here, Heyward is a force in the middle. If he is not chasing around the quarterback, he is pushing linemen around to benefit the linebackers and secondary behind him. His number one asset is power. But the buck doesn't stop there with the Ohio State defensive end. He has a very nice swim technique that gets him free as well. The one area that Heyward will have to change in the NFL is that he sometimes gets over-eager in pursuit of the quarterback or running back.

 

Here are his career stats at Ohio State:

Stats Overview Tackles Misc Interceptions
YEAR TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
2007 32 20 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2008 36 13 23 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2009 46 21 25 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2010 48 25 23 4 0 0 0 0 1 80 80.0 80 0 0
2010 Regular Season Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
DATE OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
9/2 Marshall W 45-7 Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.
9/11 Miami (FL) W 36-24 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 80 80.0 80 0 0
9/18 Ohio W 43-7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
9/25 Eastern Michigan W 73-20 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/2 @Illinois W 24-13 6 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/9 Indiana W 38-10 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/16 @Wisconsin L 31-18 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/23 Purdue W 49-0 5 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
10/30 @Minnesota W 52-10 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/13 Penn State W 38-14 7 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/20 @Iowa W 20-17 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
11/27 Michigan W 37-7 6 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2010 Postseason Game Log Tackles Misc Interceptions
BOWL OPP RESULT   TOT SOLO AST SACK STF STFY FF BK INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL @Arkansas W 31-26 6 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1

Summary: It seems probable that if nothing else that Heyward will be at the least an average NFL player at his respective position. His ceiling his very high and his game will translate well at the next level. Heading in to this past season, Heyward was considered the number one defensive end. He did not have as good a season as last year, but his potential to play up is there. There's also the factor that he was doubled up on a lot to neutralize him. Like his father, Craig "Iron Head" Heyward, he plays the game with mounds of passion. More often than not, that type of enthusiasm can go a long way.

PREDICTION: 1st - 2nd Round.

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