Matt Barrows is reporting that the 49ers will be in attendance at Florida State defensive lineman Cornellius "Tank" Carradine's Pro Day this Saturday. Barrows was not sure if the 49ers had hosted Carradine at any point over the last month, but it is worth noting that today (Wednesday) is the last day teams can host players. The 49ers are wrapping it up with their "Local" pro day.
At the NFL Combine, Carradine measured in at 6'4, 276 pounds. That would seem a bit heavy for 3-4 outside linebacker, and a bit light for 3-4 defensive end. Barrows suggested Carradine could work toward the needed weight of a 3-4 defensive end, but that might take something away from the athleticism that provides his pass rushing potential. I suppose working with DL coach Jim Tomsula could help him work around that, but it is something to think about if the 49ers were considering him in the draft.
This visit is coincidentally coming at a good time. Football Outsiders released their latest SackSEER projections and ratings. The projection is meant to project out the number of sacks a prospect will record in his first five seasons in the NFL. The rating is meant to show how the player stacks up against previous prospects.
Carradine does not have the most inspiring projections and ratings. He ranks tenth in the five-year projection with 16.4 sacks. However, he ranks among the worst in SackSEER rating. The sack projection is fairly high because he is projected to be taken fairly early in next week's draft. Football Outsiders has noticed draft round is highly predictive of actual sacks.
It is a bit difficult to assess what Carradine brings to the table early on because of the season-ending ACL injury he suffered this past season. He had surgery on December 6, and his pro day this weekend will provide the most significant glimpse into where he stands with less than a week until the draft.
Although he does play defensive line, I'm just not sure I like the idea of seeing him have to bulk up a good deal. Barrows did point out that Justin Smith weighed in at 282 pounds, which is only six pounds more than Carradine. I suppose that is not a huge difference, but Justin Smith was already a very good defensive lineman when he arrived in San Francisco. Maybe Carradine could be a legit successor, but given the injury and relative lack of experience, I'm not exactly wowed.