First of all I would like to thank all of my readers for their tremendous support for my last article. There were tons of comments, and recs. It always helps to get so much support on my very first article. If you haven't read it yet you can find it here:
I covered Glenn Dorsey, MarQueis Gray, Eric Reid, Craig Dahl, and Anquan Boldin on that one. Now I'm really gonna step it up a notch. On my last article included a poll asking people who I should cover next. Out of 38 votes, Carradine won with 7 votes (about 18%). So without further ado:
Cornellius "Tank" Carradine
Expected Role: Depth on the D-line, eventual starter at 3-4 DE
Weight: 276 lbs
Drafted: 2013, 2nd round, by the San Francisco 49ers
There is a reason this guy's nickname is Tank. This guy is a beast. He has a motor that never stops running. He also has tons of athletic capabilities. Before his injury, he had 80 tackles and 11 sacks. While he did play 4-3 DE in college, I can assure you he is a natural fit at 3-4 DE. He is the exact same size that Ray McDonald was when he came into the league and really, why would we draft two 3-4 OLBs in the first 3 rounds when we have two All-Pros there already. Let's jump right into his tape. While watching him, the first initial weakness is his awareness, but his first initial strength is his speed. On the bright side, this was the only lapse in awareness I found. Look at this gif I made here.
Here he initially bit for the play action, but quickly caught his own mistake and still possessed the speed to chase down Tajh Boyd. I'm really not too concerned about him falling for the play action here. He quickly caught up with his own mistake here. Plus, the great coaching staff here in SF should help with those mental errors. On would have to wonder though. How would he fare against superior play fakes, such as the Russel Wilson/Marshawn Lynch read option. The good news is he can face a similar threat in practice while facing Kaepernick/Gore. I really hope he can recover enough to not only get back to the speed in this gif that he possessed, but get even faster. True, he didn't initiate contact with a tackle on this play, but this speed alone could=double digit sacks in the NFL. Here's another GIF.
I really like this one. Here we get to see him rushing from an interior line position, as close as possible to 3-4 DE while he was in college. Here he completely dominated the opposing guard. We also got to see some more of that speed. And the last one.
Here we get to see his run-stuffing ability, and to be honest, there were tons of more highlights I could have showed. I have realized he is not only a good run-stuffer, he also can chase down the RB from behind in a lot of situations. He has incredible awareness. Here is what the guys down at CBS sports had to say about him:
STRENGTHS: Good-looking athlete with agile feet and very good closing speed. Natural bend and flexibility around the edge with smooth lateral quickness and redirection skills. Quick in pursuit to force the issue and has the athleticism to recover from a false step.
Very good footwork to sidestep blockers to flatten and close on the pocket. Shows fluid movements and short-area burst, but also rangy. Active hands and limbs to swat and stay balanced through contact. Reliable in the open field, using his length to wrap and discipline to not sell out.
Accurate recognition skills and showed immense development in this area, setting the edge and making quick reads. Improved hand use to rip and tear, keeping low pad level through the process. Hungry player and his effort doesn't waver, going hard for all four quarters and rarely taking a play off. Chiseled frame and looks the part. Stepped up in 2012 after starter Brandon Jenkins went down with injury, producing excellent numbers.
WEAKNESSES: Still growing at the position and developing his pass rush moves. Didn't become a starter until his senior season with most of his playing experience coming at the JUCO level. Needs to continue adding strength and bulk to his frame, can be overpowered at times in the trenches.
Room to improve his snap anticipation off the edge with too many offsides penalties on his resume. Strong durability concerns after a torn ACL in his right knee in the fourth quarter of the 2012 season finale and may not be able to return to on-field work until training camp - or later.
They point out the biggest obvious flaw he has. He lacks NFL level strength, and can get overpowered in the trenches. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Harbaalke drafted him with the expectations that he would bulk up. If he does, he could be an Antonio Smith type player in my opinion. I can't wait to see how he develops.
And sorry guys I apologize in advance for the bad quality of the GIFs.