The San Francisco 49ers had another busy day of prospect visits on Tuesday. We already knew Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford was coming to town, but the 49ers had a couple other visits from players on the defensive side of the ball. According to Adam Caplan, the 49ers brought in Notre Dame defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt and South Florida defensive end Aaron Lynch for visits.
Lynch is a little further down the defensive line rankings, but Tuitt is a guy who has been on the radar for 49ers fans for some time now. Even as we've wondered why people are mocking defensive linemen to the 49ers in the first round, Tuitt has been the guy several people have looked at Tuitt to the 49ers. In our 49ers mock draft database update this past weekend, Tuitt showed up in 2 of the mocks.
Given that Justin Smith and Ray McDonald are both getting a year older, it makes a lot of sense to develop even more of a rotation than we saw in 2013. Once Ian Williams got hurt, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs became the primary backups, with Glenn Dorsey focusing on nose tackle work. The 49ers get Tank Carradine back in the picture this year, but we also don't know the full status of his knee moving forward. If all is well, he would likely be a key cog in the defensive line rotation behind Smith and McDonald. If that's the case, an early round pick's value is up in the air. Smith and McDonald will not be around forever, but unless the team were to deal McDonald this offseason, it's hard to see them adding a first round pick this year that won't really do a whole lot of much.
Of course, they also may not be 100 percent confident in the status of Tank Carradine's knee. In that case, they could bring someone in, and if Tank is fine, then you deal with the extra body at that point. There is some flexibility to be found in all this.
Here are some scouting reports on Tuitt and Lynch.