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2011 NFL Pro Days Schedule: Ian Williams And Notre Dame On The Clock

We've reached our final day of 2011 NFL Pro Days with Jacksonville State and Notre Dame wrapping things up. The mighty Gamecocks of Jacksonville State do not have anybody of note today, but as would be expected, the Fighting Irish have some intriguing players. Their highest rated player at this point appears to be tight end Kyle Rudolph, who is rated as the number one tight end on a variety of scouting services.

The guy I'm more intrigued by for the 49ers purposes is defensive tackle Ian Williams, who checked in at the NFL Combine at around 6-1, 319 pounds. He's not highly rated, but he could be an interesting option in the mid to late rounds. The 49ers are not quite set at nose tackle with Aubrayo Franklin due for free agency if football ever gets started again. He had some struggles early last season but settled down a bit and has been a fairly consistent force in the middle of the 49ers 3-4 defense.

Scouts Inc ranked NFC West defensive lines and had the 49ers ranked fourth due in no small part to Franklin's questionable status with the team. Matt Williamson had this to say:

If I knew that Aubrayo Franklin was under contract and manning the nose as he has the past several years in San Francisco, the Niners would have been higher on this list. But without Franklin locked up, there is just too much uncertainty at a crucial position. With Franklin dominating the middle, this was one of the most difficult defenses to run on in the league. But without Franklin, San Francisco would have a massive hole to fill at a very tough position.

The Niners do have the best defensive lineman in the division in Justin Smith. Smith does everything well. Depth here isn't great overall, but Ray McDonald could be primed for a career spike as a starter at end opposite Smith. Adding a young body -- or two, if Franklin leaves -- would be prudent.

The labor issues make the nose tackle position a difficult one to figure out. Had free agency begun like normal we'd likely have some semblance of resolution to the nose tackle position. Instead, the 49ers might find themselves needing to roll the dice with a valuable draft pick. Of course, none of this factors in where Ricky Jean-Francois fits into the picture. There are potentially answers to the nose tackle conundrum, but it remains to be seen 

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