The San Francisco 49ers used their sixth round pick to select Florida State linebacker Nick Moody. It's an interesting signing in part because Moody could be used in a variety of ways. He is listed at NFL.com as an outside linebacker, but in talking with the Bay Area media Friday afternoon, he informed them he felt he was more of an inside linebacker in the 3-4.
It sounds like he will definitely get playing time on special teams. The 49ers seem to enjoy grabbing a player who will focus primarily on special teams. At the same time, as Moody said, his lack of experience at linebacker indicates some potential upside. He spoke about how people have mentioned Brian Urlacher, who converted from safety to linebacker.
Here are the rest of Nick Moody's comments.
Tell us about how you see yourself fitting in at the NFL level, what position do you expect to play?
"Linebacker, that's what I expect to play. I expect to contribute immediately on special teams and that's been the plan. I knew that going into the draft that that was the plan for me immediately. Contribute on special teams because of what I did on special teams during my college career. The guys I'll be around, I feel like I'll be able to learn a lot playing alongside [LB] NaVorro Bowman and [LB] Patrick Willis. It's a great situation for me, especially for me not really playing linebacker for most of my career, I feel like playing with those guys can really help me elevate my game."
Do you think you would be an inside linebacker in a 3-4?
"I think so. Well, it depends. I think so, I think I'm more of an inside package 3-4."
Do you feel like you've got considerable upside given the fact that you've only recently switched to linebacker?
"Yes sir. I definitely feel like I have a lot of upside considering the fact that I've only played linebacker for a year. And being a former safety that helps me a lot, especially in passing situation type stuff."
Do you look at somebody like LB Brian Urlacher as an example?
"Yes, definitely because people even said that to me during the process. They were like, Brian Urlacher used to play safety and things like that. Nobody really said that being a former safety is anything as a negative really, other than my lack of experience, they say."
What do you do on special teams?
"Kickoff coverage, punt and kick return."
What do you do on punt?
"Left guard. Kickoff I was a 3. Pretty much my job was to get the ball, wedge buster and on kickoff return I was a front line guy."
Who have you spoken to at the 49ers?
"I talked to [head] coach [Jim] Harbaugh and [linebackers coach Jim] Leavitt."
What was your interaction with the 49ers like coming up to today? How much had you talked to them?
"To be honest, I'm actually a little bit surprised because I haven't had too much interaction with them. I talked to them at the Shrine Game, got the regular interview process. I did my position. Met coaches at the combine and then on pro day I talked with scouts and I got a phone call last week from them and that's been it. That's as much contact as I've had with them. So, it kind of caught me by surprise a little bit. It's weird though because probably two years ago somebody was like, if you had to pick a defense you'd want to play for and what guys you'd like to play alongside with and I thought ideally I guess the 49ers, if you ask me that kind of question."
Why is that?
"Really great players, the stats. I feel like it's a great opportunity. I'm going into a good situation. It's a winning team, a good organization. I know coach Harbaugh, he loves it."
You seem to be very well versed in the 49ers. Did you have a good sense that they were going to take you?
"No, I didn't actually. I didn't expect that. Only because I had contact with other teams so much more, that it kind of caught me off guard a little bit. That's the only reason why.
Well, how is it that you know so much about them?
"Just from watching them. They're one of my favorite teams to watch. When I play Madden, I always like to play with the Niners because of the defense. That's how, it kind of became, watching the Niners more, I guess you can call it kind of being a fan watching [LB] Patrick Willis after he got there. That's what made me start watching the 49ers all the time."
Can you share with us a little insight you have on what kind of player the 49ers are getting in DT Cornellius "Tank" Carradine?
"He can be an animal, to be frank [laughing]."
"He's an extremely hard worker. Tank always jokes about it because we both work out a lot. He'll come in the weight room. I'll be in there and he'll be like, ‘Moody, every time I come in here, you're in here.' And I'll be like, ‘Every time I'm in here, you come in here.' [Laughing]. So, Tank, he loves the game. He plays everything with a passion. He's a competitor. He refuses to lose. He's strong as an ox. He loves the game and he's going to give it everything he has on every play."
Are you guys pretty tight?
"Yeah, me and Tank, how we first became friends was we both had the same liking of pitbulls. Then we started talking to each other more and more because I've got a huge pitbull and he has a couple. So, we started talked about the dogs all the time and it went from there and we just became friends after that."
Have you spoken to him since you heard from the 49ers?
"No, not yet. I've been on the phone with [head] coach [Jim] Harbaugh and [linebackers] coach [Jim] Leavitt and then this call now. So, not yet, I haven't talked to him yet."