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Getting to know 49ers UDFAs: OL Alex Balducci

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The San Francisco 49ers signed the Oregon defensive tackle, but are preparing to move him over to the offensive line. Is he more than a practice squad candidate as a rookie?

The San Francisco 49ers signed 12 undrafted free agents this past week, rounding out the 90-man roster. Some could be released in the coming months if a need arises, but for now, these UDFAs are players from whom we will begin to irrationally expect big things in the preseason.

We'll be taking a look at the UDFAs from a variety of angles, but for now, I thought we'd start with some basics on each player. The 49ers sent out some background info, but we'll also find some scouting reports, and whatever other interesting info we can come up with for each player. Considering it a jumping-off point for your "Player X was our future" love!

Today, we move on to Oregon product Alex Balducci. I didn't include a position in that sentence because it appears he will be making a transition. Balducci played defensive line at Oregon, but the 49ers have listed him as an offensive lineman. It would appear he will transition to that side of the field. That makes it a little bit more difficult to assess him, but scouting reports on his defensive line skills can provide at least some value in figuring out how he might transition. It is worth noting he was all state on both the offensive line and defensive line in high school.

Pro Day Numbers

Ht/Wt: 6'3, 309 pounds
Arm: 32"
Hand: 9 3/8"
40 time: 5.01 seconds
Bench press: 25
Vertical: 33"
Broad: 113"
3-cone: 7.55 seconds
Short shuttle: 4.63 seconds

College stats

2012: 1 tackle
2013: 10 games, 18 tackles, 1 pass deflection, 2 fumble recoveries
2014: 9 games, 18 tackles (3.0 for loss), 1.0 sack, 2 fumble recoveries
2015: 13 games, 40 tackles (7.5 for loss), 3.5 sacks

Background

Appeared in 45 games and registered 77 tackles, 12.0 TFLs and 4.5 sacks throughout his four-year career at Oregon. As a senior, recorded 40 tackles, 6.0 TFLs and 3.5 sacks and earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors. In 2014, started all 15 games and registered 18 tackles, 3.0 TFLs and 1.0 sack. Saw action in all 13 games as a sophomore, recording 18 tackles and 3.0 TFLs. As a freshman, appeared in 4 games and registered 1 tackle. Attended Central Catholic (Portland, OR) HS, where he was named the Mt. Hood Conference and Class 6A Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. Was also named first-team all-state as both a defensive and offensive lineman three times. Born 3/1/94 in Portland, OR.

Scouting reports

The scouting reports point to a player who lacks burst and some of the instincts for the ball carrier. They seem to like his balance, and his ability to win leverage battles. Leverage applies on both sides of the line, so this is a positive in his transition to the offensive line. It's going to come down to OL coaches Pat Flaherty and Eric Wolford coaching him up on his techniques.

NFL.com
CBSSports.com

Video

Balducci is the last one on this, wearing No. 56.

49ers competition

The 49ers offensive line depth is more questionable than their defensive line depth, so there is potentially some calculation in Balducci moving to that side of the ball. However, considering he has not played on the line since high school, he has a steep road ahead of him. It's not the learning curve of someone who has never played on the line, but it is still notable. Matt Barrows said he did not look out of place in the OL drills at rookie minicamp, which is not surprising given that he has some manner of experience on the offensive line.

He could surprise us with a quick transition, but my guess is he is competing for a practice squad spot for the time being. I am curious to see how he looks in preseason when he starts getting snaps in real game action.