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49ers among 6 teams to have a pre-draft visit with Utah LB Mohamoud Diabate

Diabate is the prototype for what the 49ers are looking for in a linebacker

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Pac-12 Championship - Utah vs USC Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL Combine is next week, and we’ll hear all about which collegiate players entering the upcoming draft the 49ers have or plan to meet with as we approach the NFL Draft.

According to Justin Melo of The Draft Network, the 49ers were among six teams to meet with linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, who played for the Utah Utes in 2022 before transferring from the University of Florida. Diabate committed to the Gators and was a 4-star recruit out of high school.

If you’re interested in watching draft prospects this cycle, you can use this NFL Mock Draft database to give you an idea of when a player at a specific position is expected to be get drafted.

They have Diabate projected around 274, which means the 49ers are eyeing him as a potential undrafted free agent.

Diabate played a similar position in Utah’s defense that Fred Warner played in college at BYU. He’s a linebacker by title, but it’s more of a pseudo safety position. On one play, you’ll insert off the edge as a blitzer. The next play, you’ll be at middle linebacker and by third down you’re rotating in the defensive backfield and playing safety.

Diabate is 6’3”, 229 pounds, and will probably run in the 4.5s. He played 44 career games and finished 2022 with 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.

We know the 49ers prototype for a second-level defender. We also know how often the defense blitzed its linebackers last season. Athletic, quick, aggressive, and instinctive. Those are the traits the Niners appear to look for.

Diabate’s stats make it seem like he’s a reasonable fit for what the 49ers seek at linebacker. That’s the joy in the scouting process. There were plays where Diabate was in a three-point stance, which speaks to his versatility.

But he wasn’t invited to the Combine, which raises red flags — especially after playing in the Shrine Game.

San Francisco could view him in the same mold as Marcelino McCrary-Ball, where you use his rookie year like a redshirt and develop his skills behind the scenes why he gains weight.