Cornellius Carradine: How Will 49ers' Newest Linebacker Fare in the Pros?

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2013

September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Cornellius Carradine (91) forces South Florida Bulls quarterback Matt Floyd (11) to fumble the ball during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Florida State Seminoles defeated the South Florida Bulls 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the 40th pick the NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Florida State's Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, adding to their incredibly deep defensive front seven.


Pro Outlook

Carradine only stepped into a starting role at Florida State after Brandon Jenkins went down with an injury early in the 2012 season. And in late November, Carradine's college career was also cut short by a torn ACL.

The limited experience and recent knee injury make Carradine a risk, but his upside is obvious. 

During his brief stint in the Seminoles starting lineup, Carradine established himself as one of the most explosive pass-rushers in the game.


Fantasy Outlook

If you didn't already hesitate to start your players against the 49ers, you should now. Carradine, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks will continue to wreak havoc in opponents' backfields.

The three pass-rushers could easily combine for over 30 sacks in 2013. As a result, the 49ers defense will definitely be worth owning and may be the first one off the board in drafts.


Roster Outlook

Carradine may not start a single game in 2013 because he will be stuck behind Brooks and Smith. Considering his recent injury, however, that may actually be the best-case scenario for him.

The 49ers can use him as a situational pass-rusher and limit his snaps early in the year.

With three legitimate pass-rushers, the 49ers can keep all of them fresh—and that's a scary idea for opposing teams.


Pick Analysis

The 49ers don't have any glaring holes, which gave them the luxury of taking the best available player. Carradine was the second-best player available on my draft board at this point, so I'm fully on board with the selection. 

When you have no holes to fill, you can never go wrong by adding another pass-rusher given the way the NFL game is played today.

Grade: A+