Chris Culliver to San Francisco 49ers: 2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Evan Adrian@evanadrianChief Writer IIIApril 30, 2011

Chris Culliver is a speedy 6'0" 200-pound corner out of South Carolina.

Culliver was more than impressive at the combine, posting a 38-inch vertical jump and a 4.36 40-yard dash time. He finished his career at South Carolina as the Gamecocks' all-time leader in kickoff returns and return yards.

Culliver has tremendous speed, an athletic frame, and fluid movement that allows him to recover well to double moves from receivers.

He also has experience at free and strong safety, and has occasionally been given free reign on defense, racking up four sacks out of the defensive backfield in his career.

Culliver's main setback is likely his durability. He missed games every season at South Carolina, including five last season after tearing his pectoral muscle. Culliver also underwent shoulder surgery in early 2010 and missed most of the Gamecocks' spring practice.

From ESPN.com:

Good athleticism and fluidity. Changes directions well. Easily flips hips when breaking off the hash. Can be a bit tight when having to make sudden 180-degree turns though. Overall ball skills are good. Attacks the ball. Natural hands and pulls in most routine catches.

Overall instincts and awareness are still developing. Anticipation and route recognition skills are adequate-to-good but can get caught peeking into the backfield making him susceptible to play-action.

The 49ers decided to reach for Culliver in the third round, baffling commentators and pundits everywhere.

Although San Francisco needed somebody to shore up their secondary, I'm not sure who besides the Niners had Culliver going this high.

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