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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 28, 2012
Round 4: 49ers trade UP to take Wake Forest G Joe Looney


The 49ers, who had traded down twice today, reversed directions to take big Wake Forest guard Joe Looney with the 117th overall pick. The 49ers traded their fourth-round pick (125th overall) and one of three sixth-round picks (196th) to the Lions to get Looney, who presumably will be thrown into the mix at right guard.

Looney is a four-year starter at left guard at Wake Forest, who likely is another "gold helmet guy" for a 49ers squad looking for high-character players. He was a second-team All-ACC selection last year. Looney's strength is, well, his strength. He's 6-3, 318 pounds with very strong hands, and he is the type of big-bodied player the 49ers were seeking in the middle of their line.

"I love pulling around, coming up on the linebacker," he said. "I feel like it's an offensive lineman's time to shine."

He bench-pressed 225 pounds 26 times at the combine. However, a foot injury (Lisfranc fracture) suffered at the Senior Bowl and prevented him from running or doing drills at the combine or Wake Forest's pro day, and he may have slid a bit in the draft because of that. Looney said his injury was ahead of schedule. "I'm just excited to get back to running and whatnot," he said. "I got cleared two weeks ago to run and jump and all that good stuff."

Looney said he worked out in January in Atlanta with former 49ers offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry, who works for Octagon Sports, which represents Looney. Newberry, of course, played center for San Francisco, and Looney said he's lined up there, too, most recently at the Senior Bowl.

The 49ers currently are seeking a backup center behind starter Jonathan Goodwin. General namager Trent Baalke said Friday that both Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person might get some repetitions at the spot. It seems that Looney might be a good fit there, too.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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