The 49ers drafted a potential special teams ace in the sixth round in Nick Moody, a safety-turned-linebacker from Florida State. "I expect to contribute immediately on special teams," said Moody (6-1, 237). "I knew that coming into the draft."
After a steller 2011 season, the 49ers' coverage units declined last season, and they gave up a Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return to open the second half against the Ravens. The 49ers began addressing that area in free agency by signing Dan Skuta, a linebacker, and Marlon Moore, a wide receiver.
Moody, meanwhile, played three seasons as a safety at Florida State before switching to inside linebacker last season. He said that because of the recent conversion he feels he's got plenty of room to grow and that he looked forward to learning from Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Willis, in fact, was his inspiration when he learned he would become a linebacker.
Moody started 10 games at linebacker in 2012, finishing with 20 tackles. He had three tackles and his first sack in the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois.
The Florida State product, of course, is very familiar with Tank Carradine, whom the 49ers selected in the second round. He said he and Carradine became close in part because they both love pitbulls.
"They're getting an animal, to be frank," Moody said of Carradine. "He's an extremely hard worker. ... he's strong as an ox, he loves the game."
-- Matt Barrows