Sometimes draft crushes come true.
After trading down in the second round, the 49ers selected Florida State defensive end Tank Carradine, 6-5, 273 pounds, with the 40th overall pick. Carradine, who is recovering from a ACL tear suffered in late November, is expected to play outside linebacker initially in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme.
The 49ers sent defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to Cincinnati last week for Carradine's private workout, which occurred just 135 days after knee surgery. Tomsula and Carradine had dinner the night before the workout.
Carradine, 23, was a first-time starter last year, filling in when the regular starter went down with a foot injury. He had 80 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 11 sacks before going down with his own injury against Florida. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews cleared Carradine to begin running before his Saturday workout.
A report in USA Today today said that teams were concerned about Carradine's knee and were leery that it wouldn't hold up long term.
Carradine, meanwhile, bristled at the notion he was a health risk.
"My knee feels great," he said in a conference call from his home town of Cincinnati. "There's nothing wrong with my knee and there's no long-term things that I think will go wrong with my knee because I'm healthy. I did cut my ACL ... but I was able to run at full speed. If I wasn't healthy, I probably wouldn't be able to run as fast as I ran and be able to go out there and do those cutting drills. there's nothing wrong with my knee. It's the first injury I ever had."
"... For me to be four months and a half -- going on five -- out of surgery, I'm just (as healthy as) anybody who is nine or 10 months out," he said. " ... I did have blood work done for my knee. Just to see if there was anything wrong. There's nothing wrong with my knee. There was a rumor going around that there was something wrong with the femur. But I got blood work done, and I got it done before the draft so teams could check it out. ... There is nothing wrong with my knee at all."
One question is whether Carradine has the frame to eventually move to defensive end. The team's current starter, Justin Smith, turns 34 this year and is entering the final year of his contract. Carradine said most 3-4 teams were looking at him as an outside linebacker, and he noted that he's been a stand-up defensive end both at Florida State and Butler Community College.
-- Matt Barrows