The San Francisco 49ers announced today that they have awarded OLB Tank Carradine a one-year contract extension, keeping him in San Francisco via the 2017 season. A player in which the 49ers were fortunate to land, as they struck a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs shipping away QB Alex Smith– Carradine was the player that set off a flurry of young talented players for 49ers GM Trent Baalke and company.
Holding the No. 34 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the 49ers found value in the Chiefs second-round pick, by trading that pick away to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for (No. 40), all while picking up an additional 2014 third-round pick (No. 93) and a 2013 seventh-round pick (No. 216) in the process.
49ers then used that No. 40 selection to draft Carradine. A top 15-20 talent before tearing his ACL, Carradine was supposed to be the eventual replacement to retired DE Justin Smith. A 4-3 defensive end while at Florida State, Baalke hit Carradine with ‘body analysis,’ asking him to bulk up 35 pounds in hopes of converting him to a true 3-4 four-technique defensive end in 2014.
#49ers who have been hit w/”Body Analysis” include:
1. OLB Tank Carradine
2. OLB Eli Harold
3. CB Rashard Robinson
4. RB Mike Davis
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) August 24, 2016
As if that wasn’t enough, Carradine was then asked to play at 280. A lighter weight from his ‘Sophomore 35’ he put on in 2014, then 49ers HC Jim Tomsula said the team wanted Carradine at a lighter weight, so he could play a role in the team’s nickel package [three-technique].
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) June 2, 2016
“He’s around the 280’s now,” Tomsula said. “We’re going to use him more on the edges and inside as a three-technique so he can do some work inside there.”
Fast forward to 2016, and Carradine is again asked to tackle on a foreign assignment–as the team’s rushing outside linebacker. So far the move has paid dividends from both sides. Carradine is starting to look like the pass-rusher the team envisioned, while the 49ers coaching staff is finally putting him in the best position to make plays. A win-win.
I CAN’T emphasize this enough! Now is the time to use DE @tank_carradine! NO PASS-RUSH with suspect secondary will not get job done.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) September 21, 2014
I still have high-hopes for DE Tank Carradine. I thought he was a steal when team drafted him and still could put up 6-8 sacks this year.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 24, 2016
However, it will be interesting to see if Carradine can endure the same success he had this preseason. Time will tell, and it’s up to Carradine to prove his worth. He’s one of the team’s strongest players in my opinion, and I fully expect him to have his best season yet. We shall see.
In 23 regular-season games, Carradine has recorded 39 tackles (3 tackles for loss), 4.0 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.