Sakamoto: 49ers’ DE Tank Carradine Fluctuates Weight To Play Three-Technique

When the San Francisco 49ers drafted DE Tank Carradine in the second-round (No. 40) of the 2013 NFL Draft, I considered the pick a draft day steal as he was ranked No. 15 on my Big Board. A player who has a knack for wreaking havoc in the backfield, the addition of Carradine seemed like a no-brainer selection.

49ers GM Trent Baalke loves to draft players who he believes can develop into the team’s scheme. Unfortunately for Carradine that has not been the case as his playing time has been up-and-down throughout his career.

Last season, the Florida State product added 35 pounds in order to play the four-technique but unfortunately for him has not translated into playing time. Carradine who came into the NFL Combine weighing 263 pounds as a 4-3 defensive-end bulked up to a whopping weight of 298 pounds.

How did he do it? Eating right and working out. “You have to eat right,” Carradine told me back in October 2014. “Make sure you take your protein shakes, that’s important. Get in the weight room and just work hard.”

We all know about the ‘freshman 15’ and now we know about the ‘sophomore 35’ but in a good way. That’s not to say there’s some drawbacks. When asked if his game has changed due to his weight-gain Carradine said, “Me just getting tired a little faster.”

Fast forward to today and Carradine dropped the weight from 298 to 280s. Why? Because the weight was a little too much for him. Tomsula shed some insight back on Nov. 18 as to why Carradine lost the weight. “We’re going to use him more on the edges and inside as a three-technique so he can do some work inside there.”

And Tomsula echoed that same message in today’s presser as he said that Carradine would be used in that role. How much playing time will Carradine see? That remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, Carradine should see more reps as the 49ers season comes to an end.

In 20 regular-season games, Carradine has recorded 36 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 1 forced fumble.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.