Sakamoto: 49ers GM Trent Baalke Believes DE Tank Carradine Will Have a ‘Really Good Season’ In 2016

San Francisco 49ers GM Trent Baalke held his annual pre-draft meeting with the team’s local beat writers and Baalke was quick to point out one player in particular. Surprisingly enough it was 4th year veteran DE Tank Carradine.

The 2013 second-round pick (No. 40) has been a huge disappointment up to this point, and it was unclear if Carradine would ever pan out in the team’s 3-4 base. Two years ago, Carradine fluctuated his weight by adding 35 pounds in hopes of getting more ‘pt’ (playing time) as the team’s four-technique defensive end. And while he recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks, the weight seemed to be too much for him as he regressed the following season.

Carradine came into the NFL weighing 263 and that’s around the playing weight that Baalke wants him at as he has high expectations for the Florida State product. “I think Tank Carradine’s going to have a really good season,” Baalke told beat writers.

I then asked Baalke about what he saw in Carradine during the draft process back in 2013 to make him believe that Carradine could transition in the team’s odd man front and he kind of side stepped question: “I think with Tank, he’s a five-technique, slide him inside to the three-technique, hand in the dirt, rush the passer.”

Baalke did admit shortly thereafter however that the team didn’t identify early enough that Carradine’s skill set was not ideal for a 3-4 defensive end. “You bring guys in, you thought at the time, he could do a little of both and that he could play the four-technique but that just didn’t work.”


In any given draft, Baalke believes that there are only five or six players who can play a true four-technique, which is one of the reasons why the team invested in first-round pick (No. 17) DE Arik Armstead last year. While the verdict is still out on Carradine the same could now be said of Armstead as he enters year two.

With the 49ers preparing for the upcoming draft, you can be sure the team will pass on selecting a four-technique defensive end in the first-round as they seem content with DE Quinton Dial, Armstead, and DE Glenn Dorsey.

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.