This post was written by Jared Quan
A name like Kilgore could represent several things; a rating system for zombie movies, a nickname cops use to identify a bad homicide, a name of a man eating shark, or giant black bear. If you add the name Daniel to Kilgore, you get a bear sized offensive lineman. Daniel Kilgore standing 6 foot 3 inches, weighing in at 308 lbs, reaching 32 ½ inches with his arms, and pushing with his 10 inch hands, makes up a giant who anchored the line at Appalachian State, and allowed only eight sacks in 13 games.
It was clear that his presence helped lead Appalachian State into a top 10 national ranking in several categories, such as scoring –seventh with 34.4 ppg, rushing – eighth with 217.4 ypg, and total offense – tenth with 430.9 ypg. His ten yard dash time of 1.75 and benching 23 reps of 225lbs, summed up what anyone who watched him play already knew. He could explode with great power off the line and have several opportunities to make it into the secondary to cause havoc. This seemed to be a great pick up to protect a quarterback in a pass heavy offense, and lead the charge on the run plays in front of Frank Gore. Also Daniel fit right in with Jim Harbaugh’s philosophy; Kilgore is a true competitor and will fight all the way to the whistle.
The question remains why did most of the ‘experts’ have him listed to go in the 7th round or on into free agency, with such impressive stats. These questions could be answered by the same people who would vouch for his explosive power. It could be seen that his ability to pick up the blitz is less than average, and even though his 6 foot 3 inch height matches up with the 49ers linemen, he lacks the bulk to be substantial. Despite his ability to make it into the secondary he has showed signs of weakness when blocking in space, and he struggles against defenders with more than one move, this is partially due to the fact that he doesn’t continually drive his legs after initial contact.
In conclusion, the 49ers needed to continue bolstering the offensive line. Daniel Kilgore will possibly make contributions backing up the line, but don’t expect him to fill the missing piece this year. The upside is that his weaknesses are coachable, and with enough work shows signs of being a solid contributor.