2016 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Prospects the 49ers Should Target
By Jerod Brown
The name Eric Striker just sounds like a linebacker. It’s one of those names that seems destined to be on the back of a jersey. It’s not out of the question for Striker to see his name on a 49ers jersey in April.
Striker comes from a highly-regarded program and was the leader of a defense that made it to the College Football Playoffs this past season. Striker’s role in Oklahoma’s defense was relatively undefined and his role as a professional may be even more so. As he enters the NFL, teams will have to make exceptions for measurements if they expect Striker to fit in their system.
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As an NFL player, it’s likely that Striker will be labeled an outside linebacker most suited for a 3-4 defense but he’ll have to work in an NFL weight room to build his body into what teams will expect.
Striker is the epitome of a “tweener” player that will need patience from others to develop. He does, however, come from a major program in which he shined. That production has to be worth something.
CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler offered analysis on Striker in November and, while he mentions the linebackers obvious skill, the size and strength concerns are evident:
"A polarizing player in the scouting community. He is a dynamic athlete with a versatile skillset who could land him in the early rounds, but his lack of size and muscle lead to fit concerns at the next level. Striker will not be a fit for every defense and shouldn’t be a first-round pick, but in the mid-rounds he will be worth the gamble."
Finding a fit for Striker will be difficult but the team that does so may have an excellent player to play with on defense.
To some, Striker may go in the first three rounds. To others, he shouldn’t hear his name called until the third day.
When asked if he liked Eric Striker, Matt Miller had a brief response.
The 49ers are in need of some help rushing the passer. The athleticism and versatility that Striker offers may be available late and is worth taking the chance to develop. If Striker is available for the 49ers in the fifth round, they should consider drafting the Sooner to become a hybrid defensive player opposite outside linebacker Aaron Lynch.
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