2016 NFL Draft: Round-by-Round Mock for 49ers
Round 4, Pick 133: Max Tuerk, C, USC
We addressed the outside of the offensive line with the last pick, and we’ll shore up the inside with this one. Guard Joe Dahl of Washington State was taken in my mock just before this pick, so we’ll go back to the USC center well and take Max Tuerk, ending the Marcus Martin experiment.
Trent Baalke loves his redshirt players, taking injured names at a discount in the draft and stashing them until later. Sometimes, this doesn’t work out at all, like with the Marcus Lattimore selection. Other times, such as with Quinton Dial, the injured player comes back and plays well when they’ve fully recovered.
It’s a fine strategy when used in moderation, which is something that Baalke has not done in recent years. We’ll spot him a potential redshirt here, because Tuerk’s October knee injury doesn’t look to end his career, and he’s a talented and versatile player who could serve as a super sub when he’s fully healthy.
Tuerk played every spot on the line except for left tackle at USC, earning a first-team All-Pac-12 nod in 2014. At 6’5” and 298 pounds, he’s a little undersized, but makes up for it with fantastic athleticism and the ability to move in space. He’s patient at the point of attack, letting his assignment commit to a gap before taking him out. His hand skills and balance allow him to make up some for his lack of size, and he never, ever quits on a play.
I’m not sure if he’ll ever be a starter in the NFL, but it’s certainly not out of the question, and his versatility means he can back up every position on the line. That’s versatility I can get behind, especially at a discounted price due to his torn knee ligament.
Other players considered:
- Evan Boehm, C, Missouri
- Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple
- Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford
Next: Round 5, Pick 142