Tank Carradine, Defensive End
After accumulating 16.5 sacks over two seasons while at Florida State, EDGE Tank Carradine was considered a surefire top-10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. However, an ACL injury threatened to derail his pro career before it ever got started.
But even with that, Carradine was seen as a steal when the 49ers drafted him in the second round. His pro career, until now, has been underwhelming to say the least.
Add to that fact the 49ers used their first pick this year, No. 3 overall, to take Stanford’s standout defensive player Solomon Thomas, Carradine seemed destined to be a cut casualty after this season’s training camp.
To his credit, Carradine has continued to work hard and tried to make the most of his opportunities. In fact, he has made quite an impression on new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who recently stated, “He might get some opportunities. I think he’s damn near an elite 6 technique. And to be able to create pocket push from an edge, I think that’s where his home is.”
“He might get some opportunities. I think he’s damn near an elite 6 technique. And to be able to create pocket push from an edge, I think that’s where his home is.”- Robert Saleh
Currently, Carradine ranks third among edge defenders in PFF’s pass rush productivity for the 2017 preseason.
While Thomas certainly has had his moments so far this preseason, Carradine has held his own and made the competition very tight going into Week 3.
San Francisco did not draft Thomas to have him patrol the sideline all season, but Carradine might start the season as the starter if he can continue to get a consistent rush along the defensive line. His versatility to rush from the outside, and also to switch and provide push up the middle makes him a valuable commodity for a team in desperate need of defensive playmakers.
Don’t look now, but Carradine may be loaded up and ready to wreck havoc on opposing teams’ offensive lines.