Tank Rolls Into San Francisco
By Peter Fournier
The San Francisco 49ers bolstered their pass rush once again on Friday by selecting Cornellius “Tank” Carradine with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Originally penciled into the second pick of round two, the 49ers swaped picks with the Tennessee Titans.
A 6-foot-4 defensive end from Florida State, Carradine could be the future replacement for Justin Smith, as the veteran defensive lineman is nearing his mid-30s.
“It’s a great moment and time in my life,” Carradine said in a conference call with reporters. “I’m so happy right now, I don’t know what to do.”
Carradine was considered by many to be a first round pick, but an ACL tear may have scared off many teams.
“As a guy that’s coming off an injury, I was just up and running,” he said. “I had no idea what teams would want to take a chance on taking me, but it’s exciting now to know the 49ers were willing to take me.”
He reiterated that his knee will be ok, refuting a USA TODAY report that stated after the NFL Combine’s medical recheck, teams got information that “wasn’t very good.”
Carradine claimed to have not even have heard of the report.
“My knee feels great,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with my knee and there’s no long-term things that can go wrong with my knee because I’m healthy. I did tear my ACL…but I was able to run at full-speed. If I wasn’t healthy, I probably wouldn’t have been able to run as fast as I ran and be able to do cutting drills and things like that.”
He isn’t in a hurry to rush back on to the field, however.
“There’s not really a time limit right now,” Carradine said. “It depends what the doctors say.”
Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula had dinner with Carradine recently.
“He was able to get to know me as a player and I got to know him as a coach,” Carradine said. “I was real excited about it. It was a great moment in my life.”
Carradine feels he can fit into whatever plans the 49ers have for him. He said he’d like to “put my hands down in the dirt” but doesn’t mind “standing-up.”
“Whatever the coaches see me playing at…that’s what I feel comfortable being at,” he said.
As for the nickname “Tank,” Carradine’s mother gave him the title during his childhood, when he couldn’t go anywhere without carrying a toy tank with him.
“I couldn’t go anywhere without that Army tank,” Carradine said. “I just had to have it with me. I used to always to push people over, try to run over people and I always had my Army tank with me.”