Not many tackles compete in the NFL standing 6-foot-3. Typically, they will slide inside and play one of three interior line positions. But many of those collegiate tackles succeed when transitioning to a new position in the professional ranks.
Enter fifth-round draft pick Daniel Kilgore out of Appalachian State, a collegiate left tackle slated to compete for an interior line position with the 49ers.
“You don’t find very many 6-3 left tackles in the National Football League with a little over 32-inch arms,” general manager Trent Baalke said of Kilgore last week at his 2011 draft class review.
But according to Baalke, Kilgore has the mental and physical makeup to be a solid player for the 49ers. That’s why they traded sixth and seventh-round picks with the Green Bay Packers to move up and select Kilgore with the 163rd overall selection in the fifth-round.
In college, Kilgore made 29 starts for the Mountaineers, 16 games at right guard and 13 games at left tackle. As a senior, Kilgore was an All-Southern Conference honoree.
“He’s a tough guy,” Baalke said, “and he finishes blocks.”
In addition, Baalke raved about Kilgore’s balance, strength and feet.
Though he competed in Division I-AA, Baalke noted Kilgore’s strong performance against the Florida Gators in 2010 as evidence he can perform well against top competition. On one play, Baalke highlighted Kilgore’s ability to get down the field and block a defender 15 yards from scrimmage.
Later on Goal Posts, we’ll discuss Baalke’s comments on USC wide receiver Ronald Johnson.
Tags: Daniel Kilgore, Trent Baalke
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