The nose tackle position is one of the most important positions for a 3-4 defense to fill, and depth in the trenches is always a valued commodity. The San Francisco 49ers have a promising young offense, but it’s their defense that’s still adjusting to the 3-4 scheme. And that’s why despite franchising their starting nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin this offseason, adding young interior force in the draft is possible. Scout.com has learned that the 49ers will work out Stanford tackle Ekom Udofia at their facility on April 13th.
Udofia may be drafted higher than expected, due to the amount of teams switching to a 3-4 defense.
A three and a half year starter at Stanford, Udofia was hampered by injuries during his collegiate career, but the 6-foot-1, 326 pounder still managed to start 39 games with the Cardinals. During his career, Udofia recorded 127 tackles, seven for a loss and 1.5 sacks; he played most of his senior season with an ankle injury.
Udofia is a hard worker and takes on double teams very well. The dirty work that he does inside didn’t go unnoticed, as it earned him an invitation to this year’s East-West Shrine Game. But Udofia didn’t receive an invitation to the Scouting Combine and had to rely on his Pro Day performance to impress scouts. At Stanford’s Pro Day on March 18th, Udofia didn’t run the 40, due to his ankle injury, but impressed scouts with his brute strength as he benched 225 pounds 35 times.
There’s a chance that Udofia will get drafted in the sixth or seventh round in this year’s draft, due to the demand for nose tackles, as more and more teams convert to a 3-4 defense. But it’s more likely that he will be a priority free agent.
Udofia is currently the 31st rated defensive tackle listed on Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.