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Draft 2007 How McDonald Fits - By Bryan Hersh April 28/29 2007

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Evening out the offensive and defensive weight of their draft the 49ers selected defensive end Ray McDonald from Florida. The former Gator is extremely versatile, a trait that is coveted by Mike Nolan and his defensive staff. His versatility should help him adjust to playing end in the 49ers 3-4 system. McDonald’s uses his quickness to get to the quarterback, and will have to improve his strength and some technical aspects of his game as he takes a step to the next level.

Coming off of two knee surgeries in 2005, the 49ers are hoping McDonald “green light” works out as well as Frank Gore’s did last season. The team has been working very hard to bolster its front seven, and McDonald will compete for a starting spot immediately. More likely though, the end will function as an important rotational player, and could use his aggressiveness at the point of attack to be a real asset on passing downs.

McDonald has the frame to continue to add bulk to his body, which will be important as teams begin to double team. His quick reaction time should give the 49ers a bit of edge at the line of scrimmage. He will have to add to his technical skills to become more then just a speed rusher for the 49ers.

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