Niners No. 5 pick: Parys Haralson

Player profile and analysis for linebacker Parys Haralson, selected by the 49ers on Sunday with the No. 140 overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

Full Name: Parys Haralson
School: Tennessee
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 253 pounds
Year: Fourth-year senior
40-yard dash: 4.85 seconds

Biography: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors after his junior and senior seasons. Started at left defensive end at Tennessee and will make conversion to outside linebacker with the 49ers. Led Tennessee and ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference last year as a senior with 8.5 sacks. Also was third in the SEC with 16.5 tackles for losses - the eighth-best season in school history - and had 12 quarterback pressures. Had three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and deflected a pass. Tied school record with 21 quarterback pressures as a junior, when he ranked second in the SEC with seven sacks and 13.5 stops for losses and also caused two fumbles, returning one 18 yards for a touchdown. Tied for team lead with 4.5 sacks as a sophomore and had 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Ranks fifth in Tennessee history with 21 quarterback sacks, a figure topped only by Reggie White (32), Leonard Little (28), Jonathan Brown (25) and Todd Kelly (22.5), a No. 1 draft pick by the 49ers in 1993. Finished career second in school history with 44 quarterback pressures. His 46.5 stops behind the line rank third in school history.

Positives: Haralson is an explosive pass rusher coming off an excellent college career capped by a tremendous senior season. Displays outstanding first-step quickness, immediately alters his angle of attack and consistently makes plays down the line of scrimmage. Is a good athlete with the speed to get the corner and a quick burst to close on the quarterback and record the sack. Is aggressive attacking the quarterback and does not hesitate to make very hard hits tight after the pass is thrown. He has better strength than expected for his size and has shown ability to aggressively club the offensive tackle out of the way and beat him inside. Does a very good job in pursuit on plays away from him and maintains backside contain until he checks off the quarterback and backside cutback and then explodes down the line of scrimmage and makes the tackle. Is rarely off his feet, plays with good pad level and is explosive in all his actions. Fierce moving up the field and and is effective dropped off the line in space.

Negatives: Lacks the size to line up in a three-point stance on an every-down basis and will have trouble at the point of attack in the NFL. His speed may be a problem at outside linebacker. Will have trouble shedding blockers when he becomes engaged with them at NFL level. get free. Does not deal well with down/side blocks and can be driven down the line of scrimmage and out of the play too easily. He does not consistently use his hands to protect his legs and can be cut to the ground too easily by low/cut blocks.

Analysis: A self-motivated defender who is constantly flying around the action, Haralson was unstoppable last year to apparently elevate his draft stock, yet still fell to the 49ers in the fifth round. A classic ‘tweener who can stand up over the tackle in a 3-4 alignment or be used as a pass rush specialist. The 49ers plan to use him in both of those roles and see if he can handle the transition to outside linebacker. Haralson is a very good athlete and an active, competitive player who consistently goes all-out every snap. Because of his suspect speed, Haralson may have to bulk up to play closer to the line, but he has starting potential once his strengths and role at the NFL are clearly defined. He could make an immediatle impact as a pass-rushing specialist as a rookie.


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