49ers add Walter Curry to defensive line

The 49ers added some depth to their defensive line on Tuesday when they signed free agent Walter Curry, who is listed as a defensive tackle but has the skills to play end in San Francisco's 3-4 scheme. Curry will compete this year for a role in the Niners' defensive line rotation as the team begins its quest to upgrade that unit.

Curry has yet to play in a regular-season NFL game, even though he has been in the league since 2005. He is seen as a prospect with potential after spending parts of the past three seasons on the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad. His contract with the Jaguars recently expired.

Curry was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent following a stellar college career at Albany State, where he was a two-time Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player of Year.

He didn't make it with the Ravens, but was picked up during his rookie year by Jacksonville, where he spent 10 week's on the Jaguars' practice squad in 2005. He was waived during Jacksonville's final cuts in 2006 and spent six weeks on the team's practice squad that year. He spent the entire season last year on Jacksonville's practice squad, unable to crack a 53-man roster loaded with quality defensive linemen such as Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Tony McDaniel, Rob Meier and Derek Landri.

At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, Curry is a versatile player who needs to keep working on both his quickness and strength. He displayed some ability to rush the passer from the edge during two stints in NFL Europa, where he played for the Berlin Thunder in 2007 and was second on the team with 5.5 sacks.

Curry played for the Rhein Fire in 2006, starting seven games at defensive tackle under the tutelage of 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who was Rhein's head coach at the time. Tomsula obviously saw something he liked in Curry then and will be working closely with him now that he's a 49er.

After the retirement of Bryant Young, expect the 49ers to make several moves in free agency along their defensive line, perhaps starting with two of their own potential free agents - Marques Douglas and Isaac Sopoaga. Both players can hit the open market on Feb. 29 if the 49ers don't sign them to a new contract first.

The other defensive linemen currently on the San Francisco roster include Aubrayo Franklin, Ronnie Fields, Atiyyah Ellison and Ray McDonald.

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