Former South Carolina defensive back Chris Culliver was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 16th pick of the third round. Culliver is the first South Carolina player taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Culliver was drafted 80th overall Friday night. The 49ers traded back with Jacksonville in the third round to make the selection.
Culliver compiled 34 tackles in 2010 before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in the 38-24 home win over Tennessee that prematurely ended his year (and his college career) after seven games.
Seems to be a good fit for Culliver and he will have the chance to return kicks for the 49ers. Culliver departed USC as the school’s all-time leading kick returner with 2,476 kick return yards on 106 kick returns. He is third all-time in the SEC in both categories. Yet to be determined is the exact spot he will man, will it be defensive back or safety. That issue is what attracted the 49ers to him, the flexibility.
Here is the audio from the SF conference call with Chris Culliver – http://www.49ers.com/media-gallery/audio//ba72bb94-d40f-4886-b202-a0ddfec83115
Congrats to him and good luck at the pro level.