SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers got some potential help on special teams Saturday with the selection of Nick Moody of Florida State in the sixth round with the No. 180 overall selection.
Moody played mostly safety in college before converting to linebacker as a senior. But his ticket to playing time in the NFL will be based on his ability to cover kicks.
The 49ers surrendered a 108-yard kickoff return to Jacoby Jones in the 49ers' 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. Two of the 49ers' inside linebackers from last season, veterans Tavares Gooden and Larry Grant, have not been offered contracts to return.
"I expect to contribute immediately on special teams. That's been the plan. I knew that going into the draft," Moody said Saturday in a conference call with Bay Area reporters.
"The guys I'll be around, I'll be able to learn a lot from. Playing alongside NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, I feel like it's a great situation for me. Especially because I haven't played linebacker for most of my career. Playing with those guys will really help me elevate my game."
School: Florida State
Height/weight: 6 foot 1, 236 pounds
College career: Moody redshirted after sustaining a shoulder injury. The following year, he appeared in all 13 games and started twice at the rover position. In 2010, Moody started at safety, where he recorded 79 tackles (four for loss), two pass breakups, and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. Moody dealt with a lingering groin injury in 2011, and played in nine games. In 2012, Moody moved to linebacker, and had 20 tackles and one sack in 14 games.
Scouting report: Moody ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds at the combine. He has played just one year of linebacker, so he has plenty of room to grow at that position. He believes his position would be at inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He can make an immediate impact in the NFL on special teams.
How he fits: Moody expects to back up 49ers inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman with a chance to make an immediate contribution as a core special teams player. Dan Skuta and Michael Wilhoite currently serve those roles with the 49ers, so Moody will be in competition against those players.
In his words: "I definitely feel like I have a lot of upside, considering I only played linebacker for a year. Being a former safety, I feel like it'll help me a lot, especially in passing situations."
49ERS 2013 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round (No. 18 overall): Safety Eric Reid, LSU
2. Second round (No. 40 overall): Defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, Florida State
3. Second round (No. 55 overall): Tight end Vance McDonald, Rice
4. Third round (No. 88 overall): Outside linebacker Corey Lemonier, Auburn
5. Fourth round (No. 128 overall):Wide receiver Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
6. Fourth round (No. 131 overall):Running back Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
7. Fifth round (No. 157 overall):Defensive tackle Quinton Dial, Alabama
8. Sixth round (No. 180 overall):Linebacker Nick Moody, Florida State
9. Seventh round (No. 237 overall): Own pick
10. Seventh round (No. 246 overall): Compensatory
11. Seventh round (No. 252 overall): Compensatory
NOTE: Compensatory picks cannot be traded.
49ERS 2014 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: Own pick
2. Second round: Own pick
3. Third round: Own pick
4. Third round: Tennessee pick in 2013 trade-back
5. Third round: Kansas City pick in Alex Smith trade*
6. Fourth round: Own pick
7. Fifth round: Own pick
8. Sixth round: Own pick
9. Seventh round: Own pick
10. Seventh round: Carolina pick in 2012 trade for Colin Jones
*-Conditional pick that could elevate to second-round selection based on Smith/Chiefs performance.