Kentwan Balmer was the rave after the 49ers selected him with their first-round pick in the NFL…
Instant analysis: Cody Wallace
The skinny: An energetic, fiery, competitive individual who plays with toughness. Blocks well in the open field, getting to the second level quickly to engage linebackers and lock them out of plays. Taller than most centers but uses his height to his advantage and plays with good leverage. A team captain, leadership council member and one of the most decorated college centers in recent years, Wallace is an intelligent athlete that has the intangibles NFL teams are looking for.
SFI's take: The 49ers continued to shore up their offensive line depth with one of the nation's best college centers and top pro prospects at the position. Wallace draws comparisons to former 49er Jeremy Newberry for his toughness and mental makeup at the position, and the team can use a guy who is a center first instead of a converted guard, which is now what they have at center with starter Eric Heitmann.
Expert analysis: "Over-achiever. Not a supple athlete, but is tough, experienced and durable. Had problems with people on his nose. Not strong at the point of attack. Just adequate contact balance. Tough, nasty individual. Journeyman player who has the potential to fill in at the OG spot. Problems with the bull rush. If he goes to a club that employs a zone blocking scheme (slide protection) could play a long time. Mid- to late second day draft consideration." – Former NFL scout Tom Marino, a 35-year veteran talent evaluator
Wallace says: "I just try to play as hard as I can the whole time. That's probably one of the main things I bring. I still have a lot to learn and a lot to try to improve on. I got to play a little guard at the Senior Bowl and I feel pretty comfortable with it."
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