Daniel Kilgore played every position on the offensive line in college … except for the one his new team wants him to play in the NFL.
The 49ers traded up into the fifth round today to select Kilgore, a versatile and athletic 6-foot-3, 305-pound lineman from Division I-AA Appalachian State. The Niners dealt a sixth-round pick (No. 174) and a seventh-rounder (No. 231) to Green Bay for pick No. 163.
Kilgore, who had a two-and-a-half hour conversation with San Francisco offensive line coach Mike Solari via Skype last Monday, said the Niners envision him playing center in the NFL. The position could be a serious area of need for San Francisco: David Baas is an unrestricted free agent and Eric Heitmann’s career is cloudy due to a neck injury.
“They’re looking at me center, I know for sure,” Kilgore said.
Kilgore, 23, who started 13 games at left tackle as a senior, hasn’t played center since he was a three-year starter at the position at Dobyns-Bennett (Tenn.) High. He played center at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game after his senior season and has been doing drills at the position leading up to the draft.
Kilgore had the best vertical jump of any offensive lineman at the combine, jumping 32.5 inches. He also played basketball, baseball and wrestled in high school.
Fair to say, he’s excited to play in the NFL.
“I’m on top of the world right now,” Kilgore said.