With the third pick in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Appalachian State DE Ronald Blair. He is the second defensive end selected by the 49ers in this draft. The team used their first selection to pick up Oregon DE DeForest Buckner with the seventh overall selection.
In two years with Appalachian State, Blair compiled 114 tackles with 32 for a loss, 12.5 sacks, an interception, and a touchdown. He has played in 25 games.
NFL.com projected that Blair would be selected in rounds 6 or 7 of the NFL Draft.
Ronald Blair led all 3-4 DE with a run stop percentage in 2015 of 13.8% and ranked third with a 10.2 Pass Rush Productivity Rating. #49ers— Jeff Deeney (@PFF_Jeff) April 30, 2016
Lance Zierlein of NFL Media had the following to say in his scouting report:
Highly decorated four-year starter who capped off a successful career by being named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. He doesn't have the ability as a pass rusher to excite NFL teams, but his strength at the point of attack and quality tape against Clemson this past season should not be discounted. Blair is an undersized, rotational base end in a 4-3 who might be able to add extra weight and get a look inside as a three-technique thanks to his toughness and strength.
DraftInsider.net had the following to say about Blair in their scouting report:
Blair was competitive, hard-working, got the most out of his ability and in many instances overachieved. He'll do well at the next level coming off the bench as either defensive end or potentially under tackle in pass rushing situations.
Pro Football Focus had the following to say about Blair in their scouting report:
Blair was a productive pass rusher over the last two seasons and a much-improved run defender in 2015. However, the competition level is a question. He played well against Clemson last season but didn't face many NFL-caliber players otherwise. How will that translate to the NFL? Blair played mostly 3-4 DE in college but at his size is more likely an NFL edge player.
Weight: 284 lbs.
Arm length: 34 inches
Hand length: 10 1/4 inches
NFL Scouting Combine
40-time: 5.15 seconds
Vertical: 30 inches
Broad jump: 113 inches
3-cone drill: 7.95 seconds
Bench press: 32 reps
20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds