San Francisco 49ers

Round 6: 49ers take pass rusher, Pita Taumoepenu, from Utah

Utah Utes defensive end Pita Taumoepenu (50) warms up before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 27-22.
Utah Utes defensive end Pita Taumoepenu (50) warms up before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 27-22. AP

The 49ers used their second sixth-round pick, No. 202 overall, on pass rusher Pita Taumoepenu from Utah.

Who is he?: Taumoepenu (tao-MO-eh-pen-new) grew up in Tonga where he played rugby. He was a pass-rush specialist for the Utes over the last three seasons. Last year he started only four games but finished with 34 tackles -- nine behind the line of scrimmage -- nine sacks and three forced fumbles. Two of his sacks came in the Foster Farms Bowl against Indiana at Levi’s Stadium. He was teammates with fourth-round pick Joe Williams, a running back.

How he fits: Taumoepenu (6-1, 243) said he wasn’t sure whether the 49ers would have him play defensive end, weak-side linebacker or strong-side linebacker. Their biggest need appears to to be at right defensive end, the so-called “Leo” spot. That position plays on the weak-side of the line and goes to the team’s best pass rusher. That seems to mesh with Taumoepenu’s role at Utah. “I never stop and I’ve always felt like I’ve always been good at it. I’m looking forward to joining the Niners and help them,” he said.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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