San Francisco 49ers

Round 5: 49ers take ... a punter?

Fifth-round pick Bradley Pinion is the first punter the 49ers have drafted since taking Andy Lee in the sixth round in 2004
Fifth-round pick Bradley Pinion is the first punter the 49ers have drafted since taking Andy Lee in the sixth round in 2004 AP

No. 165:

Bradley Pinion

Punter, Clemson

size: 6-5, 229, 32 1/2-inch arms, 10 1/8-inch hands

Why he fits: Pinion is a big-bodied punter who also booms kickoffs. He had 20 punts inside the 20-yard line last season and averaged 42.6 yards per attempt. He also averaged 63.7 yards per kickoff -- with 18 touchdbacks -- over his career. Veteran punter Andy Lee turns 33 this season. He’ll count $2.5 million against the salary cap in 2015 and that cost rises each season through 2018. Kicker Phil Dawson is 40 and entering the final year of his contract. Pinion also was Clemson’s long-distance field-goal kicker, although he made no field goals in three years there.

Why he doesn’t fit: Do the 49ers need another punter? Thirty-three is not particularly old for a punter and Lee has made three Pro Bowls. His 2014 statistics, a net of 41.5 yards per punt, marked a down year for him but still ranked 14th in the league. The 49ers would seem to have bigger needs at other positions.

* The 49ers traded with Indianapolis in this round. They dropped from No. 151 to 165 in the fifth and also picked up an extra 7th-round selection, No. 244, in the transaction.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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