With the No. 117 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Wake Forest guard
The 49ers made three trades in the fourth round on Saturday, moving back twice in the round before eventually moving up to the No. 117 slot to select the 6-foot-3, 309-pound lineman.
“This is a good football player,” NFL Network Mike Mayock said.
Looney suffered an injury at the Senior Bowl which caused him to slip in the draft according to Mayock. Now, Looney will be in the mix for the team's opening at right guard. The Wake Forest lineman has experience at center and trained for the draft with former 49ers lineman Jeremy Newberry.
"I'm a physical player," Looney said in a conference call with local reporters. "I've always been a physical player. I love run blocking and I love seeing my running back have a big day."
The 49ers used picks No. 125 (fourth round) and 196 (sixth round) to move up to the No. 117 spot held by the Detroit Lions.
Looney spoke to the Bay Area media in a conference call shortly after being drafted in the fourth round.
Did you get a chance to meet with the 49ers before the draft?
“Yes, I did. I got a chance to meet with them at the NFL Combine.”
Who did you meet with?
“I met with Coach Jim Harbaugh and everybody in the meeting room. It was just a wonderful time. We watched some film and kind of crossed my background, where I came from and stuff like that.”
Did you have an indication that they were one of the teams that you might be going to?
“No, I didn’t. When I got done with my interview at the Combine, Coach Harbaugh told me he really liked me. He said I could be a 49er and I just thanked him for that opportunity. It’s just awesome that it happened. I can’t wait to come out there and get to work.”
What do you know about the 49ers and their offensive line and their offense?
“Actually, I trained with [former 49ers center] Jeremy Newberry in the offseason. He taught me a bunch about the West Coast Offense. Just 25-fronts, 59-fronts, and whatnot. He helped me out a ton. He played for the 49ers for a long time and he’s still out there. I expect him to be a great mentor while I’m out there.”
Where were you training with Jeremy?
“I was training at Competitive Edge Sports in Atlanta.”
He’s a trainer out there now, is that right?
“No, he flew in from California to help me out for a week.”
Does he work with your agent?
“Yes, he does.”
Who is your agent?
“Andy Ross with Octagon Sports.”
Did you play on the left or the right side?
“I played on the left side.”
The 49ers have an opening right now on the right side. Is that something you’d be able to do, shift sides?
“Yes, sir. All throughout my career I played left guard in all my games, but in practice I played left guard, right guard. I’m confident I can play any position.”
How’s the ankle injury?
“It’s doing great. I’m doing great. I’m just listening to my doctor, Dr. Anderson in Charlotte. He said I’m doing fine. I’m actually ahead of schedule right now. I’m just excited to get back in to running and whatnot. I got cleared two weeks ago to run and jump and all that good stuff. It’s just an exciting time to get back into it.”
Do you know what month it would have been that you were working with Jeremy Newberry?
“It was in January.”
To sort of familiarize yourself with people who don’t know you, how would you describe your game, your forte?
“Well, I’m a physical player. I’ve always been a physical player. I love run blocking. I love seeing my running back having a great rushing day. And I’m just a hard worker. Every day I’m going to come out and work hard.”
Do you have experience playing other positions outside of guard?
“Yes, sir. I played center at the senior bowl and I played center and left tackle in high school.”
Did the 49ers talk to you at all about maybe working a little at center as well?
“No, not yet. No, sir.”
I’ve seen you listed at various weights, what do you go right now?
“Right now I’m 318.”
Is that about what you played at, at Wake Forest?
“Yeah, I tried to stay in between 315-320.”
And would you say that power football is sort of your forte?
“Oh, yes sir. I love pulling around, coming up on linebackers. I feel like that’s an offensive lineman’s time to shine.”