What to expect from Quinton Dial

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quinton Dial may soon be healthy enough to play for the San Francisco 49ers, who need the depth on the defensive line.

Dial, a fifth-round pick from Alabama, is practicing this week after coming off the physically unable to perform list. He may not have to wait long for playing time due to a need at nose tackle. He also can play defensive end.

I reached out to draft expert Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. to get his thoughts on Dial when he came out of school. Muench said Dial has ability and fits the 49ers’ scheme. But there are concerns.

Here's Muench: “The first thing I think about is his blindside block on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in last year’s SEC championship. His greatest strength as a player is defending the run. He’s tough to move off the ball and he has the upper-body strength to control blockers. He fits well in San Francisco’s scheme because he can line up on the inside or the outside in that scheme, plus he can help free up those talented linebackers by occupying blockers. If he stays healthy and they can get him to consistently play at a high level, he could prove to be a valuable role player. Those are big ifs based on his history and tape, though. We gave him a seventh-round grade. Injury concerns played a role and we may have moved him into the late fifth-round range if he was healthy, but they aren’t the only reason he didn’t grade out as an earlier pick. He’s not much of a threat to get to the quarterback himself and, more importantly, we had concerns about his motor.”

Still, Dial has a chance in San Francisco because of coaching and the talent around him. He should be able to get up to speed.