SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have selected Notre Dame outside linebacker Darius Fleming in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He will likely land primarily in a special teams role if he hopes to make the final roster.
San Francisco wasted little time on the clock to take Fleming with the 165th overall pick Saturday. The speedy linebacker had 55 tackles, 312 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble for the Fighting Irish last season.
Fleming joins perhaps the NFL’s best linebacker group, with All-Pros Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and sensational rookie Aldon Smith, among others. San Francisco expects Fleming to bolster the kickoff and punt coverage units while competing for a linebacker spot.