Former first-round draft pick Arik Armstead said Wednesday he’s feeling healthy again after having surgery on a shoulder issue that’s bothered him since high school.
Armstead said he’s dealt with a torn labrum for years and that his left shoulder would routinely pop out of joint. That happened in last year’s training camp and throughout the early part of the season. He went on injured reserve following a Nov. 6 loss to the Saints and had surgery shortly thereafter.
Armstead is an interesting chess piece for new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as he implements a 4-3 scheme this year.
The big defensive lineman said he’s been lining up at several positions along the front, most prominently the so-called “Leo” spot on the right side that is the defense’s primary pass rusher.
Armstead is 6-7 and nearly 300 pounds, far larger than the 255 pounders that have had that role in Seattle, for instance. But he has good movement skills for someone of his stature and his height and long arms might make him a difficult assignment for opposing left tackles.
If Armstead lines up on the right side, that might create an opening at left defensive end — in the team’s base defense — for Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, who has been heavily linked to the 49ers in mock drafts. Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair are lining up there in the team’s ongoing minicamp.
The 49ers have the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s opening round.