Notre Dame defensive end Khalid Kareem, who underwent shoulder surgery in January, did not participate in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

But the projected mid-round draft pick had a formal meeting scheduled with the 49ers on Friday night, he said.

Kareem registered 46 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 13 games as a senior. He sustained a torn labrum in his left shoulder in the ninth game of the season.

“I didn't really realize it,” Kareem said. “I thought it was a sprained AC joint, so I kept playing through. Then I got an MRI after the Stanford game (three weeks later).

“I kind of wanted to finish what I started with my guys. I've got to be there for them. I couldn't really look myself in the mirror knowing I had something left in the tank and didn't play.”

Kareem (6-foot-3 ¾, 268 pounds) said he believes his best fit in the NFL is playing the wide-nine, lining up outside the offensive tackle. The 49ers deployed the wide-nine alignment last season under defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

“I can be physical at the point of contact,” Kareem said. “A lot of guys don't like to do it. It's something I've been doing for a long time. It's something my coaches asked me, challenged me: ‘You're pretty good but can you be great?’ And that's something I tried to do this season.”

With free agency set to open in two weeks, the 49ers have some uncertainty along their defensive line. Defensive ends Arik Armstead and Ronald Blair are scheduled for unrestricted free agency. The 49ers currently own the No. 31 overall pick, then are not scheduled to select again until the fifth round, No. 156 overall.


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Kareem said he would tell NFL teams that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. That has been his mindset since he put it in writing as a child, he said.

“I've always wanted to win the Super Bowl,” he said. “I wrote a book in third grade how I wanted to be Super Bowl MVP, in Super Bowl 60. That's still in my sights.”