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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


John Lynch is excited about the 49ers’ offensive and defensive lines

Feb 22, 2017 at 4:56 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers roster is largely viewed as one of the most talent deprived in the league. After all, it is a roster that won just two games last season – both against the Los Angeles Rams. General manager John Lynch joined KNBR on Wednesday and said that there are some pieces already in place on the roster and that things may not be as dire as they appear.

Two areas that he pointed out were along the offensive and defensive lines. "You have to have talent and so we've got some strides to make on this roster," Lynch said. "I can also tell you that I don't look up at the film that we've been watching and see a 2-14 team. I see some pieces that are hard to build. The great example of that, I think you look at our offensive line and defensive line. I'm actually excited about those groups and those are where I believe football games are won and lost. It starts there.

"So, do we have some places – probably the ultimate position, quarterback – where we need to improve? Absolutely. We're committed to doing that but there are some pieces there that have me excited, have Kyle excited. So there's a long list of things but we're working hard at all of them."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

The 49ers have used their past two top draft picks on defensive lineman. In 2015, they selected Arik Armstead out of Oregon. In 2016, they selected DeForest Buckner, again, out of Oregon. The 49ers have selected five offensive linemen in the past two drafts, including Joshua Garnett out of Stanford, who was selected with the 28th overall pick.

Lynch believes that Armstead and Buckner will transition well from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3. "I think they fit very well," Lynch said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. "And that's one thing I want to make sure because I really believe it. I think Trent Baalke did a great job of getting guys that really – yes, they were picked for one system, but I think they transition very well to our system. One thing that we've talked about, Kyle and I, from the start is – and it's often a buzz word but we really mean it – we want to play with great urgency, with great aggressiveness. One of the things is I'm excited to see those guys. They were very much in a read and react posture last year. I'm excited to cut them loose."

The 49ers offensive line was one of the worst in the league in 2015. In 2016, the unit showed improvement but still gave up the third-most sacks in the NFL (47). The starters aren't the biggest concern. It's a lack of depth that will need to be addressed during the offseason.

The Falcons were able to bring in veteran free agent center Alex Mack in free agency last year and that helped elevate Shanahan's offense to another level. The 49ers have Daniel Kilgore, who is solid but has had trouble staying healthy. Kilgore ended the 2016 season on Injured Reserve due to a knee injury that he suffered on December 11 against the New York Jets.
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