The San Francisco 49ers hope to fix their recent pass rushing woes this offseason. Many questioned the team's decision not to address the position last year. With so many needs to fill and armed with long-term contracts, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to take the patient approach.

The 49ers defense managed to get to opposing quarterbacks 37 times in 2018, which tied for No. 22 in the NFL (the Falcons, Browns, and Jaguars also had 37 team sacks). 12 of those team sacks came from defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. No other player had more than 5.5.

Lynch and company tried to trade for then-Oakland-Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack last season and the general manager felt the 49ers' offer was similar, if not better, than the offer from the Chicago Bears that eventually won out. The disruptive Mack went on to finish the season with 12.5 sacks, four passes defensed, an interception, a defensive score, and six forced fumbles.

The good news is that the 49ers may be able to find an elite pass rusher in the draft for less money than what the team would have paid Mack. Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa may not be there when San Francisco selects No. 2 overall, but there will still be plenty of choices for the 49ers, even if the team decides to trade down.

The 49ers could also address the pass rush in free agency. The bottom line is that there are a lot of choices this offseason for Lynch, who is in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I would tell you that it's a great year to be looking for D-linemen in general," Lynch told reporters on Thursday. "I hear people talking. I've been doing this for a couple of years. They're talking eight years — this is as strong of a class as the last eight years at the defensive line. I concur.

"It's not just exclusively at one position. There's inside guys, there's outside guys, and you're right, there's some on the free agent (market). As I've learned, typically those guys get what Robbie Gould got, and they never reach the market. They get franchised, the good ones.

"There's a lot of options out there, and how you weigh that, I think you spend a lot of time and if there's someone — obviously the one thing about free agency is that you've seen them at our level. So, if you feel confident, and you have (salary cap) room, and you don't see exactly what you're looking for or you have other needs in the draft, that's the thing you weigh back and forth. That's a constant conversation that's ongoing. Every team has [those conversations], and we've certainly been having those as well."

The 49ers brought in Kris Kocurek in January to coach the defensive line. Lynch was asked what San Francisco is looking for in an edge rusher.

"Basically, that's a guy that can win one-on-one rushes at a high rate," Lynch said. "You have to have a guy who can close out games, close out halves. When you have them, they can be a difference maker. I think we're also looking for powerful players.

"The great thing about Kris Kocurek, and what he's going to do, and what we've wanted to do, and why we were interested in him, he cuts these guys loose. They're going to be playing with a quick trigger and getting after it. But, those are guys that can get to the quarterback and finish him."

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