With the NFL draft less than a week away, the San Francisco 49ers' night will begin early with the team owning the second-overall pick. The 49ers are also on the clock regarding the fifth-year option of DeForest Buckner.

The defensive tackle had a career year for the 49ers, racking up 12 sacks and demanding double teams throughout the 2018 season. Under the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan regime, San Francisco has picked up both fifth-year options of defensive back Jimmie Ward and defensive end Arik Armstead, so Buckner's option seems like a no-brainer for the 49ers, according to a report from Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.


Buckner will count just over $5.7 million against the 49ers' salary cap in 2019. Signing the defensive tackle to a long-term contract is an option on the table, but there still is time for the two sides to negotiate since Buckner is entering his fourth year in the league. Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald tops the league with an average of $22.5 million per year, so those are the parameters Buckners' reps will be looking at when the two sides get ready to talk a long-term deal.

As the May 3rd deadline approaches for Buckner's option, the 49ers have a lot of decisions to make on the defensive side of the ball. Those decisions began early this offseason with the trade for pass rusher Dee Ford and the signing of linebacker Kwon Alexander to strengthen their No. 28 ranked defense. The next decision will be whom to select with the second overall pick, and mock drafts show the 49ers addressing the defensive side of the ball for the sixth time in seven years.

How the 49ers will use all the muscle power up front is yet to be seen, but Buckners' tenure with the 49ers seems to just be beginning.