San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recorded a career-high 12 sacks last season and is widely considered one of the best defensive linemen in the game. Buckner's 2018 performance earned him his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Buckner did feel a bit disrespected this offseason, even after a career year. His name was nowhere to be found in the annual NFL Top 100 ranking, which is voted on by players around the league.

While most would agree that offseason rankings mean very little, the fact that Buckner didn't appear on a ranking voted on by his peers was a bit of a shock, even to him. Before Wednesday's practice, Buckner was asked about not being named among the NFL's best 100 players.

"It's crazy, right? It is what it is," Buckner responded via Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group. "At the end of the day, if I do my job and contribute, the respect will come. It's more fuel."

An even bigger year could be on the horizon for Buckner. Teams may have viewed him as the only significant threat along the defensive line last year. That won't be the case in 2019. The 49ers added two pass rushers this offseason. San Francisco traded for Dee Ford, who racked up a career-high 13 sacks with Kansas City last season, and then drafted Nick Bosa, who recorded 17.5 sacks at Ohio State in just over two collegiate seasons.

The offseason additions should open things up for Buckner and may have a big payoff. He is signed through the 2020 season, but San Francisco would like to lock him up for the foreseeable future with a contract extension. The longer that takes, especially if another significant statistical season is approaching, the more it will cost.

Related News