Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Barrows envisions the 49ers D-line looking like this after drafting Javon Kinlaw

Apr 27, 2020 at 2:31 PM--

Everyone figured the San Francisco 49ers defensive line would see some changes this offseason. Arik Armstead was scheduled to become a free agent, and many felt he would be gone with his asking price assumed to be out of reach for the Niners. DeForest Buckner, a featured piece plugging up the interior of the defensive front, was due a significant contract extension, and the 49ers hoped to lock him up.

San Francisco ended up signing Armstead to a long-term deal, but it meant parting ways with Buckner, who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Another key player in the defensive line rotation, Sheldon Day, joined Buckner in Indianapolis.

The team then shifted its focus to finding Buckner's replacement and did so via the draft, using the No. 14 overall pick to select Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina. So, naturally, when Matt Barrows of The Athletic joined KNBR on Monday morning, he was asked how the revamped defensive line of the 49ers, a unit that was so productive for the team last year, would look.

"I think D.J. Jones will get a lot more action this year at that 3-technique spot," Barrows said on the Murph and Mac show. "That was Buckner's spot. But they still need a nose tackle, so the base-down starting lineup, starting from left to right, would be (Nick) Bosa, Kinlaw, D.J. Jones, and then Arik Armstead.

"And then on passing downs, Armstead comes inside, and D.J. Jones still probably comes off the field, and Dee Ford goes back to that other edge spot.

"That's what I would imagine being the main formations that they're using, but D.J. Jones has earned the right to kind of get more passing-down snaps, and I think we'll see that in 2020."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Barrows below.

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