Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


49ers could boast one of the NFL’s top defensive lines in 2019

Apr 25, 2019 at 7:57 PM


The San Francisco 49ers' selection of Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa in the 2019 NFL Draft could help transform a promising-yet-underachieving defensive line into one of the most formidable in the league this season.


Entering 2018, the San Francisco 49ers defensive line was supposed to be one of the few positions of relative strength. Yet after 17 weeks, Football Outsiders ranked this unit 19th in run defense and 18th against the pass.

One should figure that all changes, following the 2019 NFL Draft addition of Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa.

Bosa joins a crop of Niners defenders, many of whom are also former first-round draft picks, such as DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas and the recently acquired Dee Ford, who figures to be the team's other primary outside pass-rusher this season.

"It's unbelievable," Bosa told the media shortly after San Francisco grabbed him at No. 2 overall. "Just to be on a team that really shouldn't have been this high in the draft with all the talent that they have, and then they add Dee Ford, which just makes this D-Line pretty scary, yeah just having, it's pretty impossible to double team any of us because then you're single teaming one of us. It's going to be fun."

San Francisco finished 2018 with just 37 sacks -- tied for 22nd in the league. And while Bosa missed the majority of his 2018 campaign at Ohio State with an abdominal injury, he still remained arguably the top prospect in this year's draft.

The 49ers staff certainly thinks he'll make a difference.

"Just as a coach the hardest thing to handle is going against a tough D-Line, and that's been our goal since we got here, to try to build it that way," head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters during the team's post-selection presser. "We knew we had some good players to start with. We've added some players since we got here, and you always try to take the best guys available, and we've had a lot of guys that are good players that are very similar, and the two guys that we've added to the D-Line this year are kind of the two things that we were missing.

"We needed to get better in that area, and I think what we've already had will make those guys much better."

General manager John Lynch also told reporters previous rumors about Thomas possibly being on the trade block were unfounded, while Shanahan reiterated it's a good problem to have, boasting three interior defenders for two spots, namely for the purposes of rotating players and keeping them fresh.

The hope would be for Thomas, San Francisco's top pick from the 2017 draft, to flourish under new defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. Armstead, however, is on his fifth-year option and is poised to hit free agency in 2020.

Unless either Thomas or Armstead winds up being moved in coming days, which is always possible despite Lynch's comments to the contrary.

Consider this, though: San Francisco will be pairing the No. 1 prospect from this year's draft, Bosa, with two Pro Bowlers from 2018, Buckner and Ford, who combined for 25 sacks a season ago. And with Bosa already adding to a decent crop of run stoppers, one can only imagine the Niners seeing a vastly improved defensive front over the course of the upcoming year.

Oh, and the sack production should increase a lot, too.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers rookie OL Nick Zakelj could play center in the NFL

By Rohan Chakravarthi
May 13

The San Francisco 49ers' rookie minicamp kicked off Friday afternoon, with the 49ers revealing the rookie jersey numbers prior to media availability. Sixth-round selection Nick Zakelj, who will wear No. 63, spoke with the media on Friday for the first time since draft night and shared a rather interesting fact about his football childhood. Zakelj is a Cleveland native, drawing a connection to Alex Mack, whom the rookie watched while growing up. Mack began his career as a member of the Cleveland Browns, playing from 2009-2015 before stints with the Falcons and the 49ers. "I think definitely watching guys like Alex, especially growing up in Cleveland, being drafted, I



Is former 49ers QB coach Rich Scangarello one of the sources for Matt Lombardo's Trey Lance tweet?

By Brian Renick
May 9

Last Thursday, Matt Lombardo of FanSided created a bit of a firestorm on 49ers Twitter when he tweeted out that the 49ers have been "continually underwhelmed by Trey Lance…" I have heard that the #49ers' staff has been continually underwhelmed by Trey Lance … https://t.co/BfypDIHzXo— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) May 5,



Top 5 most-anticipated 49ers games of the 2022 season

By Romelo Bracy
May 11

After posting a 10-7 record and winning two playoff games in the 2021 season, expectations for the San Francisco 49ers for the 2022 season have only gotten bigger. The 49ers opponents for next season have already been revealed and they have the fifth toughest schedule this season when looking at the combined teams 2021 win percentage (.533). With the schedule looking to be quite challenging, there should be a plethora of epic 49ers games this season. In turn, let's take a look at the five games 49ers fans should have circled on their calendar this season. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 49ers Tom Brady will march into Levi's Stadium for the first time since 2016 in Week 11 with the New England Patriots. Brady and the 49ers have had



49ers Notebook: Brock Purdy's draft surprise, Tariq Castro-Fields on his NFL readiness, and more

By Kirk Larrabee
May 12

Rookie minicamp gets underway Friday for 49ers drafted players and undrafted free agents, but before those players take the field, they were hit with a number of questions from reporters during pre-camp media sessions on Thursday. Among the players to speak with reporters on Thursday were wide receiver and third-round pick Danny Gray (SMU), offensive lineman and fourth-round pick Spencer Burford (UT-San Antonio), cornerback and sixth-round pick Tariq Castro-Fields (Penn State), quarterback and seventh-round pick Brock Purdy (Iowa State), and undrafted offensive linemen Jason Poe (Mercer) and Dohnovan West (Arizona State). 49ers WebZone already discussed what Gray said


Featured

More by Peter Panacy

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone