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49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #4 DeForest Buckner

Gilbert Brink
Mar 12, 2020 at 12:24 PM


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DeForest Buckner was a great 49ers defensive lineman before it was cool. Prior to the acquisitions of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa and the emergence of Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner was the only dominant force on the 49ers defense, period.

One only must go back to Super Bowl 54 to see the importance that Buckner plays in the 49ers defense. Registering 1.5 sacks, he was a half-step away from sacking Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on the now infamous 3rd and 15 bomb to Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill. Buckner brings havoc from the interior line and must always be accounted for by opposing offenses.

Buckner is a defensive leader and a key to sustained success for the 49ers.

2019 Performance


Buckner's statistic production saw a decrease from 2018, mostly due to the addition of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, who scooped up the lion's share of the sacks. Still, Buckner posted a respectable 8 sacks, 33 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 1 touchdown. Pro Football Focus graded Buckner out at a 78.8. Another player who graded similarly was Green Bay DT Kenny Clark (79.9)

2020 Cost


Bucker's cap hit will be $14 million in 2020. There are no other options available, as this is his 5th-year option on his rookie deal. This number is fully guaranteed.

Future Outlook


Extending Buckner must be one of the 49ers' top priorities. He is a much better player than free agent defensive end Arik Armstead, who is looking for a large payday himself. The 49ers line can dominate far into the future with Buckner paired alongside Bosa. Expect Buckner to be a 49er well into the 2020s.



Next: No. 3 - George Kittle
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.


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