The San Francisco 49ers moved one step closer to locking up their 2013 rookie class, as they have signed defensive end/outside linebacker Corey Lemonier. The 49ers did not announce the move right away, but rather, it appeared on the NFL's official transaction list. Per Over The Cap, the deal is likely worth $2.8 million overall, with a signing bonus of $543,520 and a 2013 base salary of the league minimum $405,000.
The Auburn product is signed for four years, and is the tenth of the 49ers eleven draft picks to sign on the dotted line. The only player left to sign is first-round pick Eric Reid. The 49ers signed A.J. Jenkins on June 20 last year, so there is no need for concern at this point with regards to Reid.
Lemonier is listed as an outside linebacker, but he will likely get some work at the defensive end spot when the 49ers move into a four-man rotation. He will be competing primarily with Parys Haralson for playing time, with Cam Johnson and Darius Fleming looking to get in on it as well.
In my mind, I see the 49ers using Lemonier in a role similar to that of Aldon Smith during his rookie year. I don't expect him to get the same number of snaps, but I see him working in the four-man front as opposed to the team's base 3-4. In that case though, he also will be competing for snaps with Tank Carradine to a certain extent.
It's nice to see this kind of young depth competing for time. Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks are normally the two guys who handle the nickel defensive end roles. I think Aldon will continue to get most of those snaps, but I could see the team rotating bodies in with Ahmad Brooks to keep him fresh.