clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

49ers depth chart: OTAs give us some thoughts on defensive line

The San Francisco 49ers defensive line is undergoing turnover following Justin Smith's retirement and the release of Ray McDonald. We take a look at what the line looks like a week into OTAs.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The wrap of the San Francisco 49ers first week of OTAs gives us a modest amount of insight into the team's depth chart. Injured players are not participating, so that limits how much we know, but we have a few interesting little tidbits we can take from Thursday's open session.

Now that Justin Smith is officially retired, the defensive line is one area we'll be concentrating on intently in the coming months. The team invested a first round pick in defensive tackle Arik Armstead, but he likely has a ways to go before he makes a serious impact. He was a raw prospect coming out of school, and he cannot take part in the team's offseason workout program until the June minicamp when his finals will be wrapped up.

The team's starting 3-4 defensive line on Thursday had Ian Williams at nose tackle, Tony Jerod-Eddie at left defensive end and Quinton Dial at right defensive end. Darnell Dockett is rehabbing from his torn ACL, and he probably will not take part in on-field work until training camp. Glenn Dorsey was on a side field, but did not participate in team drills. I imagine it is not related to his biceps tear last year considering the team activated him midway through the season, but there is no other word on the injury.

Earlier this week following Justin Smith's retirement announcement, Matt Barrows put together a preliminary look at the post-Smith defensive line. That group did not include Darnell Dockett due to his injury, but had Glenn Dorsey starting at right defensive end with Tank Carradine coming in for nickel situations. He said Arik Armstead, Quinton Dial and Tony-Jerod-Eddie would all be in the mix at left defensive end.

It is not entirely shocking that they would roll with Dial and TJE at the end positions while Dorsey and Dockett get healthy. They have the most starting time among the remaining players, which makes them potentially the most comfortable slotting into the starting lineup for now. For those looking for more on Lawrence Okoye, there was not much mention, but Cam Inman had this article on Okoye.