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Corey Lemonier spent 49ers OTAs, minicamp working on his footwork

The San Francisco 49ers could have a fairly deep group of outside linebackers. Improved footwork for one player could boost this group even further.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers selected Eli Harold in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, marking the fourth time in five years the team has selected a pass rushing outside linebacker. The team drafted Aaron Lynch in 2014, Corey Lemonier in 2013, and Aldon Smith in 2011. Smith and Ahmad Brooks are in the starting lineup, but the competition for playing time will be significant, particularly given how well Lynch played last season.

Corey Lemonier slipped down the depth chart as last season wore on and Aaron Lynch and Dan Skuta emerged. Lemonier had 39 defensive snaps in Week 1, 29 in Week 2, and 22 in Week 3. He did not see the field on defense again until Week 7, and finished the season appearing in five games with 57 total defensive snaps. He effectively became a special teams player for the most part.

The folks at had a chance to catch up with Lemonier, and he discussed some improvements this offseason. Lemonier said that linebackers coach Jason Tarver found a footwork problem in the film that could be corrected.

"J.T. pointed out that I would take false steps so many times," Lemonier said of his pass-rushing get-offs. "It led to a lot of bad plays."

Jim Tomsula spoke about Lemonier during minicamp, and was excited about his progress:

Those guys, particularly Corey, he's really doing well and I'm excited for Corey, I am. Any young guy that works so hard too you know? He's coming along. He's doing a great job with knowing the defense and he's bending and moving, you can see there. You're watching the same thing I'm seeing. He can get off the rock.

Pass rushing skills cannot be fully assessed in the offseason workout program. Lemonier can most definitely work on his footwork, but the key will be implementing that progress once pads go on and things are speeding up. When the 49ers get on the field in the preseason, we'll get a better handle on how much progress, if any, Lemonier will have made this offseason.