The San Francisco 49ers visited with Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl, and it looks like they had another visit. NFL.com college football writer Chase Goodbread is reporting the 49ers met with Penn State defensive lineman Austin Johnson. Goodbread said Johnson also met with the Packers, Chiefs, and Raiders.
CBS Sports rates Johnson the seventh best defensive tackle, and projects him as a potential second round pick. He measured in at 6'4, 323 pounds, and is viewed as a guy who could work in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. The CBS Sports scouting report loves his size and strength, but they see him as a guy who needs to work on his pad-level. He does his best work as a run stuffer, but he did manage a career high 6.5 sacks. Those 15 tackles for a loss are pretty sweet.
The 49ers defensive line underwent significant turnover last season. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald departed. The line opened the season with Quinton Dial, Ian Williams, and Glenn Dorsey starting at the three base positions. Dorsey his ACL in November, and his status for the 2016 season remains in question. Odds are good he starts training camp on the PUP list, but beyond that, it is hard to tell how he comes back from his ACL injury.
Arik Armstead got work in his rookie year, and it is safe to say expectations will grow heading into his second season. Mike Purcell and Garrison Smith are two guys worth watching in training camp, and Tony Jerod-Eddie is a restricted free agent. Defensive line seems like something that will be addressed, but what round remains to be seen.