Earlier this week, Mike Mayock posted his first positional rankings of the 2016 NFL Draft season. On Thursday, we took a look at quarterbacks, on Friday we took a look at inside linebackers, and then interior offensive linemen, on Saturday we looked at tight ends, on Sunday we looked at safeties, and on Monday we looked at wide receivers.
We're going to continue moving through these position-by-position, and for this post we move over to the edge rushers. Mayock split up the defense with "edge rushers" and "linebackers" ranked separately. Some of those edge rushers will be defensive ends in the NFL, while others will be 3-4 outside linebackers.
Here's how Mayock ranked out the top five edge rushers in the 2016 NFL Draft:
1. Joey Bosa, Ohio State
2. Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
3. Shaq Lawson, Clemson
4. Leonard Floyd, Georgia
5. Kevin Dodd, Clemson
The 49ers pass rush has plenty of questions this offseason. Aaron Lynch is the one "sure thing" at this point, if you want to use that word. Ahmad Brooks is a strong candidate to be released. Eli Harold showed some signs in 2015, and the team will look for him to take a significant step forward. Corey Lemonier is a special teams guy who can occasionally fill in at outside linebacker.
Simply put, the team needs more bodies. Not all of the edge rushing candidates will fit what the 49ers might want to do in the pass rush, but there are going to be some significant options. The 49ers could still add some talent in free agency, with plenty of people suggesting the team pursue Bruce Irvin or Von Miller. However, even with such additions, it makes sense to continue adding young pass rushers to develop. Once we get through the first week or two of free agency, we'll have a better idea if a first round pass rusher is off the table.