The San Francisco 49ers have questions along the defensive line, and this is one of the better years to have those kinds of questions. There has been a general consensus that this year's draft features a lot of depth along the defensive line, and on Monday, Mel Kiper agreed with the consensus.
The ESPN draft analyst conducted a conference call with the media, and he discussed the depth in the trenches this year. He does not see a lot of skill position depth, but he said the defensive line depth could be the best he's ever seen:
"Defensive line is the best it's been since probably in my history of doing this, in terms of depth. I don't remember ... I've been doing it since the '78 college football season, and I don't remember as many outstanding defensive ends, defensive tackles, combo guys, as there are this year. It's loaded with elite guys in the first and second round. So if you need a defensive lineman -- end or tackle -- this is the year to get one."
The 49ers face an important offseason for their defensive line. Ian Williams is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, and Glenn Dorsey's torn ACL could cost him a sizable chunk of the 2016 season. Quinton Dial will be one starter, and the team is probably hoping for just a little bit of development from Arik Armstead. Mike Purcell showed signs last year and can play all along the line. Tony Jerod-Eddie remains a versatile depth option, but I could see Purcell taking more of his snaps next year. And really, TJE could very well end up as a roster cut. The team also has Garrison Smith and Kaleb Ramsey competing for opportunities.
Suffice to say, defensive line is something that will be addressed this offseason. Williams could potentially end up getting a new deal if the market does not develop, but maybe the 49ers just move on and get younger on the line in this deep draft.