The San Francisco 49ers have made their first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and it adds serious talent to the defensive line. The 49ers picked Oregon defensive tackle DeForest Buckner with the seventh pick of the first round. Things fell just right, and Buckner was there for the 49ers!
This marks the second straight season the 49ers have selected an Oregon defensive lineman. And most analysts think Buckner is better than Arik Armstead. The big difference is that Armstead was a bit more raw coming out of Oregon. We saw Armstead show some serious skill in his rookie year, and now we get to see his former Ducks teammate joining him on the line.
The 49ers went into the offseason with Quinton Dial, Ian Williams, and Arik Armstead starting on their base line. Williams is dealing with injury issues, so his status is up in the air. Mike Purcell is likely the guy who moves in at nose tackle, although Quinton Dial could get some opportunities as well. The addition of Buckner allows for all sorts of flexibility along the line. Buckner can get work at 3-4 defensive end, and also at defensive tackle in their sub-packages.
Our friends at Addicted to Quack provided their own scouting report, and like others, compared him to Calais Campbell. David Neumann put together a scouting report a week ago, describing Buckner as a guy who will eat you and your entire offensive line. Here are David's conclusions about Buckner:
Buckner is an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end, but he doesn't have to be pigeonholed in that one spot. He aligned at nearly every position along Oregon's defensive line over his final two college seasons, and is capable of doing the same in the NFL. His upside is tremendous thanks to some freaky physical tools, but he's not all projection. Buckner paired his impressive size, strength, and athleticism with high-end production that should translate to the pro game. He should be a plus-pass rusher on the interior in sub-packages from day one, and has the potential to become a dominant run defender if he can iron out his technique issues versus double teams and play low on an every down basis.
Selecting Armstead in the first round of last year's draft shouldn't deter the 49ers from calling Buckner's name with the 7th overall pick this year, should he fall to them. By reuniting the former Oregon teammates, San Francisco can solidify the first line of their defensive front for years to come.
Here are the 49ers remaining picks:
1. First round: DeForest Buckner, DT, Oregon
2. Second round: Own pick - No. 6 (37 overall)
3. Third round: Own pick - No. 5 (68)
4. Fourth round: Own pick - No. 7 (105)
5. Fourth round: Comp pick - No. 35 (133)
6. Fifth round: San Diego Chargers (2015 draft-day trade) - No. 3 (142)
7. Fifth round: Own pick - No. 6 (145)
8. Fifth round: Comp pick - No. 37 (174)
9. Sixth round: Dallas Cowboys (2015 draft-day trade) - No. 3 (178)
10. Sixth round: Denver Broncos (Vernon Davis trade) - No. 32 (207)
11. Sixth round: Comp pick - No. 36 (211)
12. Sixth round: Comp pick - No. 38 (213)