Pro Football Focus ranked the front seven of the defenses in the NFL. The 49ers were ranked 23rd. A big part of the ranking has to do with the 49ers allowing offenses to run 126 yards and 31.5 attempts per game on them last season. The 126 yards per game was the 4th worst rank in the league. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest reason was the run defense in sub packages. They allowed an almost 2 extra yards per carry in those packages over their base package.
The 49ers defense was able to contain the run when NT Ian Williams was in the game, but had issues when he wasn’t on the field. The defense will have to fix the issue when they have to go to those packages. The addition of DeForest Buckner through the draft and the development of Arik Armstead should help. Also, another year of NaVorro Bowman being back from his knee injury could help tremendously.
The 49ers had one of the best front sevens a few seasons ago, but they lost key members and are now rebuilding that group. The defense will look to Buckner and Armstead to stop the run when Ian Williams isn’t in. The team invested the 1st round picks on their defensive line due to the loss of key players in those positions. A vast improvement in that category could go a long way in helping the team have a bounce back season.
Used to be a strength | Defensive Line Ranking (Stockwell)
Looking for 1st round picks to produce | Young Players To Stop The Run (Biderman)
QB Battle (Orr)
QB Situation Ranking (Monson)
Wonder what his next move is | Jarryd Hayne Off Fiji's Rugby Olympic Team (Orr)
Doesn't Make Olympic Team (CSN Staff Report)
Hayne Not Going To Rio (Biderman)
The Faithful had a high ranking | Fan Ranking (Mano)
Chip And The QB Situation (Biderman)
LBs Host Football Camp (49ers Staff)