Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
One of the positions with the most depth for the San Francisco 49ers is on the defensive line. The team added significant power when they drafted DeForest Buckner in the first round of the 2016 draft, reuniting him with his Oregon teammate Arik Armstead.
With Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey continuing their recovering from injury in the offseason, there will likely be a rotating lineup for training camp and Quinton Dial will play a large portion of the snaps with the 1s. Dial had a good showing in his third season in the league and the 49ers front office showed their confidence in his future performance by extending his contract.
Experience: in his 4th year
Dial just signed a three year extension in February worth $12 million. He received a $3.227 million signing bonus, and a guaranteed base salary of $675,000. An additional $1.4 million is guaranteed for injury and will be fully guaranteed on April 1, 2017. Included in the contract are roster bonuses worth $400,000, and $1.5 million in potential escalators.
Why he could improve:
Adding more talent around a player can make the entire group stronger by promoting healthy competition. Dial’s experience as a full time starter in 2015 is an asset as members of the DL will need to step up if Williams and Dorsey are unable to return at the beginning of the season.
Dial has mentioned spending time watching film during the off season to improve his performance as well as relishing his role as a leader in the DL meeting room. Buckner mentioned how helpful the veteran had been in helping him adjust to his new surroundings. Being thrust into a leadership position could have positive repercussions for the 4th year lineman.
Why he could regress:
Any time a new scheme is introduced, there is always a possibility for regression by players who may have to adjust their techniques and routines. As much as Dial may be helping Buckner and Armstead adjust to the NFL, the two younger players may be helping Dial adjust to new DL coach Jerry Azzinaro, who has had the linemen hitting the sled more than some have in years.
The stamina of the defense will be tested this year with Kelly’s high tempo offense on the other side of the ball. So far the practices have been in an interval training type of set up to help players adjust to the tempo while still allowing them to catch their breath during the teaching periods. Dial says that conditioning is not an issue for him, but there is no doubt that the endurance of every member of the 49ers will be tested this year.
Odds of making the roster:
There really is no doubt that Dial will make the roster after receiving a contract extension just a few months ago. The only question really is how much time will he spend on the field with the addition of DeForest Buckner and the return of Glenn Dorsey.