I have spent a month and a half going over possible NFL free agents team by team. Now, we move on the positional breakdowns. I started with quarterbacks, wide receivers, and edge rushers, and today I’m moving on to defensive tackles. The 49ers have a variety of needs, but I am going to focus in on some of the more pertinent ones.
A little over a week ago, the 49ers defensive tackles included DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead. Since then we have signed Earl Mitchell to a four-year, $16 million deal, and tendered Mike Purcell as an exclusive rights free agent. Mitchell, for comparison sake, had 18 tackles and no sacks last season. He had only 22 tackles and no sacks in 2015 and 33 tackles and two sacks in 2014. His best year was in 2013 when he had 48 tackles and one point five sacks. He is 29 years old, 6’3 inches tall and weighs 310 pounds.
Purcell has been a decent rotational guy for bad teams, but could be in for tough competition this year as the team improves depth. However, you never know, he might do well in a more aggressive defense. Don’t we deserve a difference maker in the middle?
All heights and weights are taken from NFL.com.
34 DT Dontari Poe - $6,146,000 - Chiefs
Dontari Poe is 26 years old and was drafted by the Chiefs in first round of the 2012 draft after impressing everyone with his exceptional arm strength and great lateral quickness at the NFL combine. His ability to plug the run while also generating pressure on the quarterback would provide a huge upgrade to the middle of our defensive line. The Chiefs used the fifth year option on Poe last season but decided not to franchise him this year.
Poe had kind of a down year in 2016 with only 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. His numbers were way down from 2014 when he had 45 tackles and six sacks. He is 6’3 and weighs 346 pounds.
34 DT Brandon Williams - $1,779,750 - Ravens
Brandon Williams is 28 years old and was drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2013 draft. Williams has been described as an extremely solid unmovable object. He could be very instrumental in plugging the middle of what has been a very porous 49ers defensive line. Williams had 51 tackles with one sack last season and 53 tackles with two sacks in 2015. He is 6’1 and weighs 340 pounds.
43 DT Bennie Logan - $1,842,023 - Eagles
Bennie Logan is 27 years old and was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2013 draft. Logan had a very down year in 2016 with only 25 tackles and two point five sacks after having a very good year for Chip in 2015. I assume it had to do with the Eagles changing from a 34 defense to a 43 defense and it was not a 43 under where he could continue to play nose tackle. Logan had 55 tackles in 2015 and Pro Football Focus had this to say about him:
“Bennie Logan is the fourth-best DT in the NFL against the run (+12.5 run grade) and leads the league in PFF stop percentage with 25 stops in 163 snaps.”
Logan is 6’2 and weighs 315 pounds. He is kind of a little guy when you compare him to Poe and Williams.
43 DT Abry Jones - $2,553,000 - Jaguars
Abry Jones is 25 years old and was picked up by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He had 32 tackles in 2016 but did not seem to love the sack. His best season was in 2014 when he had 39 tackles and three sacks. Jones is 6’4 and weighs 318 pounds.
43 DT Jonathan Hankins - $1,282,494 - Giants
Jonathan Hankins is 24 years old and was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2013 draft. He had 43 tackles and three sacks in 2016, his second most productive year to 2014 when he had 51 tackles and seven sacks. He is 6’2 and weighs 320 pounds.
34 DT Chris Baker - $4,275,000 - Washington
Chris Baker is 29 years old and was originally picked up by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Baker had 47 tackles with three point five sacks in 2016 and 53 tackles with six sacks in 2015. He is 6’2 and weighs 320 pounds. PFF rated him as the 19th best inside defender in 2016.
43 DT Akeem Spence - $1,792,106 - Bucs
Akeem Spence is 25 years old and was drafted by the Bucs in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Spence has 19 tackles and point five sacks in 2016. His best season was in 2014 when he had 37 tackles and three sacks. He is 6’1 and weighs 307 pounds.
43 DT Stacy McGee - $695,670 - Raiders
Stacy McGee is 26 years old and was drafted by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. McGee had 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2016. He is six foot three and weighs 310 pounds. With a Pro Football Focus grade of 79.9, he might need a closer look.
34 DT Sylvester Williams
Sylvester Williams is 28 years old and was drafted by the Broncos in the first round of the 2013 draft. Williams had 29 tackles and one sack in 2016. He is 6’2 and weighs 313 pounds.