The San Francisco 49ers added another first round pick to the defensive line this offseason, drafting Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. However, while they expect big things from Thomas, the 2017 season will be as much about their previous two picks, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead.
We’ve heard plenty about Armstead working his way over to the LEO position. However, Buckner will have just as much to contribute to the 49ers new-look defense. Battle Red Blog writer and film analyst Brett Kollman took some time to break down the film and discuss what he expects of Buckner.
Kollman talks about the immense physical talent, but also discusses the frustrations he has with Buckner’s technique limitations. He points to the flaws, but also acknowledges that if Buckner can adjust those, particularly his pad level, his ceiling is sky high.
One late point is Buckner getting a chance to work with defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina. Prior to joining the 49ers, Zgonina worked with strong defensive lines in New York and Houston, and had an extensive career of his own. Given the 49ers investment in the defensive line, Zgonina’s work with that line will be critical work for the coaching staff.
You can watch the video above, or check it out here.