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.
During a season of one abysmal defensive performance after another for the San Francisco 49ers, one of the few bright spots in 2016 was the play of interior defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.
Even though he played more 1,000 snaps last season, which is insane, the then-rookie finished the season with six sacks (tied for the team lead) and led all rookies with the most defensive stops. Let’s take a look at what the future holds for the second-year player in today’s 90-in-90.
Experience: 1 accrued season
Weight: 300 lbs
Buckner entering year two of his four-year rookie deal. He is due $540,000 in base salary, and a roster bonus totaling $736,863. His salary and roster bonus are both fully guaranteed. His 2017 cap hit is $4,134,316.
How He Might Improve in 2017
Defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina has already said that the 49ers’ line will be rotating a lot more this season, which bodes well for Buckner - fresh legs and all that.
With the transition to a 4-3 defensive scheme that promises to be much more efficient than last season, I expect Buckner to continue his upward trend and believe we will see double-digit sack numbers from him.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense will feature an aggressiveness and effectiveness that we didn’t see last year. Buckner will be flanked by Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas – three first round draft picks, three large men, three talented players in a better scheme.
Buckner has been working out with Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, who has high hopes for the young star to defensive player of the year one of these days. It may not be this season, but it’s coming.
How He Might Regress in 2017
Barring injury, I don’t believe we will see any regression out of Buckner. The young lineman is only going to improve and become more and more effective on the line.
Chances of Making the Team
Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say he makes the team with flying colors.