The San Francisco 49ers announced a two-year contract extension with defensive end Cassius Marsh Wednesday afternoon, returning a big contributor to the pass rush. The 49ers acquired Marsh via waivers in late November, and he quickly became a contributor, grabbing two sacks and forcing two fumbles.
Elvis Dumervil led the 49ers in sacks with 6.0, while DeForest Buckner was the key cog rushing the passer from inside. The team struggled closing the deal with regularity, primarily because they did not have a consistent edge presence. Dumervil and Marsh will be valuable rotational pieces, but the team still needs help on the edge.
N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb is considered the top edge prospect, and is expected to go in the top five picks. Marcus Davenport, Harold Landry, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and Arden Key are among the next level of prospects. The 49ers have been connected to a few of them, although a top ten pick might be a little rich for some of them.
The 49ers could also elect to bring in someone like injury-prone but talented Ezekiel Ansah in free agency. DeMarcus Lawrence is the top pending free agent edge rusher, but the Dallas Cowboys will use the franchise tag on him if they can’t come to terms. Adrian Clayborn is another name to watch, although at 30 it remains to be seen what kind of market he will have.