The San Francisco 49ers need to add edge rushers this offseason. They might try and make a big splash with someone like DeMarcus Lawrence, but more than likely the top four or five best free agent options are going to be franchised or otherwise signed before the market opens.
The 49ers can find options at No. 2 in the 2019 NFL Draft, but the free agent market still offers some talented pass rushers. Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham is one such talent, and a player who is likely to have a robust market come March.
Graham turns 31 in April, but he remains a productive edge rusher. He only had four sacks this past season, after a 9.6 in 2017, but his pressure rate only dropped modestly. He had 70 regular season pressures this year compared to 60 last year, with 80 more pass rush snaps. Although his rate declined, he improved from 19th to fourth in total quarterback pressures.
In the video above, Pro Football Focus breaks down why he remains a valuable commodity who could command a solid pay day this offseason. If he does land more than a two- or three-year deal, I have to think there will be some voidable seasons tacked on at the end for cap purposes. He’s a guy who you see what he can do for the first two seasons, and likely part ways with him shortly after that.
If the 49ers do end up forking over big bucks for Graham, it could foreshadow selecting a pass rusher at No. 2 (or shortly after if they move down). He’s a solid addition, but also a guy who is on the back end of his career and looking at one last pay day. He would seem to be an ideal option to bring in and work with a younger pass rusher. Even just working with guys like Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair, among others would be of considerable value. It’s safe to say Brandon Graham will be a player to watch when the new league year opens in March.