So how about that San Francisco 49ers defensive line? The 49ers went and got Kris Kocurek, traded for Dee Ford, and that line was already nasty. What came was the final piece: Nick Bosa.
SI’s Albert Breer had a bit of background on how Nick Bosa came to be the No. 2 pick for the 49ers in his MMQB article on Monday:
How early did the Niners know it was taking Bosa second overall? I’m told that when San Francisco traded a second-round pick to the Chiefs for Ford, they did it because of how they saw him pairing with Bosa. And Ford has delivered. Despite playing on a balky knee that’s limited him to 39% of the Niners’ defensive snaps, he has 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Bosa has generally been a menace in creating a really tough pick-your-poison dilemma for coaches game-planning against him. As for Bosa—well, he’s clearly all the Niners thought he’d be.
The Bosa pick worked wonders in spite of Ford getting less than desirable snaps. When you put those two on the field, it’s been going pretty nicely, I’d say.
Breer actually goes into detail on a few other things the 49ers did in the offseason that may have contributed to the 8-0 start the team has right now.
But, back to Bosa. The big question through the offseason was first if the 49ers would even have a shot at Bosa (they did back in December), then if they actually would take him. Multiple reports have stated that 49ers were interested in then-Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. There was also the thought they would trade back and see if they could get then-Kentucky Linebacker Josh Allen or begin hoarding draft picks thanks to that No. 2 overall pick.
Which, by the way, may have also been the other factor in the decision. The 49ers were in on the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the New York Giants, and as we all know, the Cleveland Browns swooped in and got OBJ. The 49ers didn’t want to give up the No. 2 overall pick straight-up, though maybe a swap of first-rounders wasn’t out of the question. If that (the swap) happened, Nick Bosa would have been long gone at No. 6. So the fact the 49ers were “stuck” with their original pick probably made them realize, “yeah, we didn’t get Beckham, Bosa it is.” Though I can’t fathom what fans would be doing
Thankfully the 49ers made their decision during free agency. The only team that could have derailed the plan was the Arizona Cardinals. They went and took Kyler Murray.