The San Francisco 49ers addressed their biggest need this offseason by drafting a pass rusher in the first round and trading a future second round pick for another pass rusher. Whenever you can add two premium talents at a premier position, you win your offseason. Addressing a position of need is one thing, but adding Dee Ford and Nick Bosa to your roster is a different story.
Bet on Buck
With that end mind, Deforest Buckner is going to have some competition for team lead in sacks this year. This is a great problem to have. Last year Buckner had 12. He also had a billion pressures on the quarterback, so it was far from a fluke. The addition of the two edge rushers mentioned above will only help Defo. Buckner should see more 1-on-1’s in 2019 than he did all of last year. He gets my vote because there will be nowhere for the opposing quarterbacks to step up in the pocket. With Buckner and his go-go gadget arms, he should even collect a couple “cheap” sacks for being in the right position.
Ford played nearly full seasons in two of the last three years. In both those years he had double-digit sacks. If he’s healthy, with this front, it’s tough to imagine that changing. Ford has a tremendous get off and that’s been the case since he was at Auburn. Ford has an innate ability to perfectly time the snap. Unlike 2016, Ford’s 2018 was truly dominant. The question now becomes was he a “one year wonder”, or is this who Ford really is? It’s likely somewhere in between. My guess is Ford finishes somewhere between 8-10 sacks.
Better than big bro?
Bosa suffers from being a rookie. If he really is like his brother, Joey Bosa had 10.5 sacks and missed the teams first four games. That’s just a lot of pressure to put on one person. To me, this will depend on Robert Saleh as much as Bosa. If the Niners defensive coordinator gets creative and moves Bosa around the formation, he won’t have any issues racking up numbers. He never has and it’s not going to start now. If Bosa is strictly an edge rusher to the wide side of the field, he comes predictable.
Rookies usually hit a wall as well. So if Bosa is able to string together a two or three sack game, maybe even two, he’ll challenge for the teams sack record.
There’s always another. Whether it’s Ronald Blair, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, who knows, but there’s going to be a fourth rusher on the field. Whoever that might not see a double team all year. That’s every pass rushers dream. With Thomas being the nickel rusher alongside Buckner, he has the best chance to put up numbers. Athleticism wins inside, and Thomas flashed that during the last month of the season last year.
Who will lead the 49ers in sacks?
This poll is closed