With the San Francisco 49ers reporting for training camp on July 26, we’re taking a look at players that’ll be fighting to make the final 53-man roster in 2019. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, in their third year, have built a team that features the most competition since the pair took over in 2017. Today, we’re breaking down a redshirt rookie in 2018 who faces steep competition for a role this season.
The 49ers’ defensive line may be the deepest position group on the roster. It features five first-round picks that include Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Dee Ford, and rookie Nick Bosa. It’s a talented front with big expectations in 2019. It also features an impressive group of defensive lineman fighting for rotational and backup roles. Kentavius Street is among them.
Street tore his ACL during workouts before the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers selected him in the fourth round knowing he’d be unable to play last season. Street is now fully healed from his injury and was a full participant in the team’s offseason program. In four years at NC State, Street (6-2, 287) played in 36 games, totaling 120 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. His compact frame and play strength allow Street to play at multiple spots along the defensive front. Before tearing his ACL, Street posted a video on social media of him squatting an impressive 700 pounds.
Despite his draft position, Street still faces steep competition to land a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster. Ronald Blair, Sheldon Day, D.J. Jones and Jullian Taylor all saw significant playing time as part of the rotation in 2018. The 49ers kept nine defensive linemen last season. If they do the same in 2019, Street will need to prove at training camp that he’s more valuable than any of the backups mentioned above.
Projected defensive line depth chart:
Ronald Blair III
Previous players on the bubble:
(Click name for breakdown)