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49ers trade for edge rusher Texans Charles Omenihu in exchange for 2023 6th rounder

The 49ers add a versatile defensive lineman that can play both inside and out

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 12:43 p.m.: The Texans are receiving a 2023 6th-round draft pick from the 49ers, per Adam Schefter.

So much for Kyle Shanahan saying the 49ers wouldn’t make a move at the trade deadline. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, San Francisco is trading for Houston Texans edge rusher Charles Omenihu in exchange for a future Day 3 pick.

Outside of Nick Bosa, the 49ers have struggled to generate a pass rush. The team is 27th in adjusted sack rate and 21st in quarterback knockdown percentage. Dee Ford missed the last game with a concussion but is expected to return. Ford has yet to play more than 33% of the snaps in any game this season.

With injuries to the interior defensive line, Arik Armstead may be forced into a bigger role at defensive tackle. That leaves Arden Key, Samson Ebukam, and Bosa on the edge. Per Sports Info Solutions, Omenihu, 24, has 11 pressures this year, four QB knockdowns, and seven QB hits. He doesn’t have any sacks. Omenihu has hit the quarterback at a higher rate than Bosa this season, and his pressure percentage would be second on the team only to Bosa at 12%.

Omenihu is under contract for one more season. At 6’6, 275 pounds, Omenihu ran a 4.92 40-yard dash but jumped 36.5 inches in the vertical with a 4.36 20-yard shuttle. That tells you he’s explosive and can change directions.

I asked Brett Kollman, who covers the Texans for a living, about Omenihu:

“I love it for them. He’s the kind of guy that you can put inside or out on 3rd downs and have success. Good power, great motor, uses his length well. For DCs that love to run games up front and rush with four he’s a good piece to have. I would put him next to Bosa in sub situations and just let them work off each other.”

That’s encouraging, and it gives the 49ers flexibility to have another pass rusher who can play both inside and out. Here’s more from Kollman:

Power is his fastball for sure. Not the bendiest guy but against tackles with bad hands, he’s got a nice cross chop that he busts out from time to time to still get the edge. Won’t win with pure speed or bend though, which is why I really like him as a 5/6 on early downs and then a 4i in pass-rush situations where he can get a bit more runway on guards and just crush the pocket.

I really do think T-E games with Bosa are gonna make both of them a lot of money because he has so much power that he can just bulldoze through an OTs inside shoulder and force the guard to stick on him, which makes it super easy for Nick to clean up.

The Niners need bodies who can get after the quarterback. But, just as I said with Justin Reid in 49ers in Five this morning, athletes who produce for bad teams are likely to take their game to another level once they get to different surroundings. Let’s hope that’s the case with Omenihu.