Aaron Wilson, formerly of the Houston Chronicle, had a couple of quotes for the 49ers' newly acquired edge rusher, Charlie Omenihu. The former Texans edge rusher said this about being traded to the Bay Area:
‘A little bit of shock, but I know it’s a business. It happens. I appreciate the city of Houston, I appreciate the organization for drafting me and all the guys in my time here. It’s a new opportunity and I’m ready.’
Luckily for Omenihu, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to make plays in San Francisco. Omenihu is aware of the prestige that comes with playing for the 49ers:
“San Francisco, I’m ready. The 49ers are a historic organization. They know what it looks like to get it done and win. I’m ready for new beginnings and a new experience.”
So, what does Omenihu bring to the table? The versatile defensive lineman played all over for Houston. Sometimes, he’d line up in a Wide-9 technique — much like the 49ers do with their edge rushers. Other times, Omenihu would line up as a 6-technique, where he’d play head up on the tight end.
It didn’t stop there. On third downs and obvious passing downs, Omenihu found himself as a 3-technique defensive tackle. That’s where I expect him to play for the 49ers for the remainder of this year. He’ll replace Javon Kinlaw and, honestly, offers more as a pass rusher than Kinlaw at this time.
In the video below, you’ll see a player who is polished as a pass rusher. For a kid that just turned 24, Omenihu’s hand usage was a pleasant surprise. He has the effort and length, but he’s won his 1-on-1 battles this season far more than you’d anticipate.
Omenihu will only get better under defensive line coach Kris Kocurek's tutelage and edge rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. Here’s the video:
A couple of areas in Omenihu’s game need to be cleaned up, which is to be expected when you trade a future sixth-rounder for a player. However, his upside is apparent, and the fit couldn't be better, especially in this defense.
It won’t be overnight, but I’m fascinated to see how DeMeco Ryans sprinkles Omenihu in the lineup and how his role expands as the season goes along. Judging by the snap counts from the Bears game, Only D.J. Jones played over 50% of the snaps at defensive tackle. Omenihu can eat into Zach Kerr and Kenvatius Street’s snaps.
Kevin Givens has played one game since Week 1, so it’s unfair to expect him to hit the ground running without playing himself into shape. All signs point to Omenihu contributing early and often for the 49ers.