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Golden Nuggets: 158 days until Steve Wilks debuts as 49ers DC

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Thursday, April 6th, 2023

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Nguyen: How 49ers coordinator Steve Wilks could put his stamp on San Francisco’s defense (paywall)

“Wilks will likely put his stamp on the 49ers’ defense with how much pressure he’ll call. According to TruMedia, the Panthers blitzed on 33.5 percent of dropbacks last season, the sixth-highest rate in the league, while Ryans only blitzed on 23.2 percent of dropbacks, which ranked 19th. Wilks will likely dial back a bit given how much talent the 49ers have upfront, but I’d expect the 49ers to still experience an uptick in blitzing because Wilks has historically been an aggressive play caller. Blitzing also helps create one-on-ones for rushers, which will create more advantageous situations for Bosa. The caveat is you have to be sound on the back end, and as a former defensive backs coach, it’ll be on Wilks to make sure that’s the case if he wants to bring more pressure.

In Wilks’ first stint as Panthers defensive coordinator, in 2017, Carolina led the league in blitz rate. In 2019, when Wilks was the defensive coordinator for the Browns, Cleveland ranked fourth in blitz rate. It’s part of his DNA. He’s good at designing blitzes and is comfortable bringing pressure from anywhere, including sending outside corners at the quarterback.”

Barrows: Can the 49ers trust a rookie kicker? They’ve been doing their draft homework (paywall)

“But it’s also possible a kicker gets snapped up earlier than usual because so many teams still are seeking one, even after free agency. In addition to the 49ers, who have been busy working out kickers over the past month, the Rams, Cowboys, Lions, Jaguars, Titans and Packers are believed to be in the mix. And you can never count out the Patriots, who have an older kicker, Nick Folk, whose kickoffs have started to wane. The Patriots also have been working out kickers as they do nearly every offseason, and they coached Moody at this year’s East-West Shrine Bowl, where he was named the game’s MVP.”

49ers 2023 prospect watch: Big, athletic DE YaYa Diaby has top 30 visit with San Francisco

“Diaby is a special blend of size and athleticism that makes him worth betting on late on Day 2 or perhaps early on Day 3 of the draft. He measured in at 6-3, 263 pounds at the combine and blew away the 40-yard dash with a 4.51-second sprint. More importantly, he churned out a 1.56 10-yard split. That indicator of explosiveness matters more for a pass rusher than the full 40-yard dash.”

49ers’ Top Hypothetical Trades to Make Splash in 2023 NFL Draft

“The potential sweet spot for the 49ers could be the Washington Commanders’ No. 47 pick.”

Shawne Merriman calls draft process ‘one big game,’ preaches patience

“I’m just sitting there as a 20-year-old kid, just taking it in. You can’t get mad, you can’t get upset, because that’s obviously what they’re trying to do and see if they can get under your skin and see how you react. But I just calmly looked at everybody and said, ‘Hey, you’ll come see me at the pro day or not. I’m gonna put on a show for the pro day and that’s it.’”