San Francisco 49ers: Prioritizing Each Position on Roster Before the 2016 NFL Draft
By Peter Panacy
Players on Roster: Ian Williams, Quinton Dial, Arik Armstead, Glenn Dorsey, Tank Carradine, Mike Purcell, Marcus Rush, Kaleb Ramsey, Garrison Smith
Re-signing nose tackle Ian Williams was a very, very good move from the 49ers’ vantage point. He was the Niners’ best defender in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus, and Williams also enjoyed his first fully healthy season as a pro.
Flanking him will be defensive linemen Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial. Armstead, the 49ers’ first-round pick from a year ago, flashed plenty of promise during the latter half of last season. And Dial has been one of the more consistent producers during his tenure.
Yet there remains some concern about the depth. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (knee) likely won’t be ready at the start of the season. And defensive end Tank Carradine will likely be asked to shift to a specific edge-rushing role. His two active seasons in San Francisco haven’t exactly generated promising results.
Nose tackle Mike Purcell offers up some nice backup potential, but there isn’t a lot of amicable depth here.
Fortunately, the 2016 NFL draft class is pretty deep along the defensive line. So it wouldn’t be a shock to see general manager Trent Baalke stockpile some worthy components to add to the mix.
Perhaps there is another Williams-type player available in this year’s draft or as an undrafted free agent.