No. 2: How Do the 49ers Address the Pass Rush?
Linebacker Aaron Lynch would have been the prototypical 4-3 defensive end, or LEO, edge rusher in Robert Saleh’s defense.
He could still fit that role well, but Lynch showed up to minicamp overweight for the second consecutive year. And overall, he’s coming off a 2016 campaign in which he registered a lowly 1.5 sacks.
Not great for a team finishing 19th with just 33 on the season.
Arik Armstead has been pushed out of his natural DE position and into this LEO role — one in which he might thrive or completely struggle.
Fortunately, Armstead’s pass productivity — per Pro Football Focus (h/t 49ers Hub) is about as good as it gets:
But this edge-rushing need still raised enough questions for the Niners to ink veteran pass-rushing specialist Elvis Dumervil to a two-year contract just a few days ago.
Dumervil, 33 years old, is sitting on 99 career sacks. He’ll provide a boost, but he’s also coming off an injury-plagued 2016 campaign.
Will this trio be enough to turn around San Francisco’s anemic pass rush from a year ago?