No. 4: Defensive Tackle Noble Nwachukwu
This one might be a bit tough. But like the offensive line, defensive linemen tend to go through a pretty large amount of injury attrition over a season.
Fortunately, San Francisco’s defensive line is pretty deep. And this opens up the chance for some players to stick around on the practice squad, including former West Virginia defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu.
Nwachukwu’s collegiate stats bear some noting:
|2013||West Virginia||Big 12||FR||DL||4||4||1||5||1.0||1.0||0||1|
|*2014||West Virginia||Big 12||SO||DL||12||19||12||31||6.5||0.5||4||0|
|*2015||West Virginia||Big 12||JR||DL||11||33||8||41||11.5||7.5||1||1|
|2016||West Virginia||Big 12||SR||DL||12||27||13||40||7.5||4.0||2||1|
He provides a solid interior pass rush, as shown by the 13.0 sacks and 26.5 tackles for a loss at West Virginia.
And while there hasn’t been a lot on him throughout training camp and the preseason, Nwachukwu could be the kind of player the Niners keep around to ensure more prominent D-line pieces — like DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and Earl Mitchell — aren’t overworked.
More importantly, they’d have a reserve option.