In a roundabout way, the 49ers are lucky to have suffered such an injury-prone, underachieving season. It landed them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, at least as of now.
San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad has a number of needs, but perhaps none are as pressing as the pass rush. San Francisco has struggled to get constant outside pressure on opponents’ quarterbacks since the days of former EDGE Aldon Smith, who was released back in 2015, and he’s no longer in the NFL.
True, the Niners have spent three first-round picks on defensive linemen in consecutive years: Arik Armstead in 2015, DeForest Buckner in 2016 and Solomon Thomas in 2017. But all three are primarily inside rushers.
In today’s NFL, an outside rush is far more important.
Wouldn’t you know it? The consensus No. 1 player on nearly every mock draft big board happens to be an edge rusher, Ohio State’s Nick Bosa.
Bosa elected to sit out the remainder of the 2018 collegiate season to prepare for the draft. Why wouldn’t he? His stock already puts him atop everyone else in this year’s class. No reason to risk it.
The fact Bosa fits the 49ers’ top need in 2019 makes this pick an easy one. He’ll upgrade Shanahan’s defense immediately.