The 49ers missing out on Nick Bosa doesn’t eliminate the need for a top-tier edge rusher. Fortunately, this year’s NFL Draft is laden with those.
San Francisco 49ers
At 6-foot-4 and 249 pounds, Florida State EDGE Brian Burns is a bit smaller than many traditional NFL edge rushers. But what he lacks in size, Burns makes up for in sheer speed and edge-bending abilities.
In today’s pass-happy NFL, that can be a more important attribute anyway.
Burns’ 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss his junior year with the Seminoles suggests he is well on his way to becoming one of those explosive edge rushers, and it’s reassuring to know he already has a wide array of pro-ready pass-rush moves to complement that speed.
Early on, Burns likely isn’t going to be much of a run defender. This isn’t quite as lacking a skill as it is for, let’s say, Florida EDGE Jachai Polite. But it’s something of note.
With Burns in on the many passing downs the 49ers defense will face this season and beyond, one should expect the team’s lowly pass rush to improve significantly.