Stock up: LB Kwon Alexander
Linebacker Kwon Alexander had an electric start to his 49ers career in Week 1, racking up tackles, a near interception and an ejection plus a hefty fine for hitting quarterback Jameis Winston on the head. The biggest change in that game was how easy it was for the Buccaneers to run the ball against the Niners defense once Alexander left the field.
With Kwon back in the fold, the 49ers’ defense has been absolutely dominant, especially against the run, ranking seventh in the league in yards allowed per game.
With the implementation of the Niners’ Wide-9 front, the defensive line widens out, and now controls the edge in the run game. That should shuffle runs to the A or B gaps (the inside gaps next to the center) where the linebackers now have to read and react. It’s much like the principles of the 49ers 3-4 defense of old, except with Alexander and Fred Warner instead of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
Alexander has also been strong in pass coverage, as the linebacker logged an interception while in perfect coverage against the Bengals:
Many fans were initially worried about Alexander’s contract, but after three weeks of the season, it’s been all good in San Francisco.