The 49ers already boast one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and that won’t change in 2020 even if defensive end Arik Armstead ends up departing in free agency.
What was tested last year, however, was the Niners depth here.
San Francisco lost defensive end Ronald Blair to a season-ending ACL tear midway through the season, and he’s also hitting free agency. Given Blair’s importance in the rotation, paired with the relative lack of impact from the 49ers’ top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, defensive end Solomon Thomas, it wouldn’t be shocking to see John Lynch bulk up on the D-line depth in the later rounds.
Auburn EDGE Nick Coe is a good situational pass-rusher capable of playing a number of spots along the defensive line. This is similar to the kind of role Blair assumed for the last two years, and grabbing Coe would allow San Francisco to move on from Blair, should that end up being the preferred route.
As far as Coe is concerned, he’ll need to adjust some of his pass-rushing moves to handle better, smarter offensive linemen he’ll encounter at the NFL level.
If he can do that, Coe will wind up assuming a key rotational spot for the Niners defense right out of the gate.