No. 1: 49ers Defensive Line
Projected 53-Man Roster Additions: Arik Armstead, Ronald Blair, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, D.J. Jones, Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw, Jullian Taylor
Yes, the 49ers defensive line is worse without DeForest Buckner, meaning this unit is starting off 2020 worse than it did when 2019 kicked off.
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Still, it’s the deepest and strongest unit on San Francisco’s roster.
To mitigate Buckner’s loss, the 49ers selected South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at No. 14 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. While it’s premature to assume he’ll pick up exactly where Buckner left off, the rookie is in arguably the best possible situation to be in when it comes to acclimating to life at the NFL level. He’ll be surrounded by top-level talent, including the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, EDGE Nick Bosa.
The Niners are still capable of rotating in former first-round picks off the bench, and the crop of Kinlaw, Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford should form a threatening pass-rushing foursome.
Additionally, nose tackle D.J. Jones flashed his own pass-rushing abilities in an abbreviated season last year. He’s not just a run stopper.
The deeper portions of the D-line depth chart may be a bit questionable. But with so much talent up top, it’s impossible to suggest any other position is better equipped to handle this upcoming season than this unit.