49ers training camp: Updated bubble watch after opening cuts
By Peter Panacy
49ers Defensive Line
Lock: Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, D.J. Jones, Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw*
Strong Bubble: Kerry Hyder, Ronald Blair III, Kevin Givens
Weak Bubble: Kentavius Street
Long Shot: Darrion Daniels*, Jonathan Kongbo, Jullian Taylor
The 49ers defensive line remains one of the team’s most important and vital assets heading into 2020. And despite having to trade away Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner during the offseason, the Round 1 NFL Draft addition of South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw helps alleviate this to a large extent.
Kinlaw joins a crop studded of former first-round draft picks, and the Niners can still rotate in first rounders with defensive end Solomon Thomas coming off the bench.
Injuries comprise the majority of question marks after that, though. EDGE Kerry Hyder is healthy, as is backup nose tackle Kevin Givens. But Ronald Blair and Jullian Taylor both suffered torn ACL’s in the latter half of 2019. Blair would presumably be further along, since his was in Week 10 last season while Taylor’s was in December. As such, Taylor finds himself a likely candidate to start the year on the physically unable-to-perform (PUP) list where he, Blair and Kentavius Street find themselves now.
Street has yet to make much of an impact after San Francisco used a fourth-round pick on him back in 2018 after he suffered a torn ACL during a pre-draft workout.
Look for former CFL standout Jonathan Kongbo to be a potential practice squad addition.