SF 49ers: 4 pass-rushers who must perform better with Nick Bosa out

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers congratulates Nick Bosa #97 (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers congratulates Nick Bosa #97 (Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images) /
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Dee Ford, SF 49ers
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 1: SF 49ers EDGE Dee Ford

A season-plus after San Francisco traded for former Kansas City Chiefs EDGE Dee Ford by sending away a second-round draft pick in 2019, it’s looking as if John Lynch is getting the worse end of the deal.

Ford was regularly banged up for most of 2019, playing in 11 regular-season games but only seeing just over 22 percent of defensive snaps last year. While he managed 6.5 sacks over that stretch, it was pretty clear the SF 49ers weren’t getting as much out of Ford as they’d hoped.

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That put a great amount of pressure for Ford to deliver alongside Nick Bosa this season. But Ford, who missed Week 2 with a neck injury, hasn’t alleviated any concerns about his availability.

If there was ever a time for Ford to reward the Niners for their faith in him, it’s now.

With Bosa out, Ford now becomes San Francisco’s best pure pass-rusher. The 49ers will probably try returning Ford back to the lineup slowly at first, especially considering they’re playing the winless New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles in Weeks 2 and 3 coming up. But when some of the more-elite teams are on the calendar, Ford’s presence needs to be felt.

It’s not likely Ford gets back to his career high of 13 sacks during his lone Pro Bowl season with the Chiefs back in 2018. But providing some pass-rushing prowess anywhere close to the realm of that year, 2016 or even last season would go a long way in helping the Niners absorb Bosa’s absence.

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Anything less would equate to Ford’s pickup being little more than a disappointment.