San Francisco 49ers: 4 free agents to steal from AFC South

Defensive end Justin Houston #50 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Defensive end Justin Houston #50 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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Dawuane Smoot, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dawuane Smoot (94) Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

52. . EDGE. Jacksonville Jaguars. Dawuane Smoot. 3. player

49ers Free-Agent Target No. 3: EDGE Dawuane Smoot

The 49ers need complementary pass-rushing help in 2021 to support EDGE Nick Bosa. With fellow EDGE Dee Ford’s immediate future far from certain, stemming from a nearly year-long absence in 2020 because of a back injury, along with EDGE Kerry Hyder hitting free agency after a career-best 8.5 sacks, it’s going to be vital for John Lynch to bulk up his stock of pass-rushers however possible.

There are cheaper options in the NFL Draft, yes, but it’s not an overly talented or safe edge-rushing class in 2021. Yet the free-agent market is laden with quality pass-rushers.

Unfortunately, the majority of them will want to get paid accordingly. Pass-rushers aren’t cheap.

One player who might be cheaper than the rest, though, is Jaguars EDGE Dawuane Smoot, who recorded a combined 11.5 sacks the last two seasons while adding 24 quarterback hits during that span.

At 6-foot-3 and 264 pounds, he’s a bit of a tweener. Yet the Jags ran a 4-3 defense not unlike what the Niners will operate, meaning a would-be Smoot addition should be relatively seamless from a transitional standpoint.

Over the Cap assigned Smoot a 2020 contract valuation of just over $5 million, which isn’t exactly cheap but considerably less than what almost all other first- and second-level pass-rushers would get on the open market.