4 biggest questions 49ers have after 2021 OTAs
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: How is the 49ers’ pass rush going to formulate?
The answer would be much clearer if EDGEs Nick Bosa and Dee Ford were healthy and participating in OTAs.
But Bosa, still recovering from a 2020 ACL tear, only managed some modest rehab workouts, while Ford headed back to his home after spending much of the offseason working his way back from a serious back injury suffered last year.
Bosa is expected back by training camp, although Ford’s status remains unclear.
As a result, the 49ers had to give plenty of reps to some of the supplementary outside pass-rushers, such as Samson Ebukam, Jordan Willis and Arden Key.
Again, it’s important to note there’s no tackling or heavy physical contact during padless OTA sessions, so it’s tough to gauge just how effective the Niners’ pass rush was during these practices. Considering how big a strength it was back in 2019 when both Bosa and Ford were healthy, though, it’s going to be vital for San Francisco to figure out a new formula in the wake of losing both players early last year and subsequently struggling in this department.
Perhaps someone like Ebukam stands out, but the 49ers aren’t yet clear just how effective this too-important defensive unit will be this season.