49ers hope Charles Omenihu can be trade-deadline gem

Charles Omenihu #94 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Charles Omenihu #94 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The 49ers weren’t going to pull off a Rams-like move for a future Hall of Famer like Von Miller, but the hope is Charles Omenihu becomes a good contributor anyway.

While many a San Francisco 49ers fan was in relative shock in the wake of news the Denver Broncos were shipping off perennial Pro Bowl EDGE Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams, who are essentially going “all in” on the season, Niners general manager John Lynch elected to make his own corresponding move to keep up in the NFC West arms race.

Although San Francisco’s latest pre-NFL trade deadline move won’t generate anywhere near the same kind of headlines.

According to a Tuesday report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 49ers are sending off a late future NFL Draft pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for 24-year-old defensive end Charles Omenihu:

Omenihu, taken by Houston in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Texas, recorded seven sacks over his first two seasons as a pro, also notching seven tackles for a loss and 21 quarterback hits during that two-year span. And while Omenihu hasn’t tallied a sack this season, the hope for the Niners is he can find some footing alongside a much better defensive line that still needs reinforcements.

Why 49ers NFL trade deadline deal for Charles Omenihu makes sense

San Francisco was forced to do some shuffling to its D-line during its Week 8 victory over the Chicago Bears and in the wake of losing second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw to season-ending knee surgery.

Defensive end Arik Armstead primarily moved inside during the game. And with EDGE Dee Ford out with a concussion, reserve pass-rusher Samson Ebukam saw an uptick in snaps on the outside.

Ebukam recorded his first sack with the 49ers. But aside from that splash moment, he’s been a relative disappointment after inking a two-year free-agent deal last offseason.

Simply put, the Niners are still in need of some extra pass-rushing help.

Read More: Plenty of NFL trade deadline deals in 2021 impact 49ers

True, San Francisco also saw the return of reserve EDGE Jordan Willis from the reserve/suspended list in Week 8. And Ford should be expected to return soon, too, although his own injury history and limited use to almost exclusively third-down situations mean someone like Omenihu can fill a void.

While primarily an edge defender, Omenihu has played a number of spots along the Texans’ own D-line in recent years, which should help alleviate the loss of Kinlaw while also giving defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans some flexibility.

And if the 49ers can get even just modest pass-rushing production out of Omenihu, the transaction will be worthwhile.

Omenihu is also still on his rookie contract, which expires in 2023, giving the Niners some hope to turn him into a decent pass-rusher for the next two seasons, too.

Next. Ranking 49ers' top 10 trades in franchise history. dark