49ers position need No. 1: Edge rusher
Yes, the 49ers got an exceptional season from Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa in 2021, him leading the team with an impressive 15.5 sacks.
But the depth behind him was sorely lacking, and it took some defensive line shifts to get other contributors making dents in the sack department, namely moving defensive end Arden Key inside where he eventually finished second on the team behind Bosa with 6.5 sacks.
Key, a free agent, also didn’t generate immediate interest from the Niners in terms of a re-sign deal, and it’s possible San Francisco will seek an upgrade anyway.
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True, the 49ers are going to keep fellow EDGE Dee Ford around another year, restructuring his contract, but Ford’s chronic injury problems point towards him being more of a non-factor than a quality pass-rushing option.
No, the Niners need more. They can’t afford to have Bosa shoulder almost the entire load.
Luckily, the 2022 NFL Draft is chock full of promising pass-rush prospects, and John Lynch would be wise to use at least one of his earlier picks to address this need, thereby finding someone who can complement Bosa and will be around on a cheap rookie deal for a while after Bosa eventually inks what should be a massive contract extension.
All the while keeping San Francisco’s prolific defensive line intact.