No. 2: Arik Armstead moving permanently inside will help Drake Jackson
For six seasons, Arik Armstead struggled to find consistency on the outside. At 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, Armstead is a big, physical presence, but all that size means nothing if he isn’t used right.
Midway through last season, DeMeco Ryans moved Armstead to the inside. Following that change, the 49ers defense was the best in the league against the run. Make no mistake, Armstead is a force anywhere he lines up. Season after season, he continues to ascend playing as an end as well.
However, in terms of making an impact, he thrives on the interior. His gameplay and numbers are profoundly different. Ask anyone who has ever lined up against him on the inside.
If the 49ers want Armstead’s absolute best moving forward then they’ll make sure that he lines up on the inside for the remainder of his career. Having Drake Jackson utilize the other end position will free up Armstead to do just that.
In turn, Armstead will help Jackson out by drawing a lot of the attention that otherwise might go the rookie’s way, freeing up Jackson for much more favorable one-on-one matchups.