49ers Defensive Line (11)
EDGE Nick Bosa
DT Arik Armstead
DT Javon Kinlaw
EDGE Samson Ebukam
EDGE Drake Jackson
DT Hassan Ridgeway
DT Kevin Givens
EDGE Kemoko Turay
DE Kerry Hyder, Jr.
EDGE Charles Omenihu
DL Robert Nkemdiche
PS: DT Tomasi Laulile, DE Alex Barrett
The defensive line is San Francisco’s deepest position and therefore the most difficult to predict exactly how it’ll all shake out in the end.
We do know the Niners will keep the most players at this position, probably into double-digits, and that there are several players who are locked into the roster. Those names are probably obvious to everyone: edge rushers Nick Bosa, Drake Jackson, and Samson Ebukam and defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw, the latter of whom is looking to have a breakout year coming off an injury-plagued 2021.
From there, plenty of names stand out based on strong training camps so far, including defensive tackle Kevin Givens and EDGEs Kemoko Turay and Charles Omenihu.
Free-agent signing Hassan Ridgeway has a good opportunity, along with Givens, to make up for now-Bronco D.J. Jones’ production, especially since Maurice Hurst has suffered yet another season-ending injury in camp. While the return of Kerry Hyder is an exciting one for 49ers fans who are interested to see what he can do when he’s not the team’s primary pass-rusher.
Of great interest is newly signed defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, a former first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2016, who is looking to restart his career with Kris Kocurek, the 49ers’ well-respected defensive line coach. He’ll have plenty of chances to show he can be part of this rotation of solid-to-great players.
Alex Barrett, who has been good when called upon in the past, and defensive tackle Tomasi Laulile could see their names called to the practice squad, at least for now.