49ers defensive grades from first half of 2022 NFL season
By Peter Panacy
49ers 1st-half defensive grades: Defensive line
The 49ers have certainly spent plenty of resources trying to make their defensive line both elite and deep, and 2022 was no exception.
In addition to using their first pick in this year’s NFL Draft on USC EDGE Drake Jackson, who already has three sacks and five quarterback hits his rookie season, the Niners shored up the depth by adding veterans like Hassan Ridgeway and Kerry Hyder, both of whom have been tasked with taking on bigger roles in light of injuries to two big-name starters, defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw.
Armstead’s loss to a foot injury in Week 4 has been tough, and San Francisco’s defense began to take a step back once he went down with the setback.
Still, Ridgeway and Hyder have been competent reserves. However, big-name players like EDGE Nick Bosa are the ones garnering the bulk of the attention.
Bosa’s eight sacks through eight weeks are just half a sack away from the NFL lead, and he’s also in the lead for most quarterback hits with 19.
On the whole, San Francisco boasts 26 sacks, which is the second most in the league through eight weeks, and the D-line’s pass-rushing prowess is a big reason why.
There’s still some room for improvement here, but the 49ers’ deepest defensive group still ranks up high.