49ers position battle to watch: Edge rusher
Players in the fray: Drake Jackson, Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Alex Barrett, Robert Beal Jr.
The Niners desperately needed a No. 2 pass-rusher to pair with the All-Pro, Nick Bosa, who led the league with 19.5 sacks a season ago despite no one else on San Francisco’s roster having more than five.
San Francisco lost two of those complementary pass-rushers via free agency, Charles Omenihu and Samson Ebukam. And despite inking underachieving edge rushers in Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of work left to be done here.
Adding former Georgia EDGE Robert Beal Jr. in Round 5 was enticing. Beal is also a project whose stats weren’t overly impressive with the Bulldogs in 2022, yet he has the physical makeup of someone who can be a top-end pass-rusher if developed correctly.
The 49ers hope this to be the case under defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.
However, should that happen well enough, what would it mean for second-year pro Drake Jackson, who fell out of favor due to a lack of conditioning down the stretch last season?