Keep an eye on these 49ers players for Week 2 vs. Rams

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Drake Jackson, Kenny Pickett
San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Storyline No. 3: Can Drake Jackson back up his breakout game?

While all the headlines before the game were on EDGE Nick Bosa and his return to the team following his contract extension, it was the man bookending the other end of the defensive line that got the attention afterward as second-year EDGE Drake Jackson had his potential breakout game with three sacks.

With a star-studded defensive line headlining a star-studded defense, Jackson was the one unknown as he flashed some potential but ended up being a healthy scratch. Summer in an NFL strength and conditioning program looks to have agreed with him, however, given he equaled his entire 2022 sack total in one game.

The 49ers have always been a believer in recent years in a stout defensive line handling the pass-rushing so the other seven defenders can go back into coverage, but never could quite get four elite pass-rushers at the same time after former EDGE Dee Ford simply could not get healthy.

Jackson will always have the advantage of Bosa taking the majority of attention from opposing offenses and will have favorable matchups throughout the year. He doesn't need to be a superstar, but getting anything close to or over 10 sacks for the season would be a very healthy return that gives the pass rush an added boost.

All eyes will be on Jackson against the Rams, and whether or not he can show Week 1 isn't a fluke. If he makes big strides in his second season, the 49ers could have the most potent defensive line in the Kyle Shanahan era.