The NFL draft brings much anticipation as fans await the pick for their favorite NFL team. In recent years the San Francisco faithful have heard the same tune on draft night. The 49ers since 2013 have used 6 of their first 7 round draft picks on the defensive side of the ball. The team is hoping these picks will be ready to make a difference on the field 2017. This will be vital if the 49ers plan to be competitive as they look to improve on their 2016 defensive woes. According to ESPN.com, the 49ers, team defense ranked last in the league. This included giving up a league high 480 pts. in 2016.
How the 49ers D stacks up
The 49ers think switching 2014 first round selection Jimmie Ward back to his normal position he played while at Northern Illinois (Free Safety), and playing 2013 first round pick Eric Reid closer to the line could pay huge dividends. As a result, the first year Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh looks to play more of a Seattle Seahawks type aggressive defense this upcoming year. Fans are familiar with the Legion of Boom defense in the Northwest.
The 49ers are also banking on the fact that 2017 first round selection Solomon Thomas will help solidify a pass rush that the defense has been lacking. San Francisco feels up Thomas with recent draftees Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner will cause havoc this upcoming year. Thomas recently has been working with future Hall of Famer Demarcus Ware, and more recently a member of the gold jacket family Warren Sapp in efforts to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
Having a defense that can create turnovers or shortened the field for the offense can only benefit the 49ers offense. Many on the current 49ers roster are learning first-year coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense for the first time. Shanahan has done his best to bring in players he has coached to help ease that process. However like with any new scheme it will take time, and there for sure will struggle. Saleh knows that the 49ers have a goal in site, but knows it will take time. His philosophy is one that not only 49er management, coaches, and players can use, but also fans.
A commitment to consistently execute the details required to compete at my greatest level; with loyalty and conviction.
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