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49ers trying to find best use for Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead – San Francisco 49ers Blog

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan went about recruiting likely additions to his coaching employees, he supplied most of the normal matters that can be observed in a coaching contract. Shanahan also threw out one particular further carrot: the prospect to stay away from signing up for the existing employees in coaching the Senior Bowl in Cell, Alabama.

“That was section of my recruiting for them,” Shanahan claimed, laughing. “I threw that out there right before they claimed yes. If they’d have claimed yes, I would have in no way thrown that out there. I threw it out swift.”

Jokes aside, Shanahan had a lot more urgent issues in head when he explained to new defensive line coach Kris Kocurek that he failed to have to go to Cell. Specifically, he preferred Kocurek to dive appropriate into his new career by looking at and evaluating the players he is about to coach for the very first time.

As the 49ers head into cost-free company and the NFL draft, it is really no key they could use move-hurrying assist. Specially, the Niners would like to include a difference-building edge rusher to enhance what they have at the other places along the front four.

But right before the Niners can determine out how likely cost-free-agent signees or draftees may possibly healthy, they should very first have a far better understanding of how most effective to use the players presently in place. For a workforce that has used three of its earlier four top rated picks on defensive linemen, it is really essential to recognize the existing players, what their upside may possibly be and how Kocurek envisions working with them.

That understanding will go a extended way in shaping how the Niners tactic cost-free company and the draft. At the top rated of the record of questions Kocurek & Co. should response: Was Solomon Thomas’ late-period advancement just after taking part in a lot more within a harbinger of matters to arrive and exactly where does he healthy relocating forward?

“I know that’s going to be the major problem,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh claimed. “Kris Kocurek is finding out him, and we are going to sit down I want his ideas impartial, so I’m not going to place just about anything out there appropriate now. He type of appreciates what we did. He appreciates what we did past year, and he appreciates what our ideas are to begin with. But we are going to have him research, and we all want to see what he claims and how he sights him.”

Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has struggled in his very first two seasons. He has bounced about numerous positions along the defensive line, and he concluded past period with just 31 tackles and a sack, even though he appeared to uncover some traction late in the period when he at last bumped within on a a lot more reliable foundation.

On the area, basically relocating Thomas within from possibly conclusion location would be an straightforward alternative, but it is really not that uncomplicated. 3-strategy defensive deal with DeForest Buckner is one particular of the team’s most effective players, and Saleh is understandably hesitant to shift him from that location.

That has restricted Thomas to relocating within in obvious passing situations even though doing work on the outside the house on early downs. Complicating matters further more is defensive conclusion Arik Armstead, who was the team’s most important “major” conclusion in 2018. Armstead had his most effective and healthiest NFL period, specially in opposition to the operate. He concluded with 48 tackles and three sacks even though setting up all 16 video games for the very first time in his job.

The 49ers also kicked Armstead within to the nose deal with location on event, lining him up subsequent to Buckner in order to deliver stress up the center. Underneath the fifth-year solution, Armstead is thanks to depend about $9 million in opposition to the 2019 income cap. That is a hefty rate supplied Armstead’s injury background and creation.

“We’re doing work by that like a large amount of other issues,” general supervisor John Lynch claimed. “What I can say is Arik played some seriously good football for us. We have been excited about the way he played, specially at the conclusion of past year. I feel, significantly like [Thomas], he type of observed a place he was cozy taking part in and seriously contributed at a higher stage for us.”

San Francisco presently has parted strategies with nose deal with Earl Mitchell this offseason. D.J. Jones is the obvious alternative for Mitchell, but the Niners also could test some other configurations that would see Armstead and Thomas basically sharing the major conclusion and nose deal with places, based on down and length.

Once the 49ers have a far better strategy of exactly where they want Thomas and Armstead, they can go about figuring out which additions make the most sense. There is certainly small doubt that a “Leo” defensive conclusion will be a will need, but what if, for example, Alabama defensive deal with Quinnen Williams is clearly the most effective player available when the Niners pick at No. 2?

It can be tricky to think about the Niners would draft Williams, considering that his most effective position is the one particular occupied by Buckner. But could Williams line up subsequent to Buckner within, giving the 49ers with a dominant inside rush? If so, what becomes of Armstead and/or Thomas? The trickle-down influence is actual.

For now, you can find only one particular thing the 49ers feel to know for certain when it arrives to the defensive line: Buckner is entrenched as the 3-strategy defensive deal with.

“I feel DeFo could participate in all positions, but DeFo is an All-Professional 3-strategy and eliminating him from that 3-strategy location, [the other player] would have to be damn good,” Saleh claimed. “You can get a good 3-strategy and shift him about to 5 or nose, he is nevertheless going to be seriously good but he is not going to be as good, so it is really two places [changed]. But Buck is phenomenal. He’s one particular of the most effective 3-techniques in football, so we are hoping not to mess that up.”

The subsequent action? Earning anything about Buckner far better.

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