Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers knew that they needed to beef up their defense. They were able to do just that with the No. 7 overall pick by selecting Oregon Ducks defensive end DeForest Buckner. He was one of the top impact players in the draft and the 49ers are going to be very happy with their pick.
Buckner stands in at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds and is going to be very difficult for any opposing offensive lineman to match up against. He will give the 49ers many different options on the defensive side of the football and will help with the pass rush, while also making an impact against the run.
Last season with the Ducks, Buckner finished the year with 83 total tackles to go along with 10.5 sacks and five defensed passes. He will have an opportunity to make an impact against the pass like J.J. Watt has done with the Houston Texans by batting passes down at the line of scrimmage.
Simply looking at Buckner, it is obvious that he has an NFL-ready body. He is going to be given a large role immediately, but that won’t be an issue for him. Buckner is going to be good from the start and the 49ers’ fan base is going to love what they see out of him in 2016.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network left some comments about Buckner and believes that he is a great fit within the 49ers’ defense.
“Buckner reminds of the Cardinals’ Calais Campbell. He has power and length. Ideally, he’s a five-technique, which is the defense that San Francisco plays.”
San Francisco is heading into a new era of football under head coach Chip Kelly. Jim Tomsula was fired after just one season of being the 49ers’ head coach, which was a bit of a shock. It became obvious that the 49ers were looking to bring in a big name and big money head coach immediately.
Kelly is not known as a defensive head coach, which means that defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil will have the task of building Buckner in the coming seasons. O’Neil has to be ecstatic to have a player with the skills set that Buckner brings to the table. Buckner will likely make O’Neil’s job much easier and will provide energy and a spark to the defensive line.
There isn’t much of a chance that the 49ers will get back into serious playoff contention in 2016. They still have a lot of holes to fill after adding Buckner and there aren’t enough players to fill all of them. Playing in the NFC West doesn’t make things easier on the 49ers either.
That being said, adding Buckner to the roster will be a big step to getting back into championship contention in the future.
Plenty of teams are jealous about the 49ers’ addition of Buckner. He is the type of physical presence on the defensive line that can take a defense to the next level. Buckner has the work ethic to become a superstar for the 49ers and it will be exciting to watch him develop on the field throughout his rookie year.
Expect to see Buckner end up being a massive addition for the 49ers and to see him improve into the type of player that can change a franchise. San Francisco can’t afford for him to end up being a bust and he won’t disappoint his new team.
What do you think of DeForest Buckner heading to the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft? Do you think he will end up being a franchise-changing addition for the 49ers? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Ryan Kang]