This year’s NFL draft could go down as one of the deepest ever for defensive tackles.
From Daquan Jones, to Will Sutton and Louis Nix, the class of 2014 is loaded with big-bodied, agile space eaters who can clog running lanes, shed blocks and command double teams. Many of whom could be classified as pass rushers — a unicorn-like distinction.
cover32’s Buck Stanton had the tough task of ranking the top 10 incoming rookie defensive tackles this week. Since this is a 49ers blog site, let’s consider what one could do for San Francisco.
The 49ers were in a good situation at nose guard last year with Ian Williams, Glenn Dorsey and Quinton Dial. That’s a deep group, and the 49ers needed every bit of that depth in 2013 after Williams fractured an ankle in Week 2.
From the moment he beat out Dorsey for the starting job, the 6-foot-1, 305-pound Williams established himself as a bona fide up-and-comer. The 49ers should be excited about him going forward.
As an underperforming high-round draft pick, Dorsey had to feel even more disappointed when Williams got the nod over him last summer. Rather than mope, Dorsey looked like he was playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2013, perhaps rejuvenated to start fresh with a new team after five disappointing seasons in Kansas City. The 6-foot-1, 297-pound Dorsey looked more at home in the 49ers’ base 3-4 than he did in the Chiefs’ 4-3.
Dial had to step in several times in 2013 and held his own despite being more of a hybrid defensive lineman than a true nose guard. As a second-year pro at age 23, Dial has plenty of time to develop.
The 49ers won’t be pressed to make any changes at nose guard for at least another season. Dorsey is signed through 2014, while Williams is under contract until 2016, and Dial 2017.
Should the 49ers want to use Dial as more of a edge rusher, they might want to cash in on a defensive tackle in May. This is the draft to do it.
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