There’s not a more important position on the 49ers’ defense than defensive end. They’ve built a defense around getting pressure on the quarterback and forcing him into mistakes that the secondary can clean up. While some teams are building their defenses from back to front, the 49ers have done the opposite.
Since general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017, they’ve used two first-round picks on edge rushers, traded a second-round pick for DE Dee Ford and paid him handsomely, and then this offseason added former Rams edge rusher Samson Ebukam on a two-year contract.
Last year injuries forced the 49ers to turn to reserves as starters, and their defense took a step back because of it. Here’s what they’re working with at the position going into camp: