San Franciso has a type.
With the 61st pick in the NFL Draft, the 49ers selected defensive end Drake Jackson, from USC. Jackson is a speed rusher who will complement Nick Bosa in the 49ers’ pass rush.
A good overall athlete, Jackson combines excellent short-area quickness with 4.5 speed and has several pass rush moves at his disposal to give opposing quarterbacks fits.
Jackson produced on a bad USC team, recording six sacks and 17 hits a season ago.
A little raw, Jackson relied on his athleticism at times and will need to work on his technique. San Francisco defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has worked wonders in the past and has a new ball of clay to mold.
Going with a defensive end here is a curious choice. San Francisco is already deep along the defensive line with 11 players capable of making NFL rosters, and the 49ers usually keep only 10.
Samson Ebukam has a cap hit of $8.25 million for 2022, and San Francisco can save $6.5 million by releasing the veteran. In addition, the 49ers signed former Colts pass rusher Kemoko Turay to a $1.7 million contract earlier this month.
This move likely also signals the 49ers will keep Arik Armstead inside exclusively, and Armstead has always been at his best working against interior offensive linemen.
After moving to the inside in the second half of last season, Armstead recorded five of his six sacks and nine of his eleven quarterback hits.
San Francisco still has needs along the interior of the offensive line, safety, and cornerback to address.