The San Francisco 49ers have now used a first round pick on a defensive lineman three years in a row.
Buckner made the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team after recording six sacks and 73 tackles in 2016. Thomas recorded 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this past season as a redshirt junior at Stanford. Armstead is recovering from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss a majority of the year.
The three serve as youthful building blocks that have the potential to be longtime cornerstones on San Francisco’s defense.
Shaw got to know Buckner well during the defensive lineman’s four years at Oregon. In 2015, Buckner posted 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and .5 sacks. His 6-foot-7 frame certainly caught the attention of Stanford’s head coach.
“DeForest’s length is a problem,” Shaw said. “You could have him right where you want him, but when he extends those arms, he can just move you off of his body, and he can get from one gap to another.
“Solomon’s explosion and quickness and tenacity are exciting. I’m excited to watch those two guys grow.”