Skip to main content

Defensive lineman Javon Hargrave was a newcomer to the San Francisco 49ers in 2023 after signing with the team in free agency, and he's made an immediate impact on the interior of the 49ers D-line.

"We knew we had to go get a difference maker," president of football operations and general manager John Lynch said following the 2023 free agency period. "And that was Javon Hargrave."

Keep reading to learn more about Hargrave:

Road to the NFL

Hargrave attended South Carolina State University where he became an All-American defensive lineman and a two-time HBCU Defensive Player of the Year. While playing for South Carolina State, Hargrave tied an FCS record with 6.0 sacks in a 20-14 win over Bethune-Cookman in 2014.

At the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, Hargrave ran a 4.93 in the 40-yard dash, recorded a vertical jump of 34.5 inches, a broad jump of 109 inches and completed 29 bench press reps of 225 pounds. He went on to be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (89th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.


After recording his first collegiate sack, Hargrave was given the nickname of the "Gravedigger" from former South Carolina State defensive coordinator Mike Adams.

"When I first got to (South Carolina State), my friends called me Grave because of my last name," Hargrave said. "In my first year, on my first sack, I smacked the quarterback. I knocked him back a few yards. When I got back to the sideline, my defensive coordinator called me 'Gravedigger.' It was pretty dope to me. It stuck."

Loving The Bay

In the 2023 season, Hargrave embarked on a new chapter in his career, marking his first year on the west coast. The defensive lineman made headlines after a free agency move that sent him from Philadelphia to San Francisco, and Hargrave quickly grew to love The Bay.

"I love the weather," Hargrave said on DL Arik Armstead's "Third and Long" podcast. "I love waking up and seeing the sun a lot. Coming from Philly and Pittsburgh, it was very cloudy a lot of days, and a lot of snow. There's a lot of snow where I'm from. So, just being out here and getting to feel that weather every day, I don't have to start my car early, I'm wearing shorts in November and December. That's the No. 1 thing. It's just a vibe.

"And I love football here. Just the culture... Winning – that's been a big part of me enjoying The Bay."

Next-Level Student Athlete

Hargrave was a two-sport athlete in high school, and his first love was basketball.

At North Rowan High School, Hargrave was named the conference player of the year in basketball as a junior and helped lead his school to the Division I state title as a senior.

"I scored 903 points in basketball," Hargrave said. "I also was player of the year in high school, in basketball and football."

Pro Bowler

Hargrave was named to his second-career Pro Bowl following the 2023 regular season.

He earned his first Pro Bowl honor after notching the second-most pressures (58, tied), third-most quarterback hits (18, tied) and sixth-most sacks (7.5) among all NFL defensive tackles in 2021. This year, after recording 44 tackles (eight tackles for loss), 7.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and one pass defended, Hargrave has earned his second-career Pro Bowl selection.

"We think of him as one of the best interior guys in the league, especially rushing the passer," defensive lineman Nick Bosa said.

back to top

Related Content