49ers.com's training camp positional previews continue with a look at the defensive linemen on the roster. San Francisco added to the position group by using back-to-back first-round draft picks on prized prospects from Oregon. Both 6-foot-7 players will be reunited with Chip Kelly, the man that recruited them to Eugene.
Arik Armstead, Glenn Dorsey, Garrett Celek, Quinton Dial, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Mike Purcell, Kaleb Ramsey, Garrison Smith, Ian Williams.Newcomers:
Ronald Blair III (Draft, Fifth Round, Appalachian State), DeForest Buckner (Draft, First Round, Oregon), Demetrius Cherry (Undrafted Free Agent, Arizona State), Darren Lake (Undrafted Free Agent, Alabama).What we know:
Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil has been outspoken about wanting to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks. So it makes a ton of sense that the 49ers picked up Buckner with the seventh overall selection in this year's draft and locked up Dial to a three-year contract extension in May. Buckner's selection will reunite him with Armstead, a close friend and former teammate on the Ducks. The trio of Dial, Armstead and Buckner gives San Francisco a plethora of long-armed defensive linemen who can occupy multiple blockers to stuff running lanes and rush the passer on any given play.
At nose tackle, Ian Williams was re-signed to a one-year contract in March , but he missed offseason work due to injury. Mike Purcell filled in nicely when he stepped in for Williams with the first-team defense along with Dial and Armstead. Like Williams, Dorsey missed the offseason. The veteran defensive lineman suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 11 of the 2015 regular season. The return dates for Williams and Dorsey are still unknown.What we'll find out:
Who stands out as a reserve.
From Quinton Dial to Arik Armstead, check out the 73 best photos of 49ers DL from the spring.
San Francisco is fairly set atop the d-line depth chart, but players like Buckner, Jerod-Eddie, Blair, Ramsey, Smith, Cherry and Lake have a chance to turn heads, earn roster spots and playing time with their performances in camp. The 49ers want to utilize a defensive line rotation under position coach Jerry Azzinaro. This means that anyone who dresses as one of the 46 active players on gameday needs to be ready to play.
We'll also get a better sense of where Carradine will be playing in 2016. The second-round pick in 2014 has played primarily as a defensive tackle in San Francisco's 3-4 scheme. However, Carradine slimmed down cand has been practicing with outside linebackers this offseason. Carradine has the ability to rush the passer as an interior d-lineman in sub packages. Will he stay with the big boys up front, or will he move to the edge and add depth to the team's pass-rushing group?Quote of the offseason:
"I think both DeForest and Arik have done a really nice job. They are obviously very comfortable with Jerry (Azzinaro). Azz has coached them, so they have an understanding of how he works and what he's trying to do. Anything that we have here that was different than when they were in Oregon, and there's a lot, because we've got a lot of other pieces to it, Azz can bridge that gap. 'We did it this way, we're moving to this, we called it like this, but now we are calling it like this.' It helps that he's got that familiarity with those guys." Kelly on how the Oregon linemen will thrive in the 49ers defensive scheme.