49ers Robert Saleh 4-3 defense

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh plans to switch the Niners to a 4-3 under/over-hybrid defensive system. Now the 2017 NFL Draft is complete, how will the 49ers roster fit with their new 4-3 base defense?

With the recent increase of multiple-wide receiver sets in the NFL, many analysts have declared the nickel defense the new base defense.

Base-defense usage is surely decreasing, but expect the San Francisco 49ers to line up in their new 4-3 defense — similar to the 4-3 under/over-hybrid defenses, which defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has worked with in the past — more often than the average NFL team.

When Saleh worked for the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars, the teams often kept their base defense on the field against three-wide receiver sets on early downs. The 49ers will likely do the same, thus will need a steady stream of fresh players rotating on the defense. Especially on the defensive line.

Thanks to their early-round selections in recent drafts, the 49ers have a number of talented players to rotate. In his recent article, Niner Noise’s Adam Trovato listed the 12 players who hope to play a part on the 49ers defensive line:

  • Arik Armstead (6’7″, 292 lbs, 23 y/o)
  • Ronald Blair (6’4″, 270 lbs, 24 y/o)
  • Ahmad Brooks (6’3″, 259 lbs, 33 y/o)
  • DeForest Buckner (6’7″, 300 lbs, 23 y/o)
  • Tank Carradine (6’4″, 270 lbs, 27 y/o)
  • Quinton Dial (6’5″, 318 lbs, 26 y/o)
  • Chris Jones (6’1″, 293 lbs, 26 y/o)
  • D.J. Jones (6’1″, 321 lbs, 22 y/o)
  • Aaron Lynch (6’6″, 270 lbs, 24 y/o)
  • Earl Mitchell (6’3″, 310 lbs, 29 y/o)
  • Pita Taumoepenu (6’1″, 245 lbs, 23 y/o)
  • Solomon Thomas (6’3″, 256 lbs, 21 y/o)

Let’s take a look at a few 2016 Jaguars defensive fronts and discuss where the 2017 49ers personnel fit best in their new 4-3 scheme.

About the Author: Chris Wilson

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