This item is part of a series on the positions the 49ers will look to fill in the upcoming draft and the players that are the best fits at those spots. Today’s position:
Defensive tackle or three technique
Description: This player lines up on the weak side of the formation and is responsible for the B gap (between the guard and tackle). Because of his alignment on the guard’s outside shoulder, the three technique doesn’t see very many double teams and therefore has an opportunity to make plays on the ball carrier or quarterback. In an increasingly pass-centric NFL, some teams have begun placing greater value on this position because, being essentially in the quarterback’s face, he can be harder to avoid on a pass rush than a player coming off the edge. Quickness is a must for the position, perhaps more so than size. One of the best three technique players in the NFL is the Rams’ Aaron Donald, who is listed as 6-1, 285 pounds.
Who’s there now: The 49ers have penciled in last year’s first-round pick DeForest Buckner at the spot. As a rookie, Buckner tied for the team lead (with Ahmad Brooks) with six sacks but was perhaps most impressive for his stamina: He played more snaps last year than any NFL interior defensive lineman. Chris Jones also could line up here. Arik Armstead also might end up being a good fit.
Need level: 5.0
Perfect fit: Jonathan Allen, Alabama. He was extremely productive and disruptive (16 tackles for loss, 10 1/2 sacks) on the Crimson Tide defense. If the league is moving toward Aaron-Donald-like defensive tackles, Allen is part of that mold. Stanford’s Solomon Thomas lined up at this spot a lot with the Cardinal. At 272 pounds, he is lighter than even Donald and the concern is that he will not be able to get much bigger (which is why he might be a better fit at the five technique spot). Others: Caleb Brantley, Florida; Carlos Watkins, Clemson.
Left defensive end