The Senior Bowl is rapidly approaching and little-known players will become the talk of the NFL following a good week in Mobile, Alabama. The 49ers won’t be coaching, but there’s no doubt they’ll have plenty of scouts on hand to dissect every aspect of the available prospects for the upcoming NFL draft.

We recently listed five offensive players for the 49ers to watch. Coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense appears to be going the right direction with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. Meanwhile, Robert Saleh’s defense improved drastically in 2017, but has obvious holes at pass rusher and cornerback.

With practices less than a week away, let’s look at five defensive prospects Shanahan and general manager John Lynch should watch closely.

Marcus Davenport | DE | UT San Antonio

Veteran pass rusher Elvis Dumervil led the 49ers with 6.5 sacks in 2017. The signing looks like a wise move from Lynch’s first offseason, but the need to upgrade and infuse talent is clear. Dumervil is a situational player this late in his career and isn’t a long-term answer as the team’s premiere pass-rushing position, LEO.

(Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

Davenport’s name is going to gain steam over the next couple of months–and for good reason. Davenport (6-7, 255) has the size and length of a first-round pick. He played at University of Texas-San Antonio and will come with concerns about the level of competition he faced. A strong week in Mobile will have Davenport’s name buzzing as a potential option for teams with a need for pass-rushing help.

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