Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers
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Plus, another “affordable” edge rusher.

On Thursday, we went over a potential edge rusher in free agency who could bolster the San Francisco 49ers pass rush. The defensive line will be a theme, as the Niners value the trenches on this side of the ball more than any position on the team.

Pro Football Focus listed potential landing spots for the top free-agent edge rushers, and the 49ers were paired with two potential options. One was a former top 15 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft:

Davenport could become the latest student of the Kris Kocurek career rehabilitation school and has a similar profile to Arik Armstead if he doesn’t return in 2023, given his size allowing him to line up on the interior. This is an intriguing buy-low on a former first-round pick, something the 49ers love to do along the defensive line.

Top free agent comparison: Takk McKinley, 2021

McKinley is a name that’ll ring a bell for fans.

In 2023, PFF’s true pass-set pass-rush grade for Davenport was 75.7, which was eight points higher than McKinley’s. Also, his pass-rush win rate was 15.5 percent. For reference, Chase Young scored 72.7 and 14.7 percent in the same categories.

There’s nothing Kocurek loves more than a reclamation project. Davenport had a lengthy injury history coming into the 2023 season, and he didn’t make it to the second half of the year. A high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 4 cut his season short. He missed Week’s 1 and 3, too. During the previous four seasons, Davenport has only appeared in more than 11 games once. Plus, he’s fresh off a “prove it” contract that was north of $13 million.

That’s not the kind of player you want to invest in.

The next player faced off against the Niners in the NFC Championship:


Okwara was very effective down the stretch in 2023 once he finally got healthy. He could bring some juice as a designated pass rusher. San Francisco may not be able to spend a ton, but value players like Okwara make a ton of sense.

Okwara only played 12 of the 66 snaps in the NFC Championship. He did not register a pressure and had a 45.5 PFF grade. That doesn’t exactly instill confidence.

Clelin Ferrell and Young are unrestricted free agents. The 49ers will need to add depth, but we listed Davenport’s injury history, and Okwara missed the first four games of the season due to an arm injury he suffered in the preseason.

Okwara played 34, 41, and 38 snaps in the three games before the NFC Championship game, but that was the most he had played since Week 5. So, while both players would be affordable, they’d be unreliable and not necessarily an upgrade.

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