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What will the role of the newest Niners’ be? Let’s talk about it.

Before the NFL draft, the 49ers filled certain positions in free agency. The team signed defensive end Leonard Floyd, Yetur Gross-Matos, backup quarterback Josh Dobbs, and Isaac Yiadom to man the outside corner with Charvarius Ward.

Floyd is an established veteran, but what can 49ers fans expect from all four additions?

Leonard Floyd

The former number nine overall pick heads into his ninth year in the NFL looking for his second Super Bowl ring. After spending his first four years with the Bears, Floyd moved to LA, where he totaled 32 sacks in three seasons for the Rams.

Last season in Buffalo, Floyd transitioned from every down lineman to a situational pass rusher. His efficiency increased as he racked up 12 sacks on 389 pass-rushing snaps. 49ers fans can expect the same role for Floyd as they look to duplicate 2019’s formula of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford on passing downs.

Yetur Gross-Matos

Gross-Matos’s addition feels like a Kris Kocurek special. In Carolina, Gross-Matos showed versatility rushing as an edge defender and defensive tackle. You can bet the 49ers identified his skill set and are betting on maximizing it under Kocurek.

Last season was a career year for Gross-Matos, with five sacks in 192 pass-rushing snaps. This move feels very much like Charles Omenihu for the 49ers. The hope is they can get a similar return on investment.

Josh Dobbs

The “passtronaut” has landed in Santa Clara. Following a season where Dobbs filled in at quarterback in Arizona and Minnesota with varying degrees of success, Dobbs slots in perfectly for the 49ers as a QB2 candidate.

Brandon Allen is still in the mix, but given Dobbs’s ability to pick up playbooks and skillset with his legs, it’s hard to bet against Dobbs winning the backup job. If Dobbs had to fill in for any reason, the 49ers could craft a total running game around Dobbs and this rushing attack.

Isaac Yiadom

Yiadom’s addition is the most intriguing. On the one hand, Yiadom has three seasons with over 300 coverage snaps. On the other hand, only last season can be counted as a truly effective one. In New Orleans, Yiadom turned in his finest season as a cover corner and was recognized by PFF with an 81.1 overall defensive grade, 74.7 run defense grade, and an 80.4 coverage grade.

The 49ers hope Yiadom can be an answer at the outside corner to strengthen the back end. With a new defensive coordinator with secondary experience, this could be the under-the-radar move that moves the needle for the secondary.

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