Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

How signing Dee Ford changes 49ers’ plans in 2019 NFL Draft

How signing Dee Ford changes 49ers’ plans in 2019 NFL Draft

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly agreed on a trade that sends Dee Ford to San Francisco.

The 49ers entered the offseason looking for a premium edge rusher. He is their best edge rusher.

Breer reported the Chiefs would receive a 2020 second-round pick. In five seasons with Kansas City, Ford has recorded 103 total tackles and 30.5 sacks.

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But because of the Chiefs' cap constraints, they agreed to move Ford for far less, presenting the Niners a golden opportunity to transform their biggest weakness to a potential strength in the span of about six weeks. Last year, interior lineman DeForest Buckner became the first Niner to reach double-digit sacks since Smith in 2012, but Shanahan and Lynch have been searching for the outside complement to help a team that has lost 11 one-possession games over the past two seasons turn that tide. This deal will hinge on the 49ers' ability to find a new contract for Ford. Kansas City remained open to trading Ford as the team shifts from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense.

There's been some talk about Ford's fit in San Francisco's scheme.

The franchise tag for an outside linebacker next season is just over $15.4 million. It's a 4-3 scheme that lines up like a 3-4 in base downs, with five men along the line of scrimmage and two inside linebackers off the ball. The 49ers don't have "Leo" or "Sam" monikers for defensive ends in those groupings. It remains likely they target the position with their first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft with Ohio State's Nick Bosa and Kentucky's Josh Allen as the favored candidates. "He's had some production and if he is here with us, I'll be excited to have him and be excited to work with him".

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