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The 49ers have added some depth to their defensive end ranks, a position group which was undeniably thin. After evaluating Ezekiel Ansah and Dion Jordan, both the fifth and third overall picks from the 2013 NFL Draft, respectively, the 49ers opted for Jordan, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, discernibly because Ansah’s shoulder prevented him from passing his medical with the team.
Free agent Ziggy Ansah was also in SF and he was passed on his physical by their docs, I’m told. After a difficult year with his shoulder never quite right, he’s now up to 280 pounds and in a good place. https://t.co/xQyuoCJmxq
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 5, 2020
The signing is no surprise given the issues the 49ers had last year with defensive end injuries. Dee Ford played in just 11 regular season games last year with quad/knee tendinitis and Ronald Blair III was his reliable backup before tearing his ACL against the Baltimore Ravens during a tackle on Lamar Jackson. Damontre Moore replaced Blair well before fracturing his forearm two games later.
Arik Armstead pushes outside to play on the end, but that left the 49ers with essentially just Nick Bosa and Armstead. The other options were players like Jeremiah Valoaga, who was poor, and Anthony Zettel.
In signing Jordan, the 49ers now have some depth on the outside. Jordan, who had 2.0 sacks in 7 games with the Raiders last year, is likely to compete with Kerry Hyder, another potential reclamation project who has experience with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, for the final EDGE spot.