The 49ers' defensive line has been ravaged by injuries this season. Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are out for year with knee injuries, Ronald Blair still is rehabbing a torn ACL and Dee Ford only has played one game due to neck and back issues.
One positive surprise has been Kerry Hyder Jr. The sixth-year pro leads the 49ers in sacks (3.5), QB hits (10) and tackles for loss (4). He also leads 49ers defensive linemen in tackles with 20.
Arik Armstead certainly has taken notice of Hyder in his first season with the 49ers, too.
"Kerry's been playing amazing," Armstead said Wednesday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show. "He's a guy that has some history with our coach -- coach Kocurek -- and he's been in multiple places where Kris has been. He's a guy that knows the system and plays extremely hard and he's extremely talented.
"People will sleep on him but he's an amazing player, and I think he's waking up some people this year and showing people what he can."
Kocurek, the 49ers' defensive line coach, served as Hyder's coach for two seasons on the Detroit Lions. Hyder led Detroit with eight sacks in 2016, but then missed the entire 2017 season after tearing his Achilles. He played just seven games in 2018 and only had one sack.
Hyder signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys before last season, but again only recorded one sack. The 49ers then signed him to a one-year deal this past March and it has been an absolute steal.
In a season where the 49ers are just 2-3 and haven't found many positives, Hyder has been a needed diamond in the rough.