The 49ers are trying to build a dominant defensive line. That was clear when they traded for edge rusher Dee Ford and then handed him a five-year, $87.5 million contract. The same can be said for the decision to draft defensive end Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Both moves should benefit fellow defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who developed into a star last season with 12 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss. Going into his fourth year as a pro, Buckner says he's "very excited."
Plenty of that excitement has to do with playing on the same defensive line as Ford and Bosa.
"He's been a really good addition for us and a really good guy to have around the room," Buckner said Thursday about Ford on KNBR.
Buckner also praised the play of Bosa, who he watched when the newest 49ers rookie played at Ohio State.
"I watched some of his film. He's a great player, I can see why they picked him at No. 2," Buckner said.
Though the draft was less than a month ago, Buckner has already been around Bosa at workouts. Buckner has been impressed with the time the rookie has put in and the way he's interacted with teammates.
"He's a really good dude," Buckner said. "His work ethic is there. If he just puts the work in like the rest of us, he's gonna have a bright future."
Bosa, however, caused controversy with his activity on social media before the 49ers even drafted. His history includes calling former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "a clown" over two years ago for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial and social injustices. In deleted tweets, Bosa also criticized Beyonce’s music as “complete trash” and called Black Panther the “worst Marvel movie.”
It's clear there's a pattern there, one that is against black culture. The 49ers' prized rookie has also "liked" multiple posts in his past on social media with racist connotations and regarding the opposition of immigration. But Buckner says he will not judge Bosa on his past.
"Honestly, none of that really comes up between the guys," Buckner said. "I judge him based on my interactions with him and the past couple of days I've had with him. And he seems like he's been a really good teammate so far. That's what I'm basing my judgments off of from here on out."