The 2019 49ers' defense was an absolute wrecking ball, helping lead the 49ers to an NFC title and a berth in Super Bowl LIV.
Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford formed a vaunted front four that terrorized opposing quarterbacks, notching 48 sacks in the regular season. The pressure applied up-front also allowed the 49ers to have the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL.
While the 49ers hope a healthy Bosa can help make the 2021 unit as feared as the 2019 version, there is a team in the AFC who thinks they could be the next version of the 2019 49ers. At least, Jadeveon Clowney believes to.
“A rotational group that guys can get in, backups can come in and play just as good as the 1s, even better,” Clowney said of the Cleveland Browns' defensive line, via Pro Football Talk. “Any time you’ve got that going on, it’s a good group. I’m looking forward to it. It reminds me of San Fran a couple years ago that went to the Super Bowl with that defense. I’m thinking we can do that up front.”
The Browns do figure to have one of the best defenses in the AFC this coming season.
Clowney is joined on the defensive line by Myles Garrett, Takk McKinley, Malik Jackson and Andrew Billings. Cleveland also improved its linebacking unit with the selection of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round. The Browns' secondary, which is spearheaded by cornerback Denzel Ward and safety John Johnson, could be the best in the league if it can remain healthy.
A lot is expected of the Browns this season after they were knocked off by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round last season.
If Clowney's claim holds true, the Browns might just be able to take down Patrick Mahomes and the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs come playoff time and punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI.
And who knows, perhaps Bosa, Armstead and the 49ers' defense Clowney sees so much of in the Browns will be there waiting for them.