Lynch says 49ers won't trade away depth on defensive line


If the 49ers are looking to repeat the success they had during their Super Bowl run in 2019, it starts upfront.

Led by Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, the 49ers' defensive line was a force to be reckoned with just two seasons ago. 

After season-long injuries to both Bosa and Ford, plus a trade that sent Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick, Armstead was the lone pass-rusher left from what was one of the league's elite defensive lines. 

With the return of Bosa and Ford this season, a developing Javon Kinlaw, as well as Armstead and a heap of exciting depth, the 49ers' defensive line is reinforced and ready for another dominant season in 2021. 

49ers general manager John Lynch joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Mac" show and discussed the roster's deepest unit. 

With Bosa and Ford recovering from very serious injuries, and Kinlaw missing time during training camp, are there any concerns regarding the health of the defensive line? 

"I have concerns about the health of everyone else on opposing teams when they're playing [us]," Lynch joked.

"This is very reminiscent of (the 2019 defensive line), to me," Lynch said. "We're strong at the front line, and Nick has looked great in his return. [Javon] Kinlaw came back this week in practice and has looked really good."

When a team has exciting depth at a position, other teams will come calling. 

"We're taking a lot of calls because people are interested in some of our depth," Lynch added. "But we're hanging on to it because we want to be a group -- we want to be strong there."

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After an injury-riddled season in 2020, the 49ers are holding on to their depth of the defensive line. Any player can suffer an injury on any given day, and if you're the 49ers, it's an advantage to have depth that you can count on to step up in times of need. 

"I think we're going to be a little greedy there and I think all those guys -- it's nice to have guys in the bullpen there," Lynch said. "We want closers, and setup guys, and all that stuff, to make a baseball analogy. We want that all at our disposal, and I don't think you can have enough good players at that position."

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