The 49ers' defensive line is undoubtedly one of the most formidable the NFL has to offer entering the 2019 season. The team will have five former first-round draft picks lining up in the rotation, including 2016 No. 7 overall selection DeForest Buckner.
The Oregon product recently joined the “RapSheet and Friends” podcast with the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport and spoke about a particular player who has helped him improve throughout his career.
“Mike’s a great dude, he’s probably one of the best people you’ll ever meet,” Buckner said of Michael Bennett, an 11-year NFL veteran who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.
Bennett trains in Buckner’s home state of Hawaii during the offseason and reached out to the 6-foot-7 defensive lineman about joining him.
“I took advantage of that opportunity, it’s Michael Bennett. He’s a pro bowler, a Super Bowl champ. He plays on the edge and in the inside, and I really wanted to be able to pick his brain and learn from him.
"Since my rookie year, working out with him, seeing the different things in his game that I could instill in my game too, he helped me a lot on technique stuff.”
Buckner also emphasized that he’s learned a lot from Bennett off the field as well during their time together.
“Just being a good mentor, he’s one of those guys where, he doesn’t care who you are. He’ll bring in younger guys coming up in the league, and also older guys, and just try to bring them to Hawaii and we all just work out together," Buckner said.
"It’s great every offseason being able to pick his brain a little bit, and he’s been getting better each and every year as he’s gotten older, so he’s got a little formula he's got going on that's really successful for him, and I’m trying to learn from him.
“It’s definitely cool to have a savvy vet like him being able to take in younger guys, and bring them under their wing. And help them out a lot and show them the way through the league, because he’s had a lot of success, especially for an undrafted player. And like you said, he doesn’t have to do those things but that’s the kind of guy he is.”