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49ers have 21 new players, and counting

The San Francisco 49ers want a physical and aggressive defense but they need to add a real threat at edge linebacker if they want to accomplish that.

Monday’s Number of the Day for the 49ers was 21, as in the number assigned to running back Tim Hightower but rejected by him because it was worn by Frank Gore. (Hightower will instead wear 26.)

But 21 remains relevant to the 49ers because that’s the total number of new players added by the John Lynch/Kyle Shanahan regime without numbers formally assigned to them by the team’s website. And there’s still more than two weeks to go before the draft.

The new players are (alphabetically) quarterback Matt Barkley, receiver DeAndre Carter, linebacker Brock Coyle, linebacker Jayson DiManche, receiver Pierre Garςon, receiver Marquise Goodwin, kicker Robbie Gould, Hightower, quarterback Brian Hoyer, defensive back Don Jones, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, punter Brock Miller, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, tight end Logan Paulsen, receiver Aldrick Robinson, kicker Nick Rose, receiver Rashad Ross, linebacker Malcolm Smith, linebacker Dekoda Watson, cornerback K’Waun Williams, and offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah.

Given last year’s 2-14 record, change surely is needed. Major change already is happening, and there’s still a long way to go until the new-look 49ers get to the start of the new regular season.