Lynch Believes Ford Will Make Major Impact for 49ers

It’s long been assumed the 49ers will draft a pass rusher with their top pick in the NFL draft that begins April 25. It could be Nick Bosa of Ohio State or Josh Allen of Kentucky.

Yet a month before the Niners use their No. 2 overall selection, general manager John Lynch already believes San Francisco has an elite pass rusher on its roster.

In trading for Dee Ford of the Chiefs, Lynch says his team’s defense already has taken a big step up for 2019.

Lynch says Ford, entering his sixth season in the NFL, showed in 2018 he should be considred among the league’s best pass rushers. For the Chiefs he had 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles, 29 quarterback hits and 78 quarterback pressures.

“I think he would be,” Lynch said, when asked if Ford is in the elite category. “He has some qualities. I’ll put his first step right off the line of scrimmage – his get-off – up there with anybody in the league. And that excites us.”

Will Brinson, who covers the NFL for CBS Sports, agrees with Lynch. He sees Ford as a difference-maker for the 49ers defense.

“Getting that kind of (2018) production over the next few years would give the 49ers a massive jolt to a defense that sorely needs pass-rush help,” wrote Brinson. “With a defensive line that includes Ford, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas … Arik Armstead… and potentially Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, at No. 2 overall (in the upcoming draft), there is some serious juice to that defensive line.”

Lynch said the 49ers had their eyes on Ford the whole offseason.

“We studied all kinds of different players,” Lynch told “Dee is the guy we want. He’s got some rare qualities that we think will blend real well to any team, but our team specifically.”

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