SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have selected Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner with the No. 7 pick in the NFL draft.
He’s a familiar face to help usher in the Chip Kelly era as new Niners coach after Buckner was recruited to Oregon by former Ducks coach Kelly. Buckner is an ideal fit as an end in San Francisco’s 4-3 defensive scheme. He had 10 1/2 sacks last season and was also credited with 16 quarterback hits and 39 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. He is also a strong defender against the run.
San Francisco, which missed the playoffs for a second straight year, needed help in the pass rush after ranking 29th in the league with just 28 sacks after the retirement of defensive end Justin Smith last year and the release of troubled edge rusher Aldon Smith.