The San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts are making a huge trade as the new league year approaches. The 49ers are sending defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts in exchange for the Colts first round pick, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. The Colts hold the 13th pick in the first round of this year’s draft.
The Colts defensive front ranked 15th in adjusted line yards, 21st in adjusted sack rate, and 17th in overall defensive efficiency. Buckner gives them a long-term answer at three-technique, and on its own could be enough to boost this defense near the top ten. Buckner is that good.
The news comes following word the 49ers have signed defensive tackle Arik Armstead to a five-year contract extension worth a reported $17 million per year. Buckner is expected to sign an extension with the Colts for $21 million per year, so the 49ers are looking at this as choosing Armstead and the 13th pick in the draft over Buckner.
The 49ers defensive line was a huge strength in 2019, and this takes a big bite out of it. Buckner was arguably the best player on the line. They’ll look to get Dee Ford for a full season after injuries limited him in the back half of the year, but one has to wonder if they’ll invest further in the line with one of their two first round picks.