CBS Sports' Pete Prisco loves the pick:
Buckner Grade: A+. Love this for the 49ers. Tough. Big. They were that when they were good.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 29, 2016
And here's the financial side of the pick:
The maximum DeForest Buckner will get in his 4-year rookie deal is $18,190,992, which includes a signing bonus of no more than $11,429,812.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) April 29, 2016
For a team that finished 29th in yards allowed and 18th in points allowed, that's an incredible steal. Somehow the 49ers and Chip Kelly just ended up with a top-five talent to fix a leaky defense that was gutted for 126.3 rushing yards per game last year.
Well, mission accomplished. He ended up totaling 10.5 sacks and 83 total tackles, including 17 for a loss. He added five passes defended to that already impressive stat line.
According to CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler, he's got the technique to thrive at the next level:
Quickly stacks and sheds, using pop in his hands to work off contact. Fluid lower body and athletic footwork to move laterally and break down in tight spaces. Plays low for a man his size with good bend, making it tough for blockers to attack his chest.
Good chase skills and hustle to catch ballcarriers in pursuit. Uses his upper body and initial momentum to generate push off the snap. Rarely met by single blocks, attracting double-teams or chips. Uses his length to swallow ballcarriers as a tackler and drive them backward.
At 6-foot-7, Buckner could benefit from adding onto his frame. His height at times can work against him, as he's prone to losing leverage. Still, I'm cherry-picking here. It's not as if his body should be considered a negative. His length (and ability to deflect passes) should bother quarterbacks immensely -- like, you know, Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer.