16 March, 2019
Landing Ford, an explosive 28-year-old edge rusher with 26 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his past 39 games, for a second-round draft pick next year is a coup. "He's healthy and primed for success in San Francisco". By releasing another pass rusher in Justin Houston as well, the Chiefs have cleared roughly $30 million in cap space.
Ford was traded to the 49ers on Tuesday in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2020, a relatively low cost to fill one of the team's most pressing needs - a dominant pass rusher. His best statistical season was in 2016 when he racked up 145 combined tackles, three sacks seven passes defensed, an interception, a touchdown, and a forced fumble.
The Chiefs started this defensive rebuild a year ago, when they traded up in the second round to draft defensive end Breeland Speaks.
Two reconstruction projects are ongoing simultaneously for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason. After all, the Chiefs made him expendable because they're switching from a 3-4 front to a 4-3 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
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Ford was picked in the first round by Kansas City in 2014 but went through some growing pains as he adapted to life in the National Football League and has an injury history that is cause for concern.
Unfortunately, one of the tough things about a player in Ford's position is how he's deserving of a hefty payday, which seemed like may come down the road after Kansas City chose to use the franchise tag on the defender for now.
With the Chiefs running a 3-4 defense, it is unknown at this stage where Ford will exactly line up, as the 49ers utilize the 4-3 defense as their base. It's a 4-3 defense with essentially 3-4 personnel. The 49ers could still use Solomon Thomas, who is good against the run, and Malcolm Smith at those spots. Last year, Solomon Thomas mostly started at leo, but he either left the field on passing downs or moved inside to defensive tackle in nickel situations. If they have another disappointing season in 2019, this could become a high draft pick for K.C. He'll step in Day 1 and be the team's top pass rusher. I think we're also looking for powerful players.