49Ers Defense Deep Dive: Unveiling The Team’S Fortress From Otas

## 49ers Defense Prepares for Transformation: A Position-by-Position Analysis

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers’ defense is undergoing a significant transformation in the offseason, with a new defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at the helm. The start of organized team activities (OTAs) provides an early glimpse into how the unit is shaping up, position-by-position.

### Defensive End

* Nick Bosa: The marquee defender remains a force, showing up in excellent shape and taking a leadership role in sharing pass-rushing tips with new colleague Leonard Floyd.
* Leonard Floyd: A ninth-year veteran, Floyd offers a slender but agile presence and a significant impact as the pass-rushing counterpart to Bosa.
* Yetur Gross-Matos: Acquired from Carolina, Gross-Matos’s size (6’4″, 285 lbs) brings promise after a difficult tenure with the Panthers.
* Drake Jackson: Recovering from knee surgery, Jackson is expected to miss OTAs.
* Robert Beal Jr.: Shows signs of a breakout season, following in the footsteps of other successful fifth-round picks.

### Defensive Tackle

* Maliek Collins: Expected to join OTAs next week, Collins is a projected starter alongside…
* Javon Hargrave: A newcomer, Hargrave aligned with Jordan Elliott during Tuesday’s practice.
* Jordan Elliott: A 6’4″, 303-lb frame adds depth to the defensive line.
* Kevin Givens and T.Y. McGill: Face increased competition for roster spots.

### Linebacker

* Fred Warner: Absent from Tuesday’s practice, Warner remains the hype man for the defense.
* Dre Greenlaw: Recovering from Achilles surgery, Greenlaw will miss OTAs.
* De’Vondre Campbell: Acquired from Green Bay, Campbell assumes the weak-side spot.
* Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles: A fifth-year veteran, Flannigan-Fowles looks confident as Warner’s replacement in practice.
* Dee Winters, Jalen Graham, and Tatum Bethune: Young linebackers eager for an opportunity to impress.

### Cornerback

* Deommodore Lenoir: Transitions from right cornerback to nickel back.
* Isaac Yiadom: Competes for the No. 2 or No. 3 cornerback spot.
* Renardo Green: A second-round pick, Green displays an aggressive and feisty demeanor in the nickel back role.
* Charvarius Ward: Recovering from core-muscle surgery, Ward is expected to return later.
* Ambry Thomas: Lines up at left cornerback on the first unit but needs to improve his performance.

### Safety

* Talanoa Hufanga: Recovering from ACL repair, Hufanga remains determined.
* George Odum: Lines up alongside Ji’Ayir Brown in Hufanga’s absence.
* Erik Harris and Tayler Hawkins: Provide depth in the safety group.
* Malik Mustapha: A rookie with a 5’10”, 206-lb frame, Mustapha is expected to add physicality to the secondary.

### Specialists

* Nick Moody: The kicker looks to improve after a late-season slump.
* Ronnie Bell, Ricky Pearsall, Danny Gray, Trent Taylor, and Terique Owens: Auditioning at punt returner.
* Jacob Cowing: Absent from Tuesday’s OTA for unknown reasons.

### Outlook

The 49ers defense faces a transformative offseason, with several new additions and key players recovering from injuries. The team’s success in 2023 will depend on the depth and versatility of its roster, the effectiveness of its new coaching staff, and the continued growth of its young players.