News & Analysis

Buckner's path to being the top-graded interior defender

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams rushes as DeForest Buckner #99 of the San Francisco 49ers closes in during the game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. The Rams defeated the 49ers 41-39. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

  • With a PFF grade of 93.2 through the first four weeks of the season, San Francisco 49ers 2016 first-round draft pick DeForest Buckner is the highest-graded interior defender in the NFL.
  • Buckner has dominated as a pass-rusher much more than his single sack total suggests. With a sack, nine hits, and 13 hurries, his 23 total pressures on 131 pass-rushing snaps ranks has earned him a pass-rushing productivity rating of 13.4, the highest mark at the position among players with at least 75 pass-rushing snaps so far this year.
  • No slouch against the run either, Buckner has racked up a 10.1 percent run-stop percentage mark, good for 13th at the position among players to play at least 60 snaps in run defense, with 10 tackles resulting in a defensive stop.
  • Durability is key for Buckner too. A year ago, his 1,006 snaps logged were the most of any player on the defensive interior. Through four weeks this year he has played 248 snaps, which again ranks as the most at the position.

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