49ers' D-line rotation taking shape after reported Collins trade

49ers' D-line rotation taking shape after reported Collins trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Another starting-caliber defensive lineman is heading the 49ers’ way.

San Francisco acquired defensive tackle Maliek Collins from the Houston Texans on Wednesday for a seventh-round draft pick, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

Collins has started 117 of the 124 games (including five in the postseason) during his eight-year career. He played the past three seasons with the Texans, registering 11 sacks during those years.

With the 49ers set to release Arik Armstead on Wednesday, general manager John Lynch has acquired two defensive tackles in the past two days to soften the blow of parting ways with the team's longest-tenured player.

The 49ers reportedly reached a contract agreement with former Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Jordan Elliott on Tuesday. Contracts and trades are allowed to become official Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Now, the 49ers have options at defensive tackle alongside Javon Hargrave, the team’s big-money pickup in free agency a year ago.

Hargrave, Elliott and Collins figure to see near-equal playing time this season. Hargrave is the most well-rounded of the trio. Elliott is best suited as a run-stuffer on base downs, while Collins brings a little more juice as an inside pass-rusher.

Last season, the 49ers’ top three defensive tackles were Hargrave, Armstead and Javon Kinlaw. Armstead figures to attract plenty of attention as a free agent, while Kinlaw already has agreed to a reported one-year, $7.25 million contract with the New York Jets.

While the 49ers appear to be set up well with their top three defensive tackles, they appear to be in good shape at defensive end, too.

Nick Bosa, the league’s highest-paid defensive player, will be joined by a pair of edge players who have agreed to terms with the 49ers: Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos.

Last year, the 49ers’ top edge rushers other than Bosa were Clelin Ferrell (3.5 sacks), Drake Jackson (3), and Chase Young and Randy Gregory (2.5 apiece).

Ferrell already has agreed to terms with the Washington Commanders, while Young and Gregory do not figure to be back with the 49ers as unrestricted free agents.

Jackson will return for his third season after appearing in just eight games last season due to a quadriceps injury.

Floyd has put together four consistent seasons after an uneven beginning to his career. In three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and one with the Buffalo Bills, Floyd had 10.5, 9.5, 9 and 10.5 sacks respectively.

Gross-Matos spent time on injured reserve with a hamstring injury last season but still managed to produce a career-best 4.5 sacks in 12 games with the Carolina Panthers.

So, with the opening of the new league year approaching, it appears the 49ers have six players in place who are capable of highlighting their defensive line rotation for the coming season.

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