Niner Noise’s “Who Is?” series on San Francisco 49ers players in 2017 continues. And in this installment, we take a look at second-year D-lineman, Ronald Blair.
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t have a lot to brag about in 2016, but finding defensive lineman Ronald Blair in Round 5 of that year’s NFL Draft might have been one of a few bright spots.
Blair, a 6-foot-3, 272-pound defensive end out of Appalachian State, wasn’t exactly heralded as a top-tier pass-rusher a year ago.
And yet he might have been a hidden gem from an otherwise lackluster Niners draft class.
Just look at some pre-2016 season tweets from Pro Football Focus’ Jeff Deeney:
Blair saw limited action his rookie season, just 306 snaps over 16 regular-season games. He did, however, manage to post 11 tackles and three sacks. As an EDGE, Blair may have the tools to be a situational pass-rusher with the capability of rushing from the interior or around the edge this upcoming season.
What should we expect out of Blair in 2017?
Why He’ll Improve
Coaches often note players show the biggest improvement from their rookie to second-year seasons, so Blair already has that in his favor.
Three sacks in a situational role isn’t bad either. And if given more chances, Blair might actually see this number increase….
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