By all accounts, an extension for Texans star Jadeveon Clowney is unlikely to be completed before the end of the season, but if that relationship begins to sour, the club could wind up taking his replacement in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Montez Sweat (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) established himself as one of the best pass rushers in the SEC last season, totaling 15.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He’s long and lean and does a good job at bending the edge while rushing the passer. Because his frame is leaner, he may be a liability to be moved off the ball by bigger lineman in the run game, but adding some weight could help to mitigate that.
The massive contract extensions for Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack have set the market in a good way for Jadeveon Clowney and if the Texans deem his asking price too rich, a player like Sweat could wind up being the club’s next first-round selection.
General manager John Lynch has his franchise quarterback under contract for the long-term, so now his focus must shift to continuing to improve the 49ers defense.
DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead will both be free agents following the 2019 season, but the team undoubtedly likes the development of Solomon Thomas and still has plenty of cap space to add via free agency if they prefer.
Richard Sherman’s return from an Achilles’ injury will be a big factor in how San Francisco’s secondary plays throughout the season, but Lynch would be wise to invest in more young talent for the unit. Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen is one name who could be in the first-round conversation by the end of the season. Mullen has great length and I’m a huge fan of his ball skills and ability to time passes and disrupt receivers at the point of the catch.