Niners Live is handing out its awards through the first quarter of this young NFL season. With that being said, no one is more deserving of the team’s defensive MVP award than DT Deforest Buckner.
How we originally got here
DeForest Buckner was drafted 7th overall in 2015 in the NFL draft; his +73.0 grade was the highest given for an interior defender in the nation over the last two years prior, per Profootballfocus.com.
Buckner was the Pac 12 defensive player of the year out of Oregon, while accumulating 83 tackles, 17.0 for losses, 10.5 sacks, and 67 pressures.
NFL career recap
In 19 career games played, DeForest Buckner A.K.A. “DeFo” has 92 total tackles, 33 of which are assisted, 7 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 2 passes defended.
Why he’s been the team’s Defensive MVP
Per Football Focus, Buckner is rated the top (ELITE) interior defensive lineman in the NFL with a 93.2 grade overall, not to mention against the run and pass he’s graded out respectfully at 88.6 and 90.6. Buckner has also played a total of 248 snaps on defense, the most played by any defensive linemen in the NFL. Buckner’s been the most consistent player on defense, which was evident by his showing against the Arizona Cardinals, holding their run game to 51 yards rushing and grading out when it was all said and done with an overall grade of 88.7 and run grade 86.9; along with six total pressures (two hurries, three hits, and a sack).
Facts to know: The only other player on the 49ers’ defense, and the team, that’s even close to Buckner’s PFF grade is Jaquiski Tartt at 86.9 overall.
Important to point out: The 49ers in (2016) were 32nd in total defense and currently in (2017) sit 21st in total defense. Buckner has registered a QB hit in each of the four games he’s played in, totaling (10) per ESPN.com).
There are few bright spots on a 0-4 team, but DeForest Buckner has been the most consistent/violent defensive disruptor on defense through the first quarter of the season. He is winning most, if not all, his one-on-one matchups while wreaking havoc with QB pressures game in and game out.
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims .