49ers: With the Arrival of Elvis Dumervil; Who’s In? Who’s Out?

The San Francisco 49ers recently signed Elvis Dumervil to a two-year deal per Adam Schefter. Dumervil is a former Baltimore Raven veteran pass-rusher, five-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, and former Denver Bronco’s teammate of now 49ers’ General Manger John Lynch who was simply ecstatic about adding Dumervil.


The Recap

Dumervil is an 11-year veteran who’s accounted for 99 career sacks at the fine wine age of 33 years young, in terms of life years anyway. However, when it comes to football years, being 33 years old and coming off an Achilles heel injury can make it a challenge to produce at a high level for a pass-rusher who’s undersized at 5’11 and 255 lbs, roughly. His first step means everything to his get off the ball ala his “explosive game” if you will, or so to speak; when it comes to harassing the quarterback while being in Hot Pursuit mode and trying to achieve that always so coveted quarterback sack.

Now, please don’t misconstrue what was said about his age or his height—not many defensive NFL players have been in the building like Elvis — no pun intended, of course, when it comes to sacking the quarterback.

Historic facts to know: He’s one of eight players to record two 17-sack seasons since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. Also noted: Dumervil, in 2014 at the ripe age of thirty, became the seventh-oldest player to have 17 sacks (per Eric Branch of the SF Chronical).

Intriguing stats to know:

  • In the final five weeks of the 2016 season, Dumervil ranked sixth among all edge rushers with 22 pressures forced from the left side.
  • Dumervil applied 55 pressures or more in four straight seasons leading up to 2016. Interesting to know: His 2014 campaign was the only season he didn’t lead his team’s position group in pass-rushing productivity, courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

How did we get here?

The 49ers were desperate to find a proven pass rushing threat and haven’t had one to strike fear into the hearts of opposing offensive linemen or quarterbacks since the days of Aldon Smith. To say they weren’t impressed with what was in the internal cupboard of groceries is truly an understatement, indeed. The lack of productivity from the pass rush as a whole has not only haunted the 49ers like a ghost on Halloween night, but it’s been too grueling to watch for even some goblin fans and those in the sporting world who are seeking greatness from this historic and proud 49ers team/franchise once again.

Check and Balance alert: During 2015 and 2016 seasons, respectfully, the 49ers neared the bottom of the NFL in sacks via NFL.com. “Sam” Linebacker Ahmad Brooks (53.5 career sacks) is the only 49er other than Dumervil as aforementioned, with more than 14 career sacks on the team.

Are the 49ers trying to find lighting in a bottle?

Dumervil may not be more than a situational pass-rusher on obvious passing down situations as the self-proclaimed “LEO” position in new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4/3 under scheme. However, he can and will act as a mentor for younger players such as; Eli HaroldRonald BlairTank Carradine, rookie Pita Taumoepenu and help push the likes of the Arik Armstead’s of the world and— the not so motivated to be great—Aaron Lynch to the next level.

I mean, how could he not become a mentor?

Besides playing ability, he also brings a wealth of football knowledge, respectable stats, accolades-Super-Bowl ring and a proven arsenal of pass rushing moves to go with instant credibility in the locker room (having been a former Baltimore Ravens’ teammates of Kyle Juszczyk) and in the front office with his former Denver Bronco’s teammate John Lynch at the GM helm of things.

Are you feeling optimistic and enthusiastic yet? 

If Dumervil bounces back 100% from the aforementioned injury and remains healthy, it’s possible he could be more than a situational player for the 49ers best case scenario. Full-time starter? Flashbacks of Mr. Dumervil regaining his top 100 players list in 2015 form? Endless possibilities, you say?

Now, Who’s In? Who’s Out? That is the Question? 

The overall consensus has been Elvis Dumervil will leapfrog his way to the top of the “LEO” depth chart and start over former first round pick Arik Armstead, who Niners Live told you don’t sleep on as the starting pass-rusher aka weak side “LEO” position and Mr. “Underachiever” himself, Aaron Lynch, who Niners Live had to ask the tough question in a recent article; Overweight Again? Is it Time to Move on from Aaron Lynch? Lynch is obviously fighting an up-hill battle to make this 53-man roster due to being in the 4th year of his rookie contract, weight issues, motivational challenges, history of questionable integrity issues and his football character over the years could make him the odd man out.

Will Aaron Lynch rise to the occasion?

Still waiting…some inquiring 49er fans want to know. It’s also worth calling out that Armstead showed up to the offseason programs in the best shape of his career as talked about recently on the team’s website in the featured interview with DC Robert Saleh.

As always, keep your eyes wide open, 49er fans. Niners Live will be watching with you. #eyeswideopen and often imitated but never duplicated… Go Niners.

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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Editor, Sequoia Sims.

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