Kyle Shanahan Explains Why the 49ers Didn’t Draft AFC Star

Kyle Shanahan

Getty Kyle Shanahan during a November 2020 game.

Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers and Josh Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars have a combined 13.5 sacks between them in 2021.

Both not only have the pass-rushing prowess in common, or share the same draft class together, but the 49ers and head coach Kyle Shanahan were left with a slight dilemma when both were available to be taken in April 2019.

ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!

Join Heavy on 49ers!

Either get the tenacious, decorated edge rusher from Ohio State, or draft the freakishly athletic and versatile defender who did damage in a three or two-point stance at Kentucky while facing the Southeastern Conference gauntlet.

Bosa and Allen will be on the same field together for the first time ever when the 49ers travel to North Florida to take on the Jaguars for their Week 10 encounter. But Shanahan finally explained on Wednesday, November 17 to the Bay Area media why Bosa was taken over the dominating SEC defender.

Shanahan and 49ers Were High on Both

One speculation behind why the ‘Niners opted for Bosa over Allen was the latter may not have been an ideal fit for the S.F. defense given his natural fit as a linebacker while at UK.

However, the fifth-year head coach shared that he and the 49ers liked what they saw on film from Allen.

“He fit because when we were up there trying to look for pass rushers, we felt pretty strong about the two top ones in the draft with him and the guy we ended up getting Nick,” Shanahan said. “So we were real high on Josh, but we were a little higher on Nick.”

Allen was described as a “complete pass rusher” by Bleacher Report while playing for the Wildcats.

He also proved he can run with tight ends in the SEC, as seen here:

The native of Montclair, New Jersey collected 31.5 career sacks. Bosa had fewer sacks (17.5) in his career at OSU. However, he was still called a “sure-fire star” and potential No. 1 overall pick by B/R.

And ultimately, he landed at No. 2 overall to the 49ers — winning the team over with his edge tenacity and ability to get to the quarterback.

What Both Have Done Since

The men drafted at No. 2 and No. 7 in 2019, respectively, have provided a jolt to their teams’ quarterback attack plans.

Bosa has the most sacks between he and Allen at the moment with eight, including this take down on Most Valuable Player candidate Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams.

Allen, though, did make his own game-changing plays against another MVP candidate who shares the same first and surname with him:

And like Bosa and the 49ers on the Rams, Allen and the Jags got the upset over a trendy Super Bowl contender.

Jimmy Garoppolo endured just one sack facing one of the league’s top pass rushes in the Rams during the 49ers’ 31-10 rout on Monday Night Football, praising the offensive line for their level of play including right guard Daniel Brunskill — who was tasked to slow down Aaron Donald by himself and didn’t allow a sack.

Allen, though, presents a lengthier and athletic challenge for Jimmy G and the pass protection.

“He’s a hell of the player, man. He really is,” Garoppolo said. “They’ve got a lot of speed on that defense from sideline to sideline, but just Josh, he’s impressive. You saw what he did in the Buffalo game and did it against the Colts too. So it’ll be a challenge for us.”

Obviously, the 49ers faced a tough decision with who to take between Bosa and Allen two years ago. But both have more than lived up to their top 10 billing on the teams that got them. Looking back, the 49ers were clearly in a win-win situation with choosing either Bosa or Allen. But it’s Bosa who’s proving why he was worthy of the Shanahan/49ers selection.

Read More