San Francisco 49ers

49ers training camp newcomers: Defensive line

Arizona’s Darnell Dockett chases 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during a game in 2013. The only time Kaepernick will have to worry about Dockett is in practice, as they are teammates now.
Arizona’s Darnell Dockett chases 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during a game in 2013. The only time Kaepernick will have to worry about Dockett is in practice, as they are teammates now. Associated Press file

From high-profile additions to NFL journeymen, The Bee provides a primer to the new players jockeying for position in training camp. Get to know the new faces at two position groups each day for both the 49ers and Raiders. Rosters are cut to 75 players Sept. 1 and 53 players Sept. 5. Read Matt Barrows’ in-depth position preview here.

The 49ers had a longtime defensive lineman ride off into the sunset following the 2014 season. Five-time Pro Bowler Justin “Cowboy” Smith retired after a 14-year career, including the last seven with the 49ers.

The team used its first-round pick (No. 17 overall) to draft former Pleasant Grove High School standout Arik Armstead and brought in an experienced nemesis in Darrell Dockett from division rival Arizona. Also on board are two players with no NFL experience.

Key returners: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Quinton Dial

Key departures: Justin Smith (retired)

The newcomers

Arik Armstead | DL | 6-foot-7 | 292 pounds

Experience: Rookie (Oregon)

Last year: The former Pleasant Grove star had 46 total tackles, 21/2 sacks and six quarterback hurries as a junior with the Ducks.

The skinny: NFL.com had this to say about Armstead: “Projection-based prospect with elite size and the traits to become a dominant run-stuffing defensive end in an odd front. Armstead has the explosiveness off the snap and in his jarring punch to gain early advantages and control offensive linemen. Armstead is a fast riser but is still very raw.”

Darnell Dockett | DT | 6-foot-4 | 290 pounds

Experience: 12 years (Florida State)

Last year: He had 46 total tackles, including 41/2 sacks, for division rival Arizona.

The skinny: Dockett changes teams for the first time in his career. In 20 career games against San Francisco, he’s recorded 32 tackles and seven sacks, both personal bests versus any team.

Garrison Smith | NT | 6-foot-1 | 300 pounds

Experience: Two years (Georgia)

Last year: Spent time on Miami’s roster but didn’t record any NFL statistics.

The skinny: NFL.com analysts weren’t high on Smith, saying he’s a “tough, try-hard, slow-footed plodder,” but added that he could be versatile if he fends off competition for a job in the rotation.

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