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Stuffing opposing ball-carriers is what Casey Hampton does best.
As opposed to center, the 49ers targeted the defensive line in the offseason.
They brought in Glenn Dorsey before the NFL draft to platoon with Ian Williams as a two-down nose tackle. They also selected pass-rushing specialist Tank Carradine as the heir apparent to Justin Smith.
Fifth-round draftee Quinton Dial is a 6’6’’, 304-pounder who can play anywhere along the line.
Even with a host of others filling out the depth chart, serious injury-related consequences last season proved that the 49ers might want as many productive bodies as possible.
Another productive former Denver Bronco is available on the open market.
Bannan compiled 42 tackles, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2012. He excels as an interior lineman against the run and has a high football IQ for diagnosing blocking schemes (via ESPN Insider, membership required).
Pro Football Focus gave Bannan the sixth-highest rating at defending the run among defensive tackles.
The 12-year pro would at the very least push his positional brethren already with the 49ers. At 6’3’’, 312 pounds, Bannan could offer ample football knowledge to the similarly sized Dial.
This longtime Pittsburgh Steeler should have run-stuffing extraordinaire stamped onto his birth certificate.
Hampton is the prototypical 3-4 nose tackle with his 6’1’’, 325-pound frame. While never an eye-popping stat-producer, Hampton embodies that impenetrable wall in the defensive front who occupies multiple defenders.
The 12-year vet isn’t the player he was in the previous decade. But he remains viable in a two-down role.
Ian Williams has relatively zero active game-time experience and would benefit from Hampton’s presence. ESPN Insider’s highest-rated available DT may even climb ahead of Williams if he were signed by the 49ers.