Kevin Jones broke down the surprise strategy from the team:
Kevin Jones @Mr_KevinJones
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are showing tremendous faith in Arik Armstead. First, they don't draft a pass rusher. Now, they are extending a player with 6 sacks in 30 career games. Armstead has also missed 18 games the last two seasons. This is a pretty puzzling move https://t.co/chNZFFJtZ0
It's been a slow start to the former Oregon star's NFL career, as he has had a tough time staying on the field. The 17th overall pick in the 2015 draft has played in just 14 games the past two seasons, missing time due to shoulder and hand injuries.
When he has been on the field, the 6'7", 292-pound defensive end has shown some potential. He has 50 combined tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defended in 30 games.
Armstead's numbers may not be what a team hopes to have gotten in a first-round pick's first three years in the league, but San Francisco general manager John Lynch said last season the team is pleased with the "glimpses" they have seen from the lineman.
At 24 years old, Armstead has plenty of time to fulfill his potential—and the 49ers still have faith in him to do so.