The San Francisco 49ers today announced that they have filled the roster spot left by OLB Aldon Smith’s release with the signing of another outside linebacker, as OLB Shawn Lemon was signed by the 49ers.
Lemon, who was recently waived by the Pittsburgh Steelers July 29, was signed by the team today in an effort to create competition at the position.
49ers’ new DC Eric Mangini loves to use exotic blitzes while mixing up his player personnel so do not be surprised if you see a very aggressive style of defense in 2015. And that’s where Lemon comes into play, as he may be a scheme fit.
Lemon is a pure-pass rush specialist who’s fundamentally sound. Coming off the edge, Lemon has the ability to strip-sack while dipping his inside shoulder to turn the corner. A skill-set that 2013 third-round pick OLB Corey Lemonier has yet to master, I believe that Lemon may have a higher ceiling at the NFL level.
Aside from Lemon’s pass-rush ability it’s his ability to track down ball-carriers in pursuit that should have Forever Faithful excited. From chasing running backs on screen passes to covering tight-ends in the flat, Lemon has displayed the skills to play in space if needed.
A journeyman who started his rise in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2011, Saskatchewan Roughriders (2011), San Jose SaberCats (2012), Orlando Predators (2012), Edmonton Eskimos (2012-2013), and Calgary Stampeders (2013-2014), Lemon will now get a chance to make a name for himself as he fights his way onto the team’s outside linebacker rotation.
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