49ers vs. Cardinals: Report Cards and Game Grades For DeForest Buckner, Quinton Dial, and Glenn Dorsey

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Some of you asked that I make a grading system strictly for the San Francisco 49ers offensive and defensive players. Well, now you have it. Below is a breakdown of our new grading system that we will roll out after each game, to track each player’s progress from week-to-week. 

Our Blue Chip Grading system is based on a scale of 1-10, and takes into account missed assignments, gap control, tackles for loss, and many other factors that formulate our final game grades. After review, it appears that NT Glenn Dorsey was the team’s best run stuffer while DE DeForest Buckner was the defensive line’s best pass-rusher. See the breakdown of yesterday’s game below. 

49ers DE DeForest Buckner: “I Compare Myself To Calais Campbell.”

DE DeForest Buckner

Analysis: The 49ers 2016 1st-round pick (No. 7) continues to make strides in the run-game. Not all his fault, as he’s learning the nuances of the game, he’s slowly starting to come into his own as an All-Pro player. However, at times he gets out-leveraged while being unable to disengage at the point of attack. As a result, Buckner was caught out of position three times in yesterday’s game resulting in two runs going for more than four yards on his side. But all in all, a good effort by De-Fo, as he’s poised to be a Pro Bowl player sooner rather than later.  

Run Grade: +3.0 

Pass Grade: +10.0 

Overall: 6.5/10

In addition, Buckner graded out remarkably well against the pass receiving a perfect grade. The Oregon product displayed a glimpse of his potential while harassing Cardinals QB Carson Palmer all game long by recording 1 quarterback sack, 3 quarterback hits/hurries, and 1 fumble recovery. 

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DE Quinton Dial

Analysis: The team’s most versatile starting defensive lineman put his skill-set on display against the Cardinals. A player who can play both the nose and 4-technique defensive end, Dial came up big in Arizona by recording three tackles of three-yards or less (including one TFL behind the line of scrimmage). He did have one minor mistake in setting edge but other than that, a good game by him in run support. 

Run Grade: +8.0

Pass Grade: +2.0 

Overall: 5.0/10

Dial also dialed-up his pass-rush by bringing pressure up the middle which in turn collapsed the pocket. On one particular play in which Buckner picked up the sack, it was Dial’s push up front that made the sack possible on the back-end. 

WATCH: 49ers’ DE Quinton Dial Replaces DE Glenn Dorsey On Left Side

NT Glenn Dorsey

The 3-4 nose tackle is by far a team’s most important defensive player in a 3-4 defense. Why? Because he is the one player who sets the tone up-front. He needs to keep his pads low, plays with strong leverage and be able to consistently take on double-teams as a two-gap plugger. Dorsey did that to perfection in Week 10. Dorsey made two tackles of three-yards or less while bringing constant pressure up front, making life easier for both Dial and Buckner. 

Run Grade: +10.0

Pass Grade: N/A

Overall: 10/10

Not a fair assessment in my opinion to give Dorsey a pass-rush grade since his opportunities are few and far between, as he’s strictly a two-down run-stuffer in base. 

Note: 49ers fifth-round pick DE/OLB Ronald Blair finished the game with 1 quarterback hurry.  

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

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