Sen’Derrick Marks: “I’m playing the 3-technique,” in 49ers scheme!


Sen’Derrick Marks hopes to spark 49ers D!

The San Francisco 49ers have signed nine-year veteran DT Sen’Derrick Marks to a one-year deal. The Auburn product has played eight NFL seasons for two teams. The Tennessee Titans originally drafted Marks in the second-round (No. 62) of the 2009 NFL draft. He would play four seasons in Tennessee before inking a one-year “prove it” deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

The risky move paid huge dividends for the stout run defender. 


Marks endured his best season in 2014. The 6-2, 306, racked up a career-high 8.5 sacks while making a number of plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. Marks is no stranger to making game-changing plays. Aside from establishing a pass-rushing presence, Marks paced the team making 10 tackles for loss. 

Stellar play all the way around earned Marks a spot among the NFL’s best. The highly coveted Top 100 Players of 2015, Marks was voted on by his peers as the 76th best player. 

Marks to make his mark playing 3-technique 

Fast forward to today and Marks is now the newest member of the 49ers. The team’s beat writers had the opportunity to catch up with Marks during the team’s open locker room period. 

My first question for Marks was in regards to where he would be lining up under DC Robert Saleh’s scheme.

“I’m playing the three-technique,” Marks told me.


The three-technique is a position in which the defensive tackle is lined up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. Their main responsibility is to get upfield shooting the b-gap. In this alignment, the three-technique is often matched up on-on-one while being harder to double team.


In a conventional 4-3 under scheme, the weak-side defensive end is typically aligned outside the offensive tackle’s outside shoulder. This means the offensive tackle will not be able to give inside help– in turn leaving the guard on an island. See what I did there? Lol. 

Anyways, back to football. One common skill set a three-technique defensive tackle must have is “get-off.” The player must be explosive. Marks has that box checked. 

The best three-technique defensive tackle in the NFL is hands down Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald. But don’t think for a second, Marks will be a starter. The Niners already have a fountain of youth they want to groom, starting with DT DeForest Buckner and DT Solomon Thomas

I asked Marks if mentoring the younger guys on the squad was in his DNA. 

“I guess my role would be to come in and be a veteran. To teach, to learn more and show and give leadership…A lot of guys are high picks that they put a lot of high value on…basically be their future. If you can put a guy behind them and a guy who can show them the ropes or show them more, that guy has more of a promising future,” Marks said.

Whether or not, Marks actually cracks the 53-man roster is anyone’s guess. However, the mentorship he will provide the younger guys during his time here (however long that is) will definitely be worth it. 

In eight NFL seasons, Marks has recorded 205 tackles, 19 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. 

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 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 or call him at (408) 622-0996.