Leonard Floyd

What excites Sorensen most about 49ers additions Floyd, Gross-Matos

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The 49ers brought in several key D-line additions this NFL offseason, and new defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen couldn't be happier about what he has seen from them so far.

Despite the lack of pads during San Francisco's offseason program, defensive ends Leonard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos have made a quick impression after joining the 49ers in free agency.

“A lot of explosiveness," Sorensen said Wednesday of what he has seen from the two D-linemen so far. "You're right, it's hard to evaluate D-linemen [without pads]. But you still watch all the individual and stuff like that. They know how to practice too, so it's like you want to show the explosiveness and every now and then when you get a chance to win, let's win, but stay away from the quarterback. And obviously Leonard's got a ton of experience in doing that for so long.

"The other thing too about them that I see is like, they're studs, like stud guys. They just go. Leonard acts like he’s just barely trying to make the team. He just goes every single day. He doesn't get tired. That part's been awesome, him and Yetur, and [DL] Jordan [Elliott] was going the same way. I feel like all the guys that we brought in are 49er guys, all the rookies, whether they're drafted or undrafted, all the free agents."

Floyd, who signed a two-year, $20 million 49ers contract this offseason, was a priority free agent for San Francisco and will slide in opposite of Nick Bosa on the team's revamped defensive front. He came highly recommended by new assistant head coach Brandon Staley, who spent time with the veteran pass rusher in Chicago and Los Angeles.

And it's no surprise Floyd's hard play has stood out to Sorensen, as the defensive end recently said he joined the 49ers because they play "grown-man" football.

“It was the team, always, from the outside looking in, I knew that the 49ers were one of those teams who always came out and played hard, every single player came out and played their hardest,” Floyd told KNBR last month.

Gross-Matos also came to San Francisco on a two-year deal worth $18 million after registering 4.5 sacks in 16 games (six starts) with the Carolina Panthers during the 2023 NFL season. After the 49ers' defensive line fell somewhat short of expectations last season, Sorensen feels good about the product the team and coaches are putting together on the field so far.

"And that's, to me, why this offseason's been so fun," Sorensen continued. "It's been so fun because our guys have worked so hard, and including our coaches. When you put hard work into it and then you start to see it come out in the communication and dealing with the shifts and the motions that our offense gives us that a lot of the league does as well, it makes it really, really fun, especially when they're working so hard.”

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