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Javon Hargrave earns top-10 DT ranking despite ‘quieter’ 49ers season – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Javon Hargrave’s first season with the 49ers fell short of the gaudy numbers he posted with the Philadelphia Eagles, but the 31-year-old still remains among the NFL’s most respected defensive tackles by those in the league.

In an exclusive by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, scouts, coaches and executives voted on who they believe are the best defensive tackles in the NFL, with Hargrave earning a top-10 nod despite a down debut campaign in San Francisco.

An NFC executive explained that while Hargrave’s production declined, his pass-rushing skill set remains dangerous as ever.

“He’s always had a deep rush toolbox with a good feel to affect the QB,” the NFC executive told Fowler. “He was a little quieter when we prepared for him than he was in Philly, but he remains an issue as an interior rusher.”

Among the nine players ranked ahead of Hargrave was former 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who took the No. 8 spot in the rankings for continuing to display the dominance that made him a household name after breaking into the league with San Francisco.

Hargrave recorded seven sacks during the 2023 NFL season, a noticeable drop off from the career-high 11 he registered a year prior with the Eagles, leading to a lucrative free-agent contract from the 49ers.

Even with the dip in numbers, Hargrave still earned Pro Bowl honors during his first season in San Francisco, logging eight tackles for loss and 14 QB hits in 16 regular-season games.

Hargrave’s continued impact on the 49ers’ defense will be imperative as San Francisco seeks its sixth consecutive season with a top-10 ranking in total defense.

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