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49ers Are Signing Notable Former 1st Round Draft Pick

A San Francisco 49ers helmet sitting on a water cooler.

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: Detail view of a San Francisco 49ers helmet during the NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals beat the 49ers 23-20. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers celebrated the start of training camp by bolstering their defensive line.

General manager John Lynch told reporters Tuesday, per The Athletic's Matt Barrows, that the team signed Robert Nkemdiche after he "shined" in a workout.

Barrows added that Nkemdiche could take Dee Ford's roster spot. The defensive end has not reported to camp, and he may soon retire or get released.

San Francisco will mark Nkemdiche's fourth team in the last five years. 

Drafted with the No. 29 pick in 2016, the tackle recorded 44 tackles and 4.5 sacks in three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He tore his ACL to end 2018, and the Cardinals said Nkemdiche reported to camp out of shape before they cut him the following summer.

He didn't tally any stats during two games for the Miami Dolphins in 2019. After not finding a new home in 2020, Nkemdiche registered 15 tackles in nine games with the Seattle Seahawks last season.

Nkemdiche will compete for playing time on a depth chart led by fellow first-round picks Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead. The 49ers ranked seventh in rushing defense last season before advancing to the NFC Championship Game.