Niners' Buckner Believes He's in Position to Thrive

Team's No. 1 pick says he "hit the lottery" when he was taken by the 49ers in this year's draft

Chances are, DeForest Buckner would be a success no matter which NFL team selected him in the draft.

The former standout defensive lineman at Oregon was acclaimed as one of the best prospects in this year's draft and the 49ers were lauded by many for selecting him with the No. 7 overall selection. He's been compared by some to Calais Campbell, the terffic Arizona Cardinals' defender, while network analyst Pete Prisco gave the 49ers an A-plus in his draft coverage for taking Buckner, whom Prisco says gives the team a quality they had when they were one of the NFC's best teams under Jim Harbaugh.

"Love this for the 49ers," he wrote of the Buckner pick. "Tough. Big. They were that when they were good."

But as Buckner heads toward his first NFL training camp next week, he says he believes San Francisco is the perfect place for him to thrive.

"I definitely hit the lottery with being picked up by San Francisco," he told a reporter in Hawaii this week. "A lot of guys, they don't know anybody going in and they're kind of just by themselves and I kind of got welcomed into open arms. I got my old head coach back, my old D-line coach back and my old teammate back -- my teammate and good friend -- so I'm excited and we're all excited to see where the season is going to take us."

Buckner, who played high school football in Hawaii, has been working out there, preparing for his rookie season, with Arik Armstead, his former Oregon teammate and fellow defensive lineman on the 49ers now. Armstead and former Ducks head coach Chip Kelly and defensive lineman Jerry Azzinaro have been reunited with the 49ers.

It's expected that Buckner and Armstead could be the starting defensive ends in 2016 in the 49ers' 3-4 defensive front.

Buckner is excited to get going next week.

"I really got my mindset on coming into training camp and giving it all I got," he said.

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