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Armstead, Buckner 'have big plans' for 49ers' defense

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It has been another offseason of change for the 49ers, but for defensive end Arik Armstead, San Francisco feels more like home than ever before.

Having played for coach Chip Kelly at Oregon -- alongside 49ers first-round pick DeForest Buckner -- Armstead acknowledged this week: "I think I'm in a unique situation that nobody else has been in. I'm comfortable with the new coaches. Getting back out there and working with them has been extremely fun."

Armstead lobbied for the Niners to nab Buckner in the draft -- and they listened. The No. 7 overall pick gives San Francisco a massive-framed end to pair with the 6-foot-7, 292-pound Armstead. Buckner -- a twin giant at 6-foot-7 and 291 pounds -- furnishes the team with a player who drew pre-draft comparisons to both Arizona's Calais Campbell and Armstead.

"But I think he's more talented coming out than either one of those guys," one NFC regional scout told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein. "He's twice the player Armstead was coming out."

Said Armstead: "It's huge. Me and DeFo are real close friends. We were roommates in college. When he got drafted, he thanked me for leaving because it would have never ended up this way. Everything happens for a reason. ... We used to talk about what would have happened if I stayed for my senior year and playing together for one more year. But now we get to play together for a long time, and it's going to be fun."

The 49ers have plenty of holes on both sides of the ball, but if Buckner pans out, San Francisco's defensive front looms as a strength. Now it's up to young defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil to make the most of the duo.

"I feel like in college, we complimented each other very well," Armstead said. "You couldn't focus on either one of us because you had either me or him on the other side. We have big plans playing together, trying to dominate people."

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