• By Matthew Mani
    2 hrs ago 0 comments
    You hear the phrase all the time, particularly coming from the mouths of coaches who are taking over really bad teams: "We are going to try to change the culture here." What does that mean, exactly? The word culture can mean all sorts of things, depending on the context. In terms of sports, and of teams, it generally means that management is trying to bring a work ethic, a team-first mentality, a camaraderie, a professionalism and a single-mindedness to literally everything that goes on inside the team facility. This, as you can well figure, is not an easy thing to do. Teams need talent, first and foremost. It is fairly impossible to win in the NFL, and certainly to win consistently, without talent on the roster. That does not mean that the most talented teams win every year. Last...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    May 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM 7 comments
    It has now been over a week since the NFL Draft and the San Francisco 49ers have added seven drafted rookies and ten undrafted rookie free agents. Here is a "way-too-early" projection of the 53-man roster. Quarterbacks Currently there are four quarterbacks – Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard, and undrafted rookie Wilton Speight. Due to needs at other spots, expect the 49ers to try to move Beathard in a trade and possibly retain Speight on the practice squad. Expected to make the roster: 2 Running Backs This is a deep squad with Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon, and Tevin Coleman in the same backfield. Expect Coach Shanahan to do some creative things to get all of them a lot of reps during the season....
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    May 4, 2019 at 7:45 AM 24 comments
    Four years ago, former San Francisco 49ers' general manager Trent Baalke selected punter Bradley Pinion in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The 49ers already had a capable punter in Andy Lee on the roster, but Baalke decided Lee's services and his 46.4 average yards per punt were no longer needed in the Bay. Just when the groans about the Pinion pick had been lost to the memory hole, general manager John Lynch selected punter Mitch Wishnowsky from Utah in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. Most fan and expert reactions were a justified balance between angry and confused. It was as if Lynch forgot the 49ers' defense struggled to remain consistent and healthy in 2018,...
  • By Richard Madrid
    May 3, 2019 at 5:28 PM 1 comment
    Today we look at second round pick out of the University of South Carolina, wide receiver Deebo Samuel. With their second round pick (36th overall), the 49ers selected wide receiver Tyshun "Deebo" Samuel out of the University of South Carolina. Samuel is an instant upgrade to a position group that lacks a talented route runner outside of Dante Pettis and a consistent and reliable threat over the middle of the field. Samuel has enough versatility for Shanahan's offense that his role should see him threaten every level of the field and as you'll see below, he excelled in each spot. In some ways, the 49ers got the best possible receiver with their second pick but Samuel regularly showed up outside the top 5 but in the top of this receiver class, which was,...
  • By Matthew Barr
    May 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM 1 comment
    The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone and after the dust settled, the San Francisco 49ers had added eight draft picks and eleven undrafted free agents. While the Nick Bosas and Deebo Samuels of the world will garner a majority of the attention, undrafted free agents actually make up a fifth of all NFL rosters. Just last season, the 49ers' leading rusher and leading receiver, running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne respectively, were both UDFAs following the 2017 draft. The weakest position group on the team is offensive line and that is where rookie Ross Reynolds could make his impact. Reynolds, a redshirt senior from the University of Iowa, comes with only one year of starting experience but he made the most of it: he was named to the...
  • By Levin T. Black
    May 3, 2019 at 7:00 AM 1 comment
    Jordan Holland may not be a household name but San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has known him for years. Holland, a defensive back, will be taking part in the 49ers rookie minicamp this weekend. When he steps on the field for the first practice later today, Holland will be fulfilling a promise he made to Shanahan back in 2016. "I told him that one day I would get the chance to play for him," Holland said through email. It was a bold promise to make. To understand how unlikely it must have seemed to Shanahan at the time you need to know Holland's story. Holland's football career has been anything but conventional. It started normal enough. He played for Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas. Without a Division I scholarship offer he...
  • By Al Sacco
    Apr 30, 2019 at 8:45 AM 4 comments
    The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books and we now have a pretty good idea of what the San Francisco 49ers will look like this upcoming campaign. Overall, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan did a good job of adding talent throughout the offseason, and it's hard not to be at least a little optimistic that fortunes are about to improve for a team that's seemed to be snake bitten the past couple of years. Here are my thoughts as to where things currently stand with the Niners: 1) Nick Bosa was the right pick. There was some debate as to whether the 49ers would go with the Ohio State star or Alabama's Quinnen Williams, but in the end the edge rusher won out. What the addition of Bosa does is bring in another edge player who has the ability to wreck a game and also close out wins. Bosa has a...
  • By Justin Wong
    Apr 29, 2019 at 7:02 PM 8 comments
    Standing atop the third round with the 67th overall pick, many 49ers fans were expecting General Manager John Lynch to look at addressing either the secondary or offensive line; they had just selected wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the second round. Samuel is a great prospect in his own right, but at 5-foot-11, most of his work was done primarily on underneath routes as a slot receiver. It turns out, the 49ers decided to double down on the position. Enter Baylor receiver Jalen Hurd, an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds who was previously a running back for two seasons with the University of Tennessee before transferring to Baylor—and making the switch to wide receiver. Hurd had to redshirt the 2017 season, but in his brief time at Baylor, he finished the...
  • By Site Staff
    Apr 28, 2019 at 1:06 PM 13 comments
    With the 2019 NFL Draft in the books, the 49ers Webzone staff identified its favorite picks and biggest head-scratchers from San Francisco's most recent draft class. There were some selections many anticipated from the San Francisco 49ers draft. Most expected Nick Bosa to go No. 2 overall and many felt the team might go receiver in Round 2. Some even thought San Francisco might double-dip on wide receivers. Although, maybe not with back-to-back team selections. We asked our staff to identify its favorite 49ers picks and the biggest head-scratchers of the draft. Below are the responses in the order in which they were received. Matthew Mani Favorite Pick: Jalen Hurd because of the versatility he can bring to the...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 27, 2019 at 1:36 PM 5 comments
    Unless the San Francisco 49ers trade back into the 2019 NFL Draft, general manager John Lynch's class this year will be complete. And his strategy might have been something a bit "out of the box." A year ago, the San Francisco 49ers allowed only 5,546 yards, which was 13th best in the league, yet boasted the NFL's fifth-worst scoring defense. Coordinator Robert Saleh's unit finished tied for 22nd in sack production, with 37 quarterback takedowns, and ranked dead last in defensive takeaways, boasting just two interceptions over the entirety of 2018. Pro Football Focus also ranked the Niners secondary 32nd out of 32 teams after last...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:51 PM 0 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers used the first of three sixth-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft on former Stanford tight end Kaden Smith, who might push the veteran, Garrett Celek, for a prime roster spot this training camp. There's a good chance the "Celek Time" moniker has run its course with the San Francisco 49ers. Tight end was one of the lesser needs for the Niners in the 2019 NFL Draft, particularly with the fact Pro Bowler George Kittle is already an established weapon. But the depth behind Kittle is something general manager John Lynch and Co. needed to address. Especially if eventually replacing veteran tight end Garret Celek is in the works. On day three of the draft, Lynch used the No. 176 overall selection on Stanford tight end...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Apr 27, 2019 at 12:27 PM 3 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers took punter Mitch Wishnowsky in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Yes, a punter in the fourth round. Many are upset with the pick but make no mistake it was a quality choice. This is simple. The 49ers de facto biggest need was punter because it was the only position the 49ers didn't have any options at on the roster. Furthermore, Wishnowsky is not just the top punter in the draft, he's the only punter worth drafting this year. Could the 49ers have passed on him in the fourth and taken him in the fifth instead? Perhaps. He may have made it to the 10th pick in the fifth round but there was no guarantee. The risk outweighed the reward. There aren't any quality veteran punters available. The risk of missing out on Wishnowsky...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 26, 2019 at 7:07 PM 1 comment
    The San Francisco 49ers elected to grab Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd early in Round 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft. A potential mismatch nightmare, how will head coach Kyle Shanahan deploy him? So much for any predictions the San Francisco 49ers would use their Round 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on a defensive back. Instead of going on defense, the Niners went back to back in the second and third rounds, first grabbing South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel and then landing Baylor wideout Jalen Hurd at No. 67 overall. Two wide receivers in a row? Granted, San Francisco didn't generate a 500-yard wide receiver in 2018. But this could seem like quite the...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 26, 2019 at 4:44 PM 3 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers just selected South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. A day after grabbing Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa with the second pick, head coach Kyle Shanahan got some much-needed offensive reinforcements, bolstering a wide receiver corps that lacked a single 500-yard wideout in 2018. And with the Niners having already parted ways with veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon during the offseason, grabbing another physical player makes a lot of sense. There's an argument San Francisco could have been better off with either Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf or his college teammate, A.J. Brown. Yet the Niners apparently had little interest in the former. And while they met with both Brown and Samuel in the...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Apr 26, 2019 at 7:44 AM 6 comments
    It has been a long and winding road but the San Francisco 49ers defense overhaul is complete with the selection of defensive end Nick Bosa in the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday. When John Lynch took control of the 49ers, the team was in shambles. Head coach Kyle Shanahan would go a long way towards fixing the offense. The defense was a different matter. There were a few young pieces with potential. Defensive tackles DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead along with safety Jaquiski Tartt were on the team. They weren't finished projects. They needed development. There were no great veterans either. In fact, there wasn't a single Pro Bowl caliber defender on the roster at the time Lynch was made general manager. The rest of the defense would have to be...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 25, 2019 at 9:18 PM 12 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their 2019 NFL Draft class by selecting Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick. With Round 1 in the books, who are some players to watch as potential Niners targets in Round 2? Day one of the NFL Draft always gets the most publicity, and it's not uncommon for many a casual fan to tune out after Round 1 is in the books. For the San Francisco 49ers, this round netted arguably the top prospect in this year's class, Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa, who fell into the Niners' collective lap at No. 2 overall following the top-drafting Arizona Cardinals took Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. But drafts aren't won on day one, and the 49ers can look forward to yet another early pick when Round 2 kicks off...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 25, 2019 at 7:57 PM 2 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers' selection of Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa in the 2019 NFL Draft could help transform a promising-yet-underachieving defensive line into one of the most formidable in the league this season. Entering 2018, the San Francisco 49ers defensive line was supposed to be one of the few positions of relative strength. Yet after 17 weeks, Football Outsiders ranked this unit 19th in run defense and 18th against the pass. One should figure that all changes, following the 2019 NFL Draft addition of Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa. Bosa joins a crop of Niners defenders, many of whom are also former first-round draft picks, such as DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon...
  • By Peter Panacy
    Apr 25, 2019 at 5:54 PM 2 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers grabbed Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa shortly after the Arizona Cardinals took Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. And this sets up a nice little NFC West rivalry for the immediate future. Before too long, fans will be able to watch the newest member of the San Francisco 49ers, EDGE Nick Bosa, chase around the top pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, now-Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, on Sundays. The Niners benefited from the Cardinals' selection of Murray, essentially letting arguably the draft's top prospect, Bosa, fall right into their collective lap. An elite pass-rusher, Bosa shouldn't have too much difficulty getting some lofty stats right away on a 49ers defensive line already boasting four...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    Apr 24, 2019 at 2:00 PM 6 comments
    This week, the 49ers GM, John Lynch, indicated that he felt good about the options the team would have if it traded back to the tenth pick in the draft. With Edge rusher remaining as a huge priority on the 49ers roster, it makes sense to look at a terrifically talented and skilled edge rusher who is likely to be available when the tenth pick occurs. Brian Burns is a technically sophisticated edge rusher from Florida State University who boasts elite length and bend, but whose low weight has caused significant concerns regarding his ability to play the run on base downs and convert speed to power as a pass rusher. Burns' length and agility have drawn comparisons to Aldon Smith, and while Burns routinely uses his length to create leverage, as Smith did, his thin frame in college did not...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Apr 22, 2019 at 7:58 AM 2 comments
    Today we look at University of Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. 49ers fans might riot if the 49ers select another defensive tackle in the first round. But hear me out: this wouldn't be a justifiable response to drafting Quinnen Williams, who, along with Nick Bosa, is considered to be a top three player in this year's draft. Williams isn't just another defensive tackle. He's a generational talent at the position who offers an immediate upgrade to the interior of any defensive line he lands on. And yes, he's a much better talent coming out of college than DeForest Buckner was. But fans shouldn't worry about what happens to Buckner's role if the 49ers were to hypothetically draft Williams. Buckner primarily plays the 3-and-5-technique...
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