• By Aaron Erickson
    Mar 12, 2019 at 4:53 PM
    When Kyle Shanahan expressed that the 49ers planned to be aggressive in free agency, many fans began to imagine the team improved by the acquisition of one or more edge rushers, a dominant single-high safety, or a dynamic wide receiver. As promised, the 49ers came to an agreement on a big deal on the first day of legal tampering. Surprisingly, that deal secured the services of a WILL linebacker, Kwon Alexander, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the move, and the money assigned to the acquisition, puzzled many fans, the 49ers managed to replace the loss of former first-round pick Reuben Foster with a Pro Bowl alternate who is actually four months younger than Foster. Foster's dismissal from the team left a unit that was low on talent in dire straits, and his...
  • By Cesar Becerra
    Mar 12, 2019 at 3:29 PM
    The start of the NFL's legal tampering has been action packed through the first two days. Outside of taking care of their own by extending Mike Person and Kyle Nelson, the 49ers have been relatively quiet at the start of free agency, only signing inside linebacker Kwon Alexander. There are still plenty of big names available that the 49ers should remain interested in (Earl Thomas, Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Justin Houston, Ezekiel Ansah, Steven Nelson, and Jason McCourty) so the 49ers may not be done. Where the 49ers have been active is on the trade rumor mill. There has been so much chatter linking the 49ers to trading for Odell Beckham Jr. Fox Sport's Colin Cowherd broke down the situation earlier this...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Mar 12, 2019 at 10:08 AM
    This is part two in a two-part series looking at Dante Pettis' rookie season. The first one can be found here. In the previous article, I showed how Pettis is effective at getting open and creating separation against man and zone coverage, the variety of routes he can run against those coverages, and how he creates separation on each one. Today, we look at other aspects of his game, specifically how he creates separation on out-breaking routes, how he can be used as a red zone target, his open field runner ability, and where he can improve. In both articles,...
  • By Justin Wong
    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:16 PM
    As of today, NFL teams can now negotiate with prospective free agent players with plenty of sports news talk in between. NFL free agency officially begins on March 13th at 1PM PST and already, the San Francisco 49ers made headlines. NFL Network Ian Rapoport reported the 49ers reached an agreement with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Kwon Alexander on a four year/$54 million deal. There are also rumors swirling that the 49ers are still looking into trading for New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. With an estimated $65 million in cap room to spend, let's preview another potential 49ers' target in Los Angeles Chargers WR Tyrell...
  • By Richard Madrid
    Mar 11, 2019 at 11:57 AM
    In this two-part series, we'll look at Dante Pettis' rookie season and why he's going to be an effective receiver for years to come in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Part one looks at his skill set against man coverage and zone coverage. Part two will look at the rest of the route tree as well as usage in the red zone, the open field, and where he'll need to improve. In both articles, we'll compare his college film to his pro film to see if anything translated to the NFL and how. Dante Pettis was selected by the 49ers in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, 44th overall, out of the University of Washington. In four seasons with the Huskies, he totalled 2256 receiving yards and 24...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    Mar 11, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    The 49ers need to improve their defense by increasing production from the edge rushers. Free agency officially opens on Wednesday, and it offers the team an opportunity to get better on the edge before the start of the NFL draft. While a lot of attention has been paid to the edge talent in the draft, the 49ers only project to have six selections in this draft and they will need to add more than one edge rusher to make the position one of strength. While the team could still double up on edge rushers in the draft, there are some interesting veteran options that could be available in free agency. Last Friday, we looked at Za'Darius Smith, a productive DE/OLB from Baltimore, and analyzed how well he could complement the 49ers roster. You can view that article...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Mar 10, 2019 at 9:24 PM
    There's no question the San Francisco 49ers pass rush from the edge has been a problem. GM John Lynch should sign recently released linebacker Justin Houston to solve that problem. To be clear, Houston should be the first step in solving the problem with the second step coming in the draft next month. Houston was officially released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. They chose that route rather than paying him the $15.25 million base salary he was due. Of course the Chiefs attempted to trade Houston prior to releasing him. The 30-year-old isn't quite the same player he was when he came within a half sack of the single season record in 2014 with 22. No team was going to give up a draft pick just to pay him like he is still the player he was when he signed a...
  • By Aaron Erickson
    Mar 8, 2019 at 8:44 AM
    There's no question that the 49ers need to improve their defense by increasing production from the edge rushers. While a lot of attention has been paid to the edge talent in the draft, the 49ers only project to have six selections in this draft (the team is expected to receive a sixth-round compensatory selection), and they will need to add more than one edge rusher to make the position one of strength. While the team could still double up on edge rushers in the draft, there are some interesting veteran options that could be available in free agency. While free agents don't offer the same optimism or affordability as a draft pick, they have already demonstrated what they can do in the NFL, which can make them seem like less of a gamble, even though they come with a much higher cap hit...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Mar 7, 2019 at 5:15 PM
    We are just mere days away from the start of NFL free agency. If you're not excited about it, be happy some of the endless guessing and wild fantasies that each free agent is the supposed savior of the San Francisco 49ers will soon cease. As stated in two previous commentaries, the 49ers need high-end free agent talent to fill gaps in nearly every position group. Again, an edge rusher is the first priority, though it seems more likely general manager John Lynch will fill that need through the draft rather than skim the free agent pool. Two years ago, the 49ers began to rebuild the linebacker...
  • By Jason Aponte
    Mar 7, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    A look back at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's Week 3 performance against the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2018 season. The 49ers were fresh off their first victory of the season and headed into noisy Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs in their home opener. A shootout was expected given how good the offenses were and how bad the defenses were. The 49ers would surely have to throw to keep up so this would be a great test for Jimmy Garoppolo. In his first four road starts with the 49ers, Garoppolo threw four touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Chiefs were the talk of the league and scored 80 points combined in the first two weeks. Patrick Mahomes was spectacular to open the season and...
  • By Cesar Becerra
    Mar 6, 2019 at 5:34 PM
    With the NFL franchise tag deadline passing yesterday, that means the beginning of free agency on March 13th is the next important date to kick off the 2019 season for the San Francisco 49ers. Free agency has been a time when John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have made their most significant impacts revamping the 49ers roster. They've done so by bringing in some impact players on the offensive side of the ball like Jerick McKinnon, Kyle Juszczyk, and Marquise Goodwin. Over their first two offseasons, they've preached being "aggressively prudent" with their salary cap space even though they arguably overpaid for McKinnon and Juszczyk. This offseason they have the seventh most cap space according to...
  • By Jason Aponte
    Mar 5, 2019 at 8:00 AM
    A look back at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's Week 2 performance against the Detroit Lions during the 2018 season. Coming off his first loss as a starter in the NFL, Jimmy Garoppolo looked to bounce back against the Detroit Lions. Starting the season in Minnesota against the Vikings isn't easy for any team, but the 49ers had chances to win in Week 1. Garoppolo finished with a line of 15/33, 261 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT, and the 49ers lost 24-16. The Lions were embarrassed in Week 1 by Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. Darnold threw two touchdowns in his debut and Isaiah Crowell ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Head coach Matt Patricia was hired for his defensive mind and his defense was nonexistent in his debut. Two things...
  • By Al Sacco
    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:33 AM
    The NFL scouting combine is in the books and the buzz surrounding names like Nick Bosa, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Kyler Murray is at a fever pitch. Rumors are swirling about draft day trades, and who will be positioned where when it's all said and done, and right in the middle of it all are the San Francisco 49ers. Could John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan be ready to make a move that will send shockwaves through the entire league? Here are my thoughts on that and some other topics: 1) We know that the 49ers want Beckham, but what remains to be seen is if the New York Giants are actually serious about dealing him or not. Tim Kawakami added a little more gas to the fire recently,...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Mar 3, 2019 at 12:35 PM
    On Saturday the NFL Scouting Combine saw a phenomenon born. Wide receiver prospect D.K. Metcalf soared into the national spotlight. Following a jaw dropping performance in the 40-yard dash, the 6-foot-3-inch, 228 pound prospect out of the University of Mississippi was the No. 1 trending topic in the United States on Twitter for three straight hours and remained in the top 5 for an additional two hours. A photo of Metcalf went viral prior to the Combine. He looked more like a professional body builder than a football player at a skill position. That is at least part of the reason Metcalf became a phenomenon following his 4.33 second 40-yard dash on Saturday. His time is tied for the third fastest at this year's Combine and the fastest of any prospect weighing at...
  • By Matthew Barr
    Feb 27, 2019 at 12:00 PM
    The 2019 NFL Draft Combine begins Friday in Indianapolis, IN where college players will hope to make a splash impression on the general managers, coaches and scouts who will be on hand. Often a display of raw athletic ability may be enough to have a player have his name called on draft day. The San Francisco 49ers have a plethora of players who have been combine standouts in the past. Here is a look at some of the current players who did not fail to impress in their time in Indy. Marquise Goodwin, WR Probably the most obvious choice on the roster, Marquise Goodwin was a former Olympic long jumper and a burner on the football field. Goodwin broke the 4.3-second threshold in the 40-yard dash when he was clocked at 4.27 seconds. Possibly more impressive, he registered a...
  • By Al Sacco
    Feb 27, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    With free agency and the draft right around the corner, the San Francisco 49ers are about to head into the most important offseason of the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era. The moves that are made over the next few months will go a long way in deciding how this regime will be remembered in the long run. I have some thoughts on that, as well as some other red and gold related topics, so I thought I'd share. Here we go: 1) As much speculation as there's been around the 49ers adding a big name wide receiver, at the end of the day I just don't think it will happen. Apparently, the guy that San Francisco covets is Odell Beckham, Jr. However, so do a lot of other teams. If the New York Giants do indeed make him available, there will be a bidding war. The number two overall pick is...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Feb 21, 2019 at 9:28 PM
    Maybe I buried the lead in my previous commentary about why the San Francisco 49ers need to begin rebuilding the secondary. Much like a fifth-grade essay, I will put my main thought up front. I am in full support of the 49ers drafting or signing a highly talented edge rusher. There are 152 articles each day stating the 49ers' need for an edge rusher. I have no interest in finding new nouns and adjectives to describe why Nick Bosa should become a 49er. Fortunately, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are not myopic and realize they have other position groups to build, including the interior offensive line. Tackles Joe Staley and...
  • By Levin T. Black
    Feb 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM
    It's been a long time since the San Francisco 49ers have had a truly elite wide receiver. The last top flight WR to don the red and gold was Terrell Owens in 2003. There have been 15 seasons played in the NFL since then and for 15 seasons the 49ers have searched for an Owens replacement. All of that could change in the coming weeks. How deficient has the production at WR has been for the 49ers? Well ... No WR has caught double-digit touchdowns since Owens in 2002 (16 seasons) No WR has crossed the 1,200 yard barrier since Owens in 2002 (16 seasons) Using the 1,000 yard barrier, the 49ers have been particularly inferior to other teams. Beginning with the 2004 season (first without Owens) the NFL has had 293 total 1,000 yard...
  • By Matthew Barr
    Feb 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM
    The EDGE position being one of need for the San Francisco 49ers is no secret. Since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over the franchise in 2017, the position has not been properly addressed. Late-round draft picks, fringe free agency signings and holdovers from the previous regimes have populated the depth chart on the exterior of the defensive line. As it stands right now, the depth chart is a "who's who" of "who?" Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's defensive scheme requires consistent pressure on the quarterback to relieve stress from his oft-injured and young secondary. Outside of DT DeForest Buckner logging 12.0 sacks on the season, no other 49ers' defender eclipsed 6.0 sacks. When NFL Free Agency officially opens on March 13, John Lynch and Co. will have plenty of...
  • By Bret Rumbeck
    Feb 5, 2019 at 8:02 PM
    "February is always a bad month for TV sports. Football is gone, basketball is plodding along in the annual mid-season doldrums, and baseball is not even mentioned." – Hunter S. Thompson Welcome to the slow season. The confetti that fell from the robotic roof of Mercedes-Ben Stadium may mean joy to our new NFL champion, but to me, it's the dawn of people pointlessly predicting win-loss records and ESPN defrosting Mel Kiper from his cryogenic freeze to build 438 mock draft boards. Last season, the San Francisco 49ers were riding high on the hype train as they entered the 2018 season. A plague of injuries and a lack of overall ability with the second- and third-team resulted in a rough four-win season. General manager John...
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