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A look back at some former 49ers combine performancesby Kyle Posey on February 27, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Emmanuel Sanders combine numbers will surprise you There have been a few videos from current San Francisco 49ers performing at the NFL Combine when they came out of college. John Lynch has done a fantastic job of drafting athletes, and you’ll see that from the numbers below. One thing to keep in mind if you’re going to be paying attention as the weekend goes on, just because a player is fast doesn’t mean he’s a good athlete. Pay more attention to the short shuttles and 3-cone. Even the vertical and broad jumps are better indicators of athleticism than straight-line speed. Change of direction remains king in the NFL, though. Speaking of, as the wide receivers and tight ends work out on Thursday, Kyle Shanahan has a type at wideout: With the WRs working out today, the 49ers have a type. Before Deebo, each WR had at least a 32" vertical, sub 4.25 short shuttle, sub-7-second 3-cone.Wiggle/short-area quicks>straight line speed. pic.twitter.com/QISj3ttwuW— KP (@KP_Show) February 27, 2020 Shanahan said earlier this week that he admired the way Deebo Samuel loved to be around the game of football, so I’m sure he was willing to forgive going a blink of an eye over seven seconds in the 3-cone drill. The real takeaway of that tweet was Emmanuel Sanders’ combine numbers. He ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and had a broad jump of 10-foot-5. Wow. We knew Goodwin was a super athlete. Marquise said he’s going for the gold in the long jump during the 2020 Olympics. Goodwin ran a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash. He can fly. Who could forget Mitch Wishnowsky last year running a 4.63 40-yard dash? George Kittle ran a 4.52 with a bloody cotton swab in his nose because why wouldn’t he? George Kittle doing his combine with a nose bleed is the best thing I’ve seen today. pic.twitter.com/klanJDglEP— Alex Tran (@NinerAlex) February 27, 2020 Here is Deebo from last year: Take a look back at breakout rookie Deebo Samuel’s combine performance. With the NFL Combine on-field drills set to begin today, which draft prospects are you looking forward to watching the most? @49ers pic.twitter.com/yrsrySK2hg— Fourth and Nine (@fourth_nine) February 27, 2020 And Emmanuel Sanders: WO #32, Sanders pic.twitter.com/1msqLJXmua— Emmanuel Sanders (@ESanders_10) February 27, 2020 Now that everyone knows who he is, Raheem Mostert ran a 4.34 40-yard dash. He had a vertical jump of 40”, and had an 11-foot broad jump. That is what you call an explosive athlete. You don’t find offensive linemen jumping over 30 inches in the vertical often, but Laken Tomlinson did. Tomlinson jumped 31.5”. Ideally, your linemen run a sub-8-second 3-cone dash. Person, Richburg, and Brunskill all did. Staley and McGlinchey didn’t run at the combine. Ahkello Witherspoon’s athleticism will keep him in the NFL for a while. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, jumped over 40.5” in the vertical, and ran a sub-7-second 4-cone. Every test Witherspoon did was above average. People pretend Richard Sherman is a “bad athlete” because he ran a slow 40, but out of college, Sherm was above average in both shuttles and jumps. People knocked Nick Bosa because he wasn’t an “elite” athlete. The same was said for DeForest Buckner. For defensive linemen, if they are destroying the person trying to block them over and over, they’re a good football player. Don’t overthink it this weekend.
NFL Scouting Combine Day 1 - WR, TE, QB: A look at some prospects the 49ers should keep an eye onby Alex Eisen on February 27, 2020 at 9:01 pm
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Today the wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks take the field for drills on day one of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine! We breakdown each position, the drills, and featured players who fit 49ers team needs. Intro: Greetings Faithful! Welcome to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine! Once again, the Combine will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The next crop of promising NFL talent will take the field these next four days, performing various drills. For many prospects, the Combine serves as a golden opportunity to further raise their draft stock and, in turn, earn more dollars once they turn pro. Besides the Senior Bowl, the Combine serves at the official start towards the path-to-the-draft. From here, all roads lead to Vegas! Like the other 31 teams in the league, The San Francisco 49ers will enter the scouting combine with some questions to answer regarding their roster. From a draft standpoint, the 49ers don’t currently possess a lot of draft capital. The team currently holds the 31st pick in the first round. However, they will not select again until the 4th round. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks were sent off in trades for Dee Ford (2nd round pick) and Emmanuel Sanders (3rd and 4th round picks). Here are the 49ers current draft picks: First Round: Own Pick (31st Overall) Fifth Round: (Via Denver Broncos) Fifth Round: Own Pick Sixth Round: Own Pick Seventh Round: Own Pick Seventh Round: (Via Detroit Lions) Heading into free agency, the three big names to watch out for are 2019 sack leader Arik Armstead. Safety Jimmie Ward and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Ideally, the 49ers would love to keep all three players; however, the dollars and figures may not be in their favor. As of this writing, the team’s current salary cap is about 13 million. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will have to be very creative. The offseason will be intriguing, to say the least. The 49ers were that close to winning their sixth Lombardi trophy…They will do everything possible to finish the deal in 2020. That starts today at the NFL Scouting Combine. Let’s jump in and meet some prospects! IMPORTANT NOTE: As a final note, featured prospects may not necessarily be the top prospects at their position, but instead we will try and focus on realistic targets and fits for the 49ers. NFL Scouting Combine Day 1 Info: Date: Thursday, February 27Position Group: TE, QB, WRTV: NFL NetworkTime: 1:00-8:00 p.m. PT Workout Drills: Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images 40-yard dash Vertical Jump Broad Jump Shuttle Run Bench Press 10 yard split 3 cone drill 20 yard shuttle 60 yard shuttle Wide Receivers: How the measurable drills translate for wide receivers: Drill Target Explanation 40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance 10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness 225 Bench 12 Upper body strength Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness Broad Jump 10’0″ Explosiveness 20 yd shuttle 4.15 Flexibility/burst/balance 60 yd shuttle 11.4 Endurance 3 cone drill 7.00 Agility/COD Drills To Watch for Wide Receivers: The 40-yard dash is perhaps the most important drill for a receiver in the eyes of scouts and evaluators. The vertical jump is an effective way to measure a prospect’s ability to spring up for those “Jump-Balls” (50/50 balls). A Broad Jump measures explosiveness and physicality evaluators seek in receivers. 40 Yard Dash Broad Jump Vertical Jump 3 Cone Drill 60 yard shuttle Full List of Wide Receivers: Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images » Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State » Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State » Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky » Tony Brown, WR, Colorado » Lawrence Cager, WR, Georgia » Marquez Callaway, WR, Tennessee » Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin » Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame » Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida » Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island » Gabriel Davis, WR, Central Florida » Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M » Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas » Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina » Chris Finke, WR, Notre Dame » Aaron Fuller, WR, Washington » Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty » Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis » Stephen Guidry, WR, Mississippi State » KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State » Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson » John Hightower, WR, Boise State » K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State » Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State » Trishton Jackson, WR, Syracuse » Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU » Van Jefferson, WR, Florida » Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee » Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama » Collin Johnson, WR, Texas » Juwan Johnson, WR, Oregon » Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota » CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma » Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Vanderbilt » Austin Mack, WR, Ohio State » Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor » Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane » K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami » Aaron Parker, WR, Rhode Island » Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State » Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan » Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy » Michael Pittman, WR, USC » James Proche, WR, SMU » Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU » Joe Reed, WR, Virginia » Kendrick Rogers, WR, Texas A&M » Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama » Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado » Darrell Stewart, WR, Michigan State » Freddie Swain, WR, Florida » Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami » Ben Victor, WR, Ohio State » Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi » Cody White, WR, Michigan State Wide Receivers to watch: Michael Pittman Jr., WO43 – USCHeight: 6’4”Weight: 223 lbs.Arms: 32 ½”Hands: 9 ¼” One of my favorite under-the-radar players who I think is going to make a name for himself at the next level. Michael Pittman has the size, speed, and physicality to be a complete pass catcher in the NFL. He can make contested catches at all three levels on the field. Was a constant go-to target at USC this past season with reliable and capable hands. Pittman has a full, established route tree, and outstanding football instincts. Will contribute as a blocker in the run game, and has demonstrated his positive value on special teams. I think Pittman is a special football player and will be a steal in this draft. Tee Higgins, WO21 – ClemsonHeight: 6’4”Weight: 216 lbs.Arms: 34 1/8”Hands: 9 1/4” The number one option for the Clemson Tigers had an electrifying season. Higgins has a long frame that he uses to his advantage. Higgins is a mismatch outside the numbers against over-matched defensive backs. He has long, fluid strides, and picks up speed the deeper his route goes. Has outstanding football instincts and elite anticipation when tracking down the football. Will often find success receiving passes at the high-point. He is as reliable as a receiver as there is in space. His 40-yard dash will be something to watch. Should he time faster than what most anticipate Higgins could soar up the draft board. He could also slip in a very crowded and deep receiving class. Justin Jefferson, WO26 – LSUHeight: 6’1”Weight: 202Arms: 33”Hands: 9 1/8” Justin Jefferson is a mismatch nightmare with his size, speed, and point catch abilities. His upside is outstanding, and his ability to stretch the field and constantly make plays at the second and third levels is quite valuable. Has strong and reliable hands, and can secure additional yards after the reception. Jefferson has been one of the best if not THE best big-play producer in the country this season. If Sanders is not re-signed, Jefferson would be a great fit in the Niners’ offensive plans. He would add a nice contrasting style compared to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Between the three of them, defenses would have a hard time trying to cover all three receiving threats at multiple levels on the field. Keep an eye on Jefferson because he might just end up at the very end of the first round. Brandon Aiyuk, WO01 – Arizona StateHeight: 6’0”Weight: 205 lbs.Arms: 33 ½”Hands: 9 3/4”Bench Press: 11 Reps Aiyuk has a great combination of size, speed, and overall athleticism. Has the ability to break off of man coverage, and find space in the open field. Dukes and throws defensive backs off balance on his routes, and has great initial burst off the snap. Has a quick turn-and-run ability upon receiving the ball. Will fight for additional yards after the reception. He was considered the Yards After King in college football! Van Jefferson, WO27 – FloridaHeight: 6’1”Weight: 200 lbs.Arms: 32 ¾”Hands: 9 1/8” Van Jefferson was one of the focal points in the Gator’s offense this season. His stats don’t scream off of the paper, however much of his play was held back by poor quarterback play. What the tape reveals is a seasoned and polished route runner with the ability to track down the ball. Is not afraid to get physical with defensive backs for jump balls at the catch-point in man to man coverage. Jefferson is one of my under the radar players who can make an impact as he continues to expand his abilities at the pro level. Collin Johnson, WO30 – TexasHeight: 6’6”Weight: 222 lbs.Arms: 31 3/4”Hands: 9”Bench Reps: 17 Talk about size, physicality, and the ability to outbox defenders in one to one matchups. Johnson sounds like another big target for the 49ers to utilize with George Kittle. His measurements and frame are what scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. Johnson has good speed for the position and can create separation at all three levels on the field (Short, Intermediate, and Deep Routes). On tape, Johnson has demonstrated his ability to create yards after the catch. He has strong hands and is a reliable pass catcher. Johnson is continuing to develop his route tree. A smooth runner, who brings a physical presence along the line of scrimmage, and can move the chains and advance the series. He has a favorable wingspan and creates large windows for his quarterback. He should prove to be a red-zone threat at the next level. Adding more speed and agility will benefit Johnson and his draft stock moving forward. There is certainly more room for growth and development. Tight Ends: Drill Target Explanation 40 yd dash 4.85 Speed over distance 10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness 225 Bench 22 Upper body strength Vertical Jump 32″ Explosiveness Broad Jump 9’6″ Explosiveness 20 yd shuttle 4.20 Flexibility/burst/balance 60 yd shuttle 11.8 Endurance 3 cone drill 7.30 Agility/COD Drills To Watch for Tight Ends: The tight end’s speed is essential in today’s pass-first league, so like with receivers, the 40-yard dash will be one of the more important drills for tight ends. Again, like with receivers, measuring a tight ends vertical abilities and explosiveness will be quite telling in what can potentially translate to game day capabilities, and that’s why the vertical jump and broad jump are key drills for this position group. 40 Yard Dash Broad Jump Vertical Jump Tight Ends: Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images » Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA » Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon » Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic » Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington » Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati » Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue » Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech » Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame » Sean McKeon, TE, Michigan » Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU » C.J. O’Grady, TE, Arkansas » Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri » Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford » Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt » Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU » Charlie Taumoepeau, TE, Portland State » Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton » Mitchell Wilcox, TE, South Florida » Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia » Dom Wood-Anderson, TE, Tennessee Tight Ends to Watch: Harrison Bryant, TE03 – Florida AtlanticHeight: 6’5”Weight: 243 lbs.Arms: 30 5/8”Hands: 9 1/2”Bench Press: 13 reps The tight end in this draft class that resembles and reminds the most of George Kittle is Harrison Bryant. I’m sure 49ers’ fans wouldn’t mind having two George Kittles on the team, right? Bryant has a long way to go. However, there is a lot to like about the tight end out of Florida Atlantic. Bryant runs fluidly through his hips at all three levels on the field. He has demonstrated his ability to catch the football at all three levels on the field, especially the second and third levels. Works well in space, and can create separation, while fighting for yards after the reception. Bryant is an efficient run and pass blocker, which is a major plus in the Shanahan offense. Bryant is my favorite tight end prospect and would be a wonderful fit in the 49ers offense. Josiah Deguara, TE05 – CincinnatiHeight: 6’2”Weight: 242 lbs.Arms: 31 5/8”Hands: 9”Bench Press: 25 Reps The senior out of Cincinnati had another productive season for the Bearcats. While he is a bit undersized for the next level, he made his major contributions as a receiver. He was particular efficient in the red-zone and made his presence known there. It will be interesting to see how teams scout and evaluate him. He may be able to transition to that H-Back position to find further success at the pro level. Deguara is a day three pick at the moment. Jacob Breeland, TE02 – OregonHeight: 6’5”Weight: 252 lbs.Arms: 32 5/8”Hands: 9 7/8” Jacob Breeland has good movement and catchability for the position. His controlled footwork allows him to break out inside the numbers and create separation. Breeland is a good sound blocker, however, there is room for improvement. He still needs to develop body control and footwork as a positional blocker. He makes up for this with his efficient movement in his routes and the ability to catch the football as a big-window target for the passer. Quarterbacks: How the measurable drills translate for Quarterbacks: *Minimal Targets for ALL positions courtesy of Draft Breakdown Drill Target Explanation 40 yd dash 4.90 Speed over distance 10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness 225 Bench n/a Upper body strength Vertical Jump 30″ Explosiveness Broad Jump 9’0″ Explosiveness 20 yd shuttle 4.30 Flexibility/burst/balance 60 yd shuttle n/a Endurance 3 cone drill 7.25 Agility/COD Drills to watch for Quarterbacks: Passing: How the ball is coming out of the QB’s hands. The Quarterbacks footwork 3-Step Drop, 5-Step Drop, 7-Step Drop, Route Tree: Short, Intermediate, Deep throwing abilities. Velocity, Accuracy, Touch. How fast is the Quarterback’s release? Release Point? Special Note: I’m going to list a couple of sleeper picks at quarterback. Quarterback is nowhere near the top of the 49ers’ pressing needs. If anything, a trade involving Mullens or Beathard would possibly change the narrative, but it still seems unlikely. Quarterbacks: Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images » Kelly Bryant, QB, Missouri » Joe Burrow, QB, LSU » Kevin Davidson, QB, Princeton » Jacob Eason, QB, Washington » Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia » Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State » Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon » Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma » Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State » Jordan Love, QB, Utah State » Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State » Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii » Steven Montez, QB, Colorado » James Morgan, QB, Florida International » Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan » Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa » Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama Shea Patterson, QB15 – MichiganHeight: 6’1”Weight: 212 lbs.Arms: 30 ½”Hands: 9 3/8” Nate Stanley, QB16 – IowaHeight: 6’4”Weight: 235 lbs.Arms: 32 5/8”Hands: 10” Kevin Davidson, QB03 – PrincetonHeight: 6’4”Weight: 224 lbs.Arms: 30 7/8”Hands: 8 ¼” Who are YOU excited to see on day 1 of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine? Please share in the comments below!
NN mailbag: How many times will the 49ers trade back in the draft?by Kyle Posey on February 27, 2020 at 7:01 pm
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images What’s a mailbag without a question about OBJ? With the NFL Combine in full effect, this week’s mailbag will be centered around the draft. No matter what the topic is, there will always be some fans who believe the San Francisco 49ers should trade Jimmy Garoppolo. One of the responses were, “trade Jimmy GarbagO and Armstead, and the 31st pick for the Bengals No. 1 overall pick so we can draft Burrow and let Shanahan coach him into a Pro Bowl quarterback and have a quarterback that can win us the Super Bowl.” This was a real sentence that someone who breathes the same air as us typed. Love the internet! Anyway, let’s get into the mailbag and some questions. What first-round caliber wider receiver fits Kyle Shannahan’s scheme the best? Reagor? Shenault? or a bigger body like Tee Higgins? -Nell The first two I wouldn’t take in the top 50 picks. Jalen Reagor is a speedy receiver from TCU that will likely run a sub 4.35 40-yard dash on Thursday. When the ball is in his hands, he’s great. Reagor is also a great deep threat. It’s everything in between like intermediate routes that he needs to improve on. Laviska Shenault is a player that we see in several analysts’ top-five, but I don’t see it. The Deebo Samuel comparisons are disrespectful to Samuel. Shenault is built like a running back and is terrific with the ball in his hands. As a receiver, let’s just say he leaves a lot to be desired. After Higgins runs on Thursday, you can kiss him being at No. 31 goodbye. Realistically, the value isn’t there at the end of the first when looking at the receivers that will be available, assuming the “top names” will be gone. That’s yet another reason the 49ers should trade back. You can get additional picks and likely the same crop of the talent pool at receiver 15 or so picks later. If Oklahoma’s Ceedee Lamb slips in the draft because he runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, don’t hesitate. We can’t keep everyone, how many new starters will there be next year? -James This is a great question. There’s expected to be plenty of turnovers, but will there be changes in the starting lineup? I’ll say five. There will be a new starter at free safety, cornerback, wide receiver, right guard, and defensive tackle—which is kind of a copout considering it’ll be D.J. Jones. So four, I suppose. Emmanuel Sanders reportedly wants to be back with the 49ers. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows wrote how the 49ers are probably done with the contract restructures for this cycle. That means the team is unlikely to make moves to create cap space. If Arik Armstead is a priority, that means Jimmie Ward and Emmanuel Sanders become the odd men out. That’s how I read it. Should we trade all of our picks plus Thomas for obj? -Chris This time last year, all we talked about was Odell Beckham Jr., who had the quietest 1,000-yard season in 2019 I can remember. Talent has never been Beckham’s issue, and I don’t buy that he’s this locker room cancer that many make OBJ out to be. Beckham’s contract is pricey. If the Niners traded for him, and would likely have to give up a first-round pick, they’d also have to pay Beckham $14 million in 2020, and $15 million a season the next three years. The 49ers need a reliable target on the roster that you can count on with experience. Sanders is a perfect example of that. While OBJ is talented, giving up a premium draft pick and investing that type of money in him when you have a draft this deep feels like bad business. I feel like many are falling in love with the idea of a high pick on a WR. Plenty of talent to be had throughout the draft at that spot. I feel IOL and DB should be the priority. I’m all over Gladney. Thoughts? -Adam Adam is correct. Receiver is a fun topic that is easy for everyone to discuss. I don’t think there is any question when you look at the roster and contracts that defensive back is a bigger priority. The interior offensive line is as well, but if I’m strapped for cash and not trying to make a big splash in free agency, I let Mike Person and Daniel Brunskill duke it out to see who starts at right guard. If Ward does walk, you have Tarvarius Moore. Do the 49ers prioritize a veteran safety or cornerback? That will tell us what position the team will target in the draft. Free agency will be fun. For all of the talk about the wide receiver class, you can find quality starters in the draft on Day 2—which is even more of a reason for the team to trade back. Over-under on 49ers trade backs at 2.5, do you dare take the under? -Bolo Oh, man. I’ll say over because the question isn’t limited to the first round. Let’s assume there is a trade back from No. 31 to the middle of the second round and pick up a third-round pick. Another trade down from that third-round pick to scoop up a fourth is plausible. There are endless scenarios here. If a player the team loves falls in the fifth round—where the 49ers have multiple picks—could they trade up? I think so. Because of that, I’m taking the over.
Report: If the contract is reasonable, Emmanuel Sanders will be back with the 49ersby Kyle Posey on February 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm
Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images Sanders reportedly wants to be back with the Niners Business is business. For the San Francisco 49ers, you probably can’t a person in the building that wants to move on from Emmanuel Sanders. From the players to the coaches, Sanders is loved in the building. When you factor in the impact Sanders had and will continue to have, it makes the 49ers free agency decision impossible. Money is tight, and while the team can free up some cap space to bring Sanders back, that may affect the decision to bring back other unrestricted free agents. According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, Sanders wants to be back with San Francisco: 3) Emmanuel Sanders/San Francisco 49ers: Sanders wants to stay with the Niners, and San Francisco wants him back. If the contract is not too exorbitant, it’s very likely Sanders ends up back with the Niners. You may not be familiar with Pauline, but he’s plugged in and has been around for several years. If I didn’t feel like he was trustworthy, I wouldn’t share this. We haven’t heard anything like this, so it’s refreshing knowing that Sanders wants to be back if Pauline is correct. Sanders has earned $53 million in his career. Other teams like the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and the Indianapolis Colts, and all the other teams that can offer Sanders more money don’t have what the 49ers do: a winning pedigree. When the 49ers traded for Sanders, he said he has about two to three years left in the NFL. Knowing this is his “last shot” at winning it all, why in the world would he sign with a team that isn’t going to contend for a title? Not all players are in it for the money. Sanders has never given off that vibe. I’ve long felt that Sanders would wind up playing for another team in 2020 because of money. This report contradicts that, and I couldn’t be any happier. Now we ask, what qualifies as “not too exorbitant?” If the team can sign Sanders for under $10 million a season and he’s willing to accept that deal, that’s the steal of free agency. We’ll find out soon enough. It’s going to be challenging to replace Sander’s locker room presence and leadership. One way to ensure you don’t have to do that? Re-sign him.
A trade that would make sense for both the 49ers and Broncosby Kyle Posey on February 27, 2020 at 3:01 pm
Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images One team gets draft picks, the other gets a starter Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said his team needs to get better at cornerback at the NFL combine. That’s hardly news, as All-everything Chris Harris is set to test the free agency market. Elway is buddies with San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch. The Broncos have three third-round picks, and two fourth-round picks. Two of those picks are from the Niners after both teams made a deal for Emmanuel Sanders during last seasons trade deadline. The 49ers need a cornerback, so this may read as counterproductive to trade one away. When you bench a player twice in a season, you’re giving upon him. The team was put in a difficult position once Ahkello Witherspoon returned from injury. The defense hardly missed a beat, and that was in large part due to Emmanuel Moseley’s play. Moving on from Witherspoon should be viewed as independent from needing a cornerback. That was Year 3 for Witherspoon, and we know who he is at this point. All the talent in the world—as you saw before his injury—but “something” is missing. If there is no trade, Witherspoon would be on the roster in 2020 and will fight for a starting spot, but likely end up as a depth piece. I’d guess the 49ers are going to want a veteran at cornerback. Someone that’s “been there.” With that in mind, why not try and recoup some draft capital? My trade proposal is sending Witherspoon to Denver. My initial request would be for San Francisco’s original third-round pick. If that were turned down, I’d go for the late fourth-rounder. One thing to keep in mind, especially as we get into free agency where trades happen, is that just because a player was drafted in the third round doesn’t mean he’s still worth that. Witherspoon may still have that worth, especially since it’s at the very end of the third round. A player like C.J. Beathard is a perfect example, though. Nobody is trading a third-round pick for C.J. I reached out to Tim Lynch of Mile High Report for his thoughts and if he thinks Denver would be interested: Tim: He’s the guy the Niners benched in the Vikings game last year, right? Looking over his stats, he allowed almost 8 yards per pass on 48 targets and 4.7 yards after the catch. While I’m not sure Denver would be interested, I see no reason a 6th or 7th wouldn’t pique John Elway’s interest here. Cornerback is definitely a position of need, and we all expect him to be aggressive about it in free agency next month. K.P.: Yeah, he is. Before he was hurt, he was playing at an All-Pro level. Then he had a tough, tough, stretch where he gave up touchdowns left and right. Tim: It would come down to Vic Fangio then. If he thinks the guy is worth more than what he showed down the stretch, a fourth-rounder could be possible. John Elway listens to Fangio on these kinds of things. I do doubt it would happen at that price, though. Witherspoon def isn’t a household name in the NFL.