49ers camp summary (87): A win for Jenkins, offense


49ers camp summary (87): A win for Jenkins, offense

Summary: Receiver Michael Crabtree returned to the practice field for his most extensive work since being sidelined with a right calf strain early in practice. Crabtree caught a handful of passes during the 7-on-7 and team portions of practice. He did not participate in the two-minute drill.Meanwhile, rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins had his best day of camp. Jenkins had three receptions from Josh Johnson and a more impressive one from Scott Tolzien. Late in practice, Jenkins made one of the better catches of camp when he elevated in traffic to pull down a 25-yard dart from Tolzien, showing great body control in the air. Jenkins made the grab against the first-team defense. "Every day he's getting better," Crabtree said of Jenkins.Midway through practice, coach Jim Harbaugh raised the stakes for a two-minute drill. With post-practice sprints on the line, Alex Smith and the first-team offense marched down the field to get into the end zone.On fourth-and-goal from the six, Smith went through all his options before pulling it down, rushing right, and diving into the end zone to condemn the defense to extra conditioning.Tolzien made a number of nice deep passes. His touchdown to undrafted rookie receiver Brian Tyms was the offensive play of the day, and he dropped a pretty 30-yard pass over Ted Ginn's left shoulder down the right sideline later.Injury report: LaMichael James did not participate in practice, and his status is unknown. It was the first practice James has missed during training camp. Offensive lineman Jason Slowey sat out his third practice with an undisclosed injury. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg), cornerback Curtis Holcomb also did not participate. Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.Offensive play of the day: Tolzien showed an adept feel for the long ball. In the first 11-on-11 drill of the day, with the blitz coming, he hung in to hit Brian Tyms with a deep ball to the left side. Tyms elevated over starting cornerback Tarell Brown to haul in the touchdown. Anthony Dixon helped provide protection for Tolzien with a blitz pickup that drew raves from the coaching staff.Smith-Moss connection: It wasn't the play of the day, but in an 11-on-11 red-zone period, Smith felt pressure and stepped up in the pocket nicely before throwing to Randy Moss cutting across the back of the endzone for the touchdown. Smith and Moss haven't exactly torched the 49ers defense this training camp, so it was positive to see them connecting -- and looking in sync -- in the red zone.Defensive play of the day: Donte Whitner and Carlos Rogers each pulled down interceptions. Whitner's was more impressive, as he jumped an inside rout and collapsed on Johnson's low pass. Rogers' pick was deflected into the air before he corralled it in the middle of the field.Eye on reps: The bulk of the quarterback snaps went to third- and fourth-string QBs Johnson and Tolzien. Johnson had an up-and-down day of work with several of his passes sailing high of the mark. Tolzien was sharper, especially looking downfield.Getting physical: In a 1-on-1 individual blitz pick-up drill, Dixon locked up Ahmad Brooks and threw him backwards. A play later, Aldon Smith looked to get around starting fullback Bruce Miller. When Dixon and Brooks squared off again, there was a little something extra behind the initial contact. It was a good drill for Dixon, who turned away a NaVorro Bowman spin move as well.Notable: In the special teams period of practice, the ball ended up in Brooks' arms on the kick return. It won't be a plan of attack for the 49ers, who have Ted Ginn, Kendall Hunter and James listed on the depth chart for kickoff returns, but you never know where a squib kick will end up.Next practice: The 49ers return to practice on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers began Thursday with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When his first day as 49ers general manager reached its conclusion, John Lynch had selected two of the three top players on his draft board and picked up additional third-round picks for this year and next year.

After Myles Garrett, the 49ers’ top-rated prospect, was the Cleveland Browns’ selection at No. 1 overall, the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears. The 49ers still got their No. 2-rated prospect, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

The 49ers started making calls to teams with selections in the teens, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, to inquire about trading up for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers finally worked a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to move up three spots to No. 31.

All they gave up was a fourth-round pick acquired from the Bears earlier in the day.

“In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said. “We’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. I think these guys have traits that encompass what we want to be about as a football organization.”

Lynch said he began speaking with Bears general manager Ryan Pace more than a week ago. Because the 49ers had picks scheduled next to the Bears in every round, Pace suggested to Lynch that the two teams should be willing to work with each other throughout the draft.

The 49ers had other offers for the No. 2 pick, Lynch said. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area just prior to the start of the draft that the 49ers had fielded three solid offers.

The team’s chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe worked out the details to finalize the trade with the Bears.

The 49ers did not know which player the Bears were targeting at No. 2, but Shanahan voiced his opinion while the trade was going down.

“This guy is a pretty bright,” Lynch said of Shanahan. “He said, ‘That’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback.’ And he was right.”

The Bears made the trade to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In order for the Bears to trade up one spot, they delivered the 49ers a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick next year.

Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin, whose team held the No. 4 pick, watched and admired the 49ers' move from afar. 

"To get what you had in mind right off the bat and pick up those extra picks? Pretty nice deal," Coughlin told Jacksonville reporters. "I’ve never seen one of those. . . Oh, my gosh. Nothing like that has ever come my way.”

When asked if the 49ers would have selected Foster if the Bears selected Thomas, Lynch said, “Perhaps. It was very likely.”

Instead, the 49ers waited and waited and waited before finding a trade partner in an unlikely place. The 49ers made a deal with Seattle, giving up the 111th pick obtained from Chicago, to select Foster. The Saints had already told Foster he would be the pick one spot later.

“He’s my kind of player,” Lynch said of Foster. “He plays sideline to sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves. I think that’s contagious for teammates.”

Foster is recovering from shoulder surgery and his stock was negatively affected by character concerns. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check. He also had a positive drug test due to a diluted urine sample.

Lynch spent a lot of time with Foster during his visit to Santa Clara, as well as a meeting him at the combine. Both Lynch and Shanahan spoke regularly with Foster on the phone and on FaceTime in the past few weeks.

The 49ers also dispatched vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and team chaplain Earl Smith to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to meet with Foster for two days. The team will have a plan in place to help guide Foster as he transitions to professional football, Lynch said.

“I would tell you that his character is what drew us to him,” Lynch said. “When you start talking football with this young man, he lights up a room. He’s a good kid. I believe in the kid. I think he’ll be a great player for this organization for a long time.”

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

So after one day of the NFL Draft, we know the following:
1.        Roger Goodell could be booed on the surface of the sun, and if you don’t think so, let’s all agree to give that thesis a try.
2.        The Oakland Raiders have invested a lot in Gareon Conley’s word.
3.        John Lynch is either a swindler, or he was presented with a deal that only an idiot could refuse.
Let’s do Goodell first. He was booed lustily and often by the huge Philadelphia crowd, and though he would be booed anywhere (and he half-heartedly asked for more with a smile that looked more like a dog sticking his head out of a speeding car window), Philadelphia booing causes osteoporosis.
Next, we go to the Raiders, who used the 24th pick in the draft to take Conley, the secondary man from Ohio State who is being investigated for rape. Conley has maintained his innocence, putting out a statement denying all the accusations, and TMZ claims to have a video that calls into question the woman’s story. In other words, nobody can be sure of anything quite yet.
Except the Raiders seemed sure enough to take him, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team investigated him and the incident thoroughly. In short, given Mark Davis’ stated opposition to employing players involved in violence against women, McKenzie better be right, and close enough to right to assuage any misgivings Davis or the customer base might have.
As far as Conley the player, check back with us in at least two years.
Finally, there is Lynch, who squeezed (or was amazingly offered) three picks from Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace in exchange for one place in the draft. Pace, who was immediately described by Wikipedia as “the soon-to-be former general manager,” took North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the 49ers had little interest in.
In other words, Lynch either pulled a fast one, or had a fast one handed to him. Either way, the 49ers got Solomon Thomas, the defensive lineman from Stanford they had long coveted, plus a third-round pick tomorrow, one next year and one in the fourth round that they helped spin into Reuben Foster, the Alabama linebacker who fell from much loftier draft positions apparently because of shoulder concerns.
In short, McKenzie got a much-needed secondary man who might end up being more trouble legally than he is worth athletically (though the level of doubt here is sufficient to jump to no conclusions quite yet), and Lynch won a reputation as the young Billy The Kid, smiling precociously while he robs you at gunpoint.
Time will tell whether he also gets to be called a great talent evaluator, but for the moment, don’t ask him to hold your wallet. That, kids, is the highest compliment a general manager can receive on the first night of his first NFL Draft.