49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Chargers

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49ers offensive player-by-player review vs. Chargers

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the 49ers' offense from their 35-3 win over the San Diego Chargers in the exhibition finale Thursday night at Candlestick Park:OFFENSE
Quarterbacks
1-Josh Johnson: He was the fourth quarterback to enter the game. In his four series, the 49ers achieved 10 first downs on his 28 plays. He had his best game and managed to get into a good rhythm while rotating possessions with Scott Tolzien. Johnson completed 9-of-14 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 50 yards on five rushing attempts. He showed his athleticism when he picked up a bad shotgun snap on a third-and-2 play and gained seven yards. If the 49ers coaches evaluated his race for the No. 3 job as an even heat before Thursday night, this showing could've pushed him over the top.
3-Scott Tolzien: The 49ers managed three first downs on his three possessions, which spanned 11 plays. He was not sharp, and he was not helped by some dropped passes, either. He underthrew receiver Chris Owusu, who came back for the ball and dropped it in the fourth quarter. He pulled the trigger on an attempt to tight end Garrett Celek, who was covered. He did not see linebacker Bront Byrd who made the interception at the line of scrimmage. Tolzien completed 3-of-8 passes for 42 yards and one interception.
7-Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers' No. 2 quarterback had the best showing of his eight-game exhibition career. He threw two touchdown passes -- one while sliding to his left, and the other while rolling to the right. He played 29 snaps. He completed 12-of-18 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Kaepernick had the outstanding 32-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker, and he made some other nice throws on the move.
11-Alex Smith: Started and played the first five snaps. Coach Jim Harbaugh said they never intended for him to attempt a pass. They wanted him to enter the huddle, break a sweat and get out of the game without facing any danger.RELATED: Defensive player-by-player review
Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Did not play.
23-LaMichael James: He played very well, especially in pass protection, while playing 34 snaps on offense. He handled the opening kickoff and gave the 49ers good field position with a 39-yard return. Did a phenomenal job in pass protection against two former 49ers on Kaepernick's 32-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker. He picked up nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin and moved him to the left, away from Kaepernick and into the path of blitzing linebacker Takeo Spikes. That allowed Kaepernick to slide to his left and throw the ball to Walker. Took a short pass, made linebacker Darryl Gamble miss and picked up 13 yards in the third quarter. James finished with 27 yards on five rushing attempts. He also caught two passes for 26 yards. But he had difficulty navigating the Candlestick winds. He bobbled one punt and muffed two others, both of which he recovered.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played 25 plays on offense. His strong exhibition season came to a conclusion with 55 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 rushing attempts. Bounced off linebacker Darryl Gamble near line of scrimmage and picked up nine yards on fourth-quarter run.
28 Rock Cartwright: He played eight snaps on offense and carried twice for five yards.
32-Kendall Hunter: He started and played seven snaps before calling it a night. Hunter carried four times for 23 yards on the opening drive.
45-Brandon Jacobs: Did not play (left knee).
49-Bruce Miller: He started at fullback, and made an immediate impact with a block on Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes that opened way for Hunter's 9-yard run. Made a nice catch at left sideline for a 9-yard gain on opening drive. Those were the only two plays he was on the field.
57-Michael Wilhoite: He played two snaps at fullback.
92-Will Tukuafu: He played 23 snaps at fullback and had a very strong showing. He entered the game at fullback on the second snap of the game. He played seven snaps on the 49ers' 11-play opening drive. His block on Spikes opened the hole for Dixon on a 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. He had another tremendous block on linebacker James Mouton as a lead-blocker to help Dixon pick up six yards in the third quarter.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: Did not play.
14-Mario Manningham: Did not play, as he attended his grandfather's funeral in Ohio.
15-Michael Crabtree: Did not play.
17-A.J. Jenkins: Started at wide receiver, and had a very strong showing with four receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. He played 33 snaps in the game. He gained nine yards on a fly sweep on the opening drive. He did a good job to find an opening in the back of the end zone, where Kaepernick found him for a 12-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Jenkins led the 49ers with 122 yards receiving on eight catches during the exhibition season.
18-Brett Swain: Started at wide receiver and played 41 snaps. He had a chance for a scoring catch in the first half, but he could not come up with a well-thrown deep ball with tight coverage from cornerback Greg Gatson. Made a good catch for 20-yard gain against cornerback DeAndre Presley in second quarter. He finished with three catches for 38 yards.
19-Ted Ginn: Did not play (right ankle).
81-Chris Owusu: He saw limited action in the first half. In the second half, he played 32 snaps. Tolzien underthrew him in the fourth quarter, but he came back for the ball and dropped it. Later, he dropped Tolzien's third-down pass that would've been a first down. He finished with just one catch for three yards.
84-Randy Moss: Did not play.
89-Nathan Palmer: He had an up-and-down night while playing 46 snaps. The highlight was a 51-yard touchdown pass from Josh Johnson in which he covered the entire distance himself after making cornerback DeAndre Presley whiff. But in the second quarter he had a well-thrown slant hit off his chest. He dropped another pass that would've been a first down. He finished with three receptions for 72 yards.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: He returned to action after missing two games with a right knee injury. He played seven snaps. He made an exceptional play on a 32-yard TD catch to haul in Kaepernick's pass, stay on his feet, lower his pad level to take on safety Atari Bigby at the 5-yard line, spin and get into the end zone while remaining inbounds.
47-Kyle Nelson: He played 18 snaps on offense and did not see a pass come his way.
48-Garrett Celek: He played 40 snaps and had a good showing with three catches for 54 yards. He had a good one-on-one block at line of scrimmage defensive lineman Vaughn Martin on Dixon's 17-yard run. . . Worked wide open and made over-the-shoulder catch from Kaepernick for 37-yard gain in second quarter. Also worked to open space in the end zone to catch 3-yard TD pass from Johnson in third quarter.
83-Demarcus Dobbs: Did not play (left calf).
85-Vernon Davis: He played three snaps and did not have any action go his way.
88-Konrad Reuland: He played 27 snaps and caught four passes for 22 yards. Made a good block on a linebacker to help open hole for Anthony Dixon on a 17-yard run on first drive. Reuland led 49ers with nine catches (73 yards) during the exhibition season.Offensive line
59-Jonathan Goodwin: He started at center and played the first 11 snaps, a drive that resulted in a touchdown.
65-Al Netter: He saw action at left tackle and left guard for the 49ers throughout the second half.
66-Joe Looney: He entered at left guard for the second series of the game. Good block on Corey Liuget to open way around left side for James to gain seven yards in first quarter. In the second half, he moved to center, a position he hasn't played since his sophomore year of high school. He had one bad snap out of shotgun formation, but otherwise played well.
67-Daniel Kilgore: He entered at center in place of Goodwin for the second series of the game. He played most of the second half and fared well.
68-Leonard Davis: He entered at right guard for the second series of the game and played into the third quarter.
69-Kenny Wiggins: He entered at right tackle for the second series finished out the game with no problems.
71-Derek Hall: He entered the game at right guard in the third quarter and finished the game there.
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, and played the first drive, 11 snaps, which resulted in a touchdown.
75-Alex Boone: Started at right guard and played the first series, which resulted in a 49ers' touchdown.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and had a good block on defensive end Corey Liuget on Dixon's 17-yard run on opening drive. He played the first drive.
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard, and played the first 11 snaps of the game.
78-Mike Person: He entered at left tackle for the second series, and did a good job one-on-one against defensive end Kendall Reyes to wall off the left side and allow Kaepernick to throw his 32-yard TD pass to Walker. . . Called for a questionable holding penalty on a run play in the second quarter.

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.