49ers review vs. Bills: Defensive line, linebackers

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49ers review vs. Bills: Defensive line, linebackers

The player-by-player review of every position group from the 49ers' 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills continues . . .Defensive line
83-Demarcus Dobbs: He played five snaps and recorded an assisted tackle. He also played a team-high 25 plays on special teams.
90-Isaac Sopoaga: With the 49ers going with their nickel defense for most of the game because of the Bills' spread offense, Sopoaga played only four snaps of defense.
91-Ray McDonald: He played 41 snaps at left defensive tackle. He was kept off the statistic sheet, which is a bit misleading. He did not get moved off the ball, which allowed others to make tackles in the run game.
92-Will Tukuafu: He played five snaps on defense and was not credited with any tackles.
93-Ian Williams: Was not active (coaches' decision).
94-Justin Smith: He played 41 snaps on defense at right defensive tackle. As part of a defense that allowed 89 yards rushing, he was credited with four solo tackles.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: He played five defensive snaps and was credited with one tackle.REWIND: 49ers defense clamps down on Bills
Linebackers
51-Clark Haggans: Served the third and final game of an NFL suspension for violating the NFL's policy on substances of abuse. He was reinstated to the 49ers' 53-man roster on Tuesday.
52-Patrick Willis: He played 41 snaps on defense and led the 49ers with seven solo tackles and one forced fumble. . . Stopped Brad Smith for 1-yard gain on a third-and-15 play from SF 38 to force a Bills first-quarter punt. . . In coverage against TE Scott Chandler on a shallow crossing route, Willis stripped Chandler of the ball to force a huge turnover late in the first half. The 49ers immediately cashed it in for a touchdown.
53-NaVorro Bowman: He played 51 snaps on defense and recorded four tackles and broke up one pass. . . He dropped C.J. Spiller for 5-yard loss in the first quarter. Had good one-on-one coverage on deep route down the left sideline against Spiller on an incomplete pass.
54-Larry Grant: He played five snaps on defense on the final series and recorded one tackle. . . He also was on the field for 18 plays of special teams. Did not secure tackle on kickoff return against Leodis McKelvin, who bounced outside and returned it 59 yards in first quarter.
55-Ahmad Brooks: Played 40 snaps at outside linebacker and had a strong game with a sack and two tackles for loss. . Shed the block attempt of LG Andy Levitre to drop Fred Jackson for 1-yard loss in the first quarter. Was not at all fooled by play-fake in third quarter, as he dropped QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for 11-yard sack.
56-Tavares Gooden: He played five snaps on defense and 18 plays on special teams. He was not credited with any tackles.
96-Eric Bakhtiari: He played five snaps on defense and 14 plays on special teams. The 49ers waived Bakhtiari, a move they announced on Tuesday, to make room on the roster for Haggans.
99-Aldon Smith: He played 41 snaps at right outside linebacker. He recorded one tackle and had two hits on the quarterback. . . Got hit on Fitzpatrick to force an underthrow and incompletion on deep attempt to T.J. Graham late in first half. No sacks, but he got pressure on Fitzpatrick to force third-down incompletion. . . He found himself in coverage twice against Bills WR Stevie Johnson on underneath routes, and Smith made quick stops both times, holding Johnson for gains of 7 and 2 yards, respectively, with a total of 0 yards after the catch. . . . Got stuck inside, as Brad Smith ran around his side for a 35-yard gain in third quarter on a "wildcat" play. That was the Bills' biggest gain of the game.

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.