49ers stock report: Aldon Smith 'in a process'

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49ers stock report: Aldon Smith 'in a process'

Aug. 28, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith was one of the early stars of 49ers' training camp.Teammates raved about Smith's combination of power and quickness within the first week of practices. His long arms always seemed to be around the action, mostly with seemingly uncommonly polished pass-rush moves for a player his age.
The 49ers were surely counting on Smith for major contributions after they selected him with the No. 7 overall pick and converted him from defensive end at Missouri to an NFL outside linebacker.So is he ready to make the transition to being an every-down linebacker?"I think he's in a process right now," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said following the 49ers' 30-7 loss to the Houston Texans in the third exhibition game for both teams.
Smith played the second and third quarters and some in the fourth, too. He was on the field for approximately 45 snaps. He was among the 49ers' team-leaders with five tackles. His strength was in the run game, as he did a commendable job of setting the edge.But the 49ers will be seeking more contributions from him in the passing game. He did not get any pressure on the Texans' quarterbacks, and his inexperience in pass coverage showed when tight end Owen Daniels shook free for a 21-yard reception.Obviously, it's very early in Smith's development. But it looks as if he'll need a little more time before he's ready to be an every-down player. No, the sky is not falling. The only things from the exhibition season that carries over to the regular season are injuries and roles that players win (or lose) during this time of year.But it is also impossible to completely dismiss how the 49ers performed against the Texans. After all, the 49ers have not built enough confidence among its followers over the past decade to just assume things will be better when the season begins. Here's a look at some other 49ers' stock, based on their performances Saturday night:Stock rising
OLB Ahmad Brooks: Not only has he solidified his starting job on the left side, he has been the 49ers' best defensive player during training camp. He sniffed out a screen pass and made an interception that he returned for a touchdown on the game's first play. Brooks also got a little pressure on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and did a good job of setting the edge in the run game.FS Madieu Williams: The veteran has been a sure-tackler on defense and a willing special-teams performer. "I've always played special teams when I was the starter, and hopefully it's something I continue to do while I'm here," Williams said. He provided one of the 49ers' best defensive plays with a forced fumble that led to a takeaway.
RB Kendall Hunter: Starter Frank Gore was given the night off, as Harbaugh wanted to evaluate the backups. Hunter had a strong evening with 40 yards on eight rushes to seemingly take the lead in the race to become the No. 2.DL Will Tukuafu: He entered the game at left defensive end with the second defense in the second quarter, and provided stout defense in the run game. His versatility might give him an inside track in the competition for the 49ers' fifth spot on the defensive line.DL Demarcus Dobbs: The undrafted rookie has shown flashes in each of the three exhibition games. The 285-pounder showed his quickness at the snap with an inside pass-rush move that resulted in an 11-yard sack of Texans quarterback Matt Leinart.CB Chris Culliver: In extensive playing time, he broke up two passes, showed good tackling skills with seven stops and played well on special teams, too.P Sam Paulescu: With Andy Lee on the roster, he has no chance to make the team. But Paulescu will be looking for work on a team that does not have a Pro Bowl punter. He'll be near the top of the list for teams looking for a new leg during the regular season. He was outstanding with a 50.0 average on eight punts.Stock falling
Offensive line: It's unfair to single out just one player on this unit. Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Adam Snyder, Jonathan Goodwin, Chilo Rachal, Anthony Davis and Alex Boone are the team's top seven linemen. Each had at least one bad moment that resulted in a negative play on offense. The worst part is that the 49ers' blocking schemes were "not real complicated," according to Harbaugh. "(But) they were getting us, they were beating us," Harbaugh said.QB Alex Smith: Yes, the protection wasn't the greatest, but 2 for 6 for 17 yards and an interception is 2 for 6 for 17 yards and an interception. Strangely, Smith saw more action last year in the exhibition season than he's seeing this summer in the games.
QB Colin Kaepernick: Yes, the protection wasn't the greatest, but 6 for 16 for 52 yards and a pick-six interception is 6 for 16 for 52 yards and a pick-six interception.WR Ronald Johnson: The sixth-round draft pick had a forgettable night as he got his most playing time of the exhibition season. He played 24 snaps, as well as special teams. He dropped a pass that would've converted a third down, and he mishandled two punts -- one of which resulted in a turnover.RB Anthony Dixon: He seemingly fell behind Hunter on the depth chart. Dixon did not run as decisively as the smaller Hunter. Both had eight rushing attempts. Hunter gained 40 yards, Dixon rushed for just 15.NT Ian Williams: Was not able to hold the point against the run with regularity. In the second half, the Texans controlled the clock with their inside run game. With whom were you most and least impressed among the 49ers from Saturday's exhibition game?

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Former 49ers fullback Tom Rathman, who was not retained this season on Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff, will be coming back to the organization in a permanent fashion.

Rathman, 54, who spent a total of 23 seasons as a player and coach, will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, CEO Jed York announced on Tuesday.

“Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff,” York said in a statement. “Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way.

"It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team’s history.”

Rathman discussed having a role on the 49ers’ coaching staff after the hiring of Shanahan. But Shanahan had already promised the position of running backs coach to Bobby Turner.

“It was all positive,” said Rathman told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “I have no hard feelings. It’s just the nature of the business. Everybody just has to understand that. In pro football, coaches get fired and new guys come in and they bring their guys. I totally understand it. I don’t have a problem with it. Being in the business for 28 years, playing and coaching, you understand what it is. You can never take anything for granted.”

Rathman played for the 49ers from 1986 to ’93. He was a starter on two Super Bowl-winning teams and seven NFC West champions. Used mostly as a lead-blocker for Roger Craig, Rathman’s best season came in 1989, when he caught 73 passes for 616 yards.

After his playing career concluded with the Los Angeles Rams in 1994, Rathman entered into a career in coaching. He coached under Steve Mariucci from 1997 to 2002. He returned to coach with the 49ers in 2009, serving on the coaching staffs of head coaches Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

“I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er," Rathman said in a statement. "I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark.

"That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

The 49ers new draft grading system is inspired by the New England Patriots, but their draft menu consists of a lot more options.

“We’ve got just under 200 players on our draft board, that we see as draftable players on our board,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Monday at team headquarters in Santa Clara.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in here and it was needed this year because I had a lot of catch-up to do. I can tell you that just (Sunday) night I finally got to the point, I always knew as a player like, ‘OK. I’m ready.’ That moment was (Sunday) for me where I said, ‘OK. I’m ready. I’m ready to go on this thing.’ That’s a good feeling.”

The 49ers have 10 draft picks scheduled for the three-day draft, including the No. 2 overall selection. With 73 players under contract, the 49ers figure to add approximately 17 rookies through the draft and as free agents. The NFL's seven-round draft will result in 253 players being selected.

Lynch was hired out of the FOX broadcast booth a week before the Super Bowl. The following week, Lynch assembled all of the team’s scouts for meetings in Santa Clara.

“When we first brought scouts in right after the Super Bowl we were kind of working off the old grading system,” Lynch said. “But what helped was the grading system that they use in Denver, which kind of derived from one that was developed in New England.”

One of Lynch’s first hires was former Broncos college scouting director Adam Peters as 49ers vice president of player personnel. New coach Kyle Shanahan was also familiar with the system because, like Peters, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff worked in the Patriots’ scouting department.

“In these last three weeks of draft meetings we moved over to that grading scale,” Lynch said.

“I’ve always been someone who thinks you should listen to multiple opinions and we’ve been very collaborative. I believe in strong opinions. Someone once told me, ‘Strong opinions, weakly held.’ So are you open to different thoughts and someone makes you think? But ultimately someone’s got to make decisions.”

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio recently told Boston-area reporters that New England's draft board consists of only 50 to 75 players who fit as draft picks for their team. The Patriots have seven scheduled draft picks but none in the first two rounds.

"I would say it varies year to year, but I would say our draft board is smaller than most," Caserio said. "We are trying to find players that we feel comfortable with on all levels that we would actually draft -- not that are going to get drafted.

"It's players that we would draft, that we would actually feel comfortable with in our program in some capacity."

49ERS 2017 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: No. 2 overall
2. Second round: No. 34 overall
3. Third round: No. 66 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 109 overall
5. Fourth round: No. 143 overall (compensatory)
6. Fifth round: No. 146 overall
7. Fifth round: No. 161 (pick acquired from Washington in 2015 trade for TE Derek Carrier)
8. Sixth round: No. 198 overall (from Baltimore in trade with C Jeremy Zuttah for No. 186)
9. Sixth round: No. 202 overall (pick acquired from Denver in 2015 trade for TE Vernon Davis)
10. Seventh round: No. 219 overall (pick acquired from Cleveland in 2015 trade for Andy Lee)