49ers

Harbaugh, Baalke explain affinity for Aldon Smith

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Harbaugh, Baalke explain affinity for Aldon Smith

April 28, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comSANTA CLARA -- So what attracted Missouri defensive endoutside linebacker Aldon Smith to the 49ers?Here's the word from the 49ers' draft room . . . Coach Jim Harbaugh on Aldon Smith
"The draft is full of good players. We took a guy we liked the most as a football player, as a person. We think he has tremendous upside. (We're) excited about adding a Missouri Tiger to our football team.". . . The way he rushes the passer. The way he plays the run. His ability to play on his feet -- what he's done and what we project him to be able to do as an outside linebacker in our 3-4 scheme and add to our defense, add to our pass rush."We watched a lot of tape on him, and we had him here for a visit. I'm really impressed him as a person. He's an All-American young man. He's got great wiring."He's a strong, tough guy who shows he loves football. . . . Another thing I'm excited about is his wingspan -- his Dwayne Wade wingspan. . . . He's very rarely on the ground, unless he's going to make a tackle. Very rarely does he go to the ground, he's got an uncanny ability with his balance, with putting a hand down, being able to get back up and redirect without going to the ground."NEWS: 49ers select OLB Aldon Smith with No. 7 pick
GM Trent Baalke on Aldon Smith
"Well, he's a young man from the University of Missouri. He's young; he's a 20-year old guy. He's a junior that came out early. A guy with a lot of unique skill sets for what we're looking for."Obviously, we had to get better on defense. We had to add to the defensive side of the football and this is a young man that has versatility. He's going to have to learn how to play on his feet in certain situations, but we feel very confident that he can learn to do that."The unique things he brings to the table, the ability to line up at various positions, whether it's on his feet, 5-technique, move down into the 3-technique position at times; just a lot of flexibility and versatility."

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

SANTA CLARA – General manager John Lynch received the text message Wednesday from Dr. Tim McAdams that might have come as a surprise to many of the teams that passed on linebacker Reuben Foster during the draft.

The 49ers’ team physician declared Foster’s surgically repaired right shoulder is ready to play football. The 49ers are scheduled for their first practice of training camp on Friday, and Foster will be a full participant.

“We feel great about our doctors, our medical program here,” Lynch said on Thursday, as the 49ers reported to training camp. “Our trainer, Jeff Ferguson, is as good as there is in the league. Dr. McAdams, world-renowned. He has the Stanford name behind him.

“We challenged him numerous times. From his observation, the shoulder was good.”

Foster’s tumble to the back end of the first round was widely blamed on his shoulder condition. The 49ers traded with the Seattle Seahawks to select Foster with the No. 31 overall pick. Almost immediately, the 49ers were scrutinized for making the selection.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported some teams did not even consider drafting Foster. One “well-placed source with knowledge of the injury” told Schefter that Foster’s surgery “didn’t take.”

The 49ers’ willingness to clear Foster for the first day of camp is a reality that appears to be in stark contrast to the opinions around the league that Foster’s shoulder would require additional surgery. The 49ers expect Foster to be ready Sunday for the first padded, contact practice of training camp.

“We pride ourselves in doing all of our due diligence, not afterward, but before we make the decisions,” Lynch said. “We’d done exhaustive research on Reuben Foster in a lot of different areas. Medically was one area.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he the nature of Foster’s injury convinced him that even the worst-case scenario, in the big picture, was not so bad. Foster sustained a torn rotator cuff in Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington and played the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

“I was proud of our doctors for putting themselves out there and giving their honest opinion about what they felt,” Shanahan said. “They feel it is healed, and it’s going to be good. I respect them for doing that. They went against the norm on that, and that isn’t always easy.

“(I’m) pretty confident when it is a shoulder injury, if it doesn’t heal the right way or it’s done wrong, you have to re-do a surgery, yes, it’s time, but it’s not going to affect the guy we saw on tape.”

John Lynch concerned about 49ers' top pick Thomas

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AP

John Lynch concerned about 49ers' top pick Thomas

On April 27, the 49ers selected Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

As of Thursday afternoon, he remains unsigned.

49ers general manager John Lynch addressed the media on Thursday and was asked about the defensive lineman's status.

Thomas missed most of the 49ers' offseason program because NFL rules stipulate that rookies who have not completed their undergraduate degrees are ineligible to join on a full-time basis until after their schools' final classes of the spring semester.

Stanford's late schedule put Thomas a little behind schedule.

“We have our iPads, so I’ll be able to watch film from that,” Thomas said in mid-May. “I talk to Josh (Garnett) quite a bit, and he’ll give me advice on how to go through this process – how to stay in touch, just keep learning along the way and keep progressing along the way.”