McDaniels interviews with 49ers for head-coaching job

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AP

McDaniels interviews with 49ers for head-coaching job

The 49ers sat down Saturday afternoon for a scheduled three-hour interview with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the team announced.

The 49ers were the last team scheduled to interview McDaniels, 40, who met earlier with Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. The interviews were scheduled for three hours apiece with one-hour breaks in between, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

McDaniels fit all of his head-coaching interviews into an 11-hour window on Saturday before getting back to work Sunday to prepare for the Patriots’ AFC Divisional-Round playoff game that is scheduled for next Saturday. He only wanted to interview for jobs for which he would seriously consider, a source said.

The 49ers also had submitted a request to the Patriots to interview director of player personnel Nick Caserio for the team’s vacant general manager position. The Patriots granted the request, a source told CSNBayArea.com, but Caserio is not believed to have interviewed on Saturday.

The 49ers, which have confirmed all interviews with candidates, had no announcement on Saturday about a meeting with Caserio, who did not return a phone call Saturday from CSNBayArea.com. Caserio has turned down interviews and offers in the past. He declined to interview with Indianapolis in 2012 and declined Miami's job offer in 2014.

McDaniels previously turned down an interview with the 49ers in 2011, shortly after he was fired less near the end of his second season as head coach of the Denver Broncos. After one season as offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, McDaniels returned to run the New England offense under Bill Belichick.

Two years ago, McDaniels interviewed with the 49ers but is believed to have pulled his name from consideration. The 49ers’ job is apparently more attractive now because a coach and a general manager will be matched together to come in with carte blanche to form the organization to their likings.

This week on Boston radio station WEEI, quarterback Tom Brady said he sees McDaniels “more than anybody in my life” and he hopes McDaniels remains with the Patriots.

“I see why there is a lot of interest and there should be because I think he’s the best in the NFL,” Brady said. “Great coaches get opportunities and he’s fortunate to be in a position where he should get them because he’s earned it. I would hate to lose him, but I think it’s always aspirational for a coach because it’s great to lead a team, lead an organization.”

49ers trade up, select QB C.J. Beathard in third round of 2017 NFL Draft

49ers trade up, select QB C.J. Beathard in third round of 2017 NFL Draft

C.J. BEATHARD
Position: Quarterback
College: Iowa
Height: 6-2
Weight: 219
Selection: Third round, No. 104 overall

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers traded back into the end of the third round to select a quarterback to join Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on the 49ers' roster.

General manager John Lynch's fourth trade of the draft netted the team the grandson of legendary NFL personnel man Bobby Beathard. His grandson, C.J., joins the 49ers after a four-year career at Iowa. Beathard completed 58.6 percent of his passes last season with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Beathard was not generally expected to be chosen within the first two days of the draft. He was the sixth quarterback selected, falling behind Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Deshone Kizer and Davis Webb.

"They won't regret it," Beathard said on a conference call with the Bay Area media.

The 49ers traded up with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings had the No. 104 pick, and called the 49ers to see if they were interested in a trade. After some consideration, the 49ers decided to move up from No. 109 while also giving the Vikings a seventh-round pick at No. 219.

"Might he have been there at 109? That’s what we had to weigh," 49ers John Lynch said. "But at the end of the day, we felt like it was worth it to be able to go to bed knowing that we had a player that we liked and want the opportunity develop at the quarterback position."

And that's what coach Kyle Shanahan plans on doing. He said Beathard is not coming to the team this season to compete with Hoyer for the starting job.

"We’re bringing him in here to develop him and give him a chance, but just like any other position, everyone competes," Shanahan said. "Brian is our starting quarterback and, right now, Matt Barkley is our second. And I look at him to come in and be our third with us only having three on the roster.

"By no means did we come into this draft thinking we’re going to get a guy to compete with Brian."

Shanahan said Beathard and Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman were the two quarterbacks in the draft who ran offenses in college most similar to the offense he will install with the 49ers.

"One thing that helps is being able to see guys play the way you’re going to ask them to play," Shanahan said. "It helps being at Iowa and watching the system he’s in. It’s easier to see to watch him over the years. He’s a three-year starter. He’s led his team to a bunch of wins, especially in 2015 when they had a better team and he played unbelievable."

As a junior at Iowa, Beathard completed 61.6 percent of his pass attempts for 2,809 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. 

"He’s a leader. He’s tough. He processes very well," Shanahan said. "He's extremely accurate and he lives and dies football."

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

AHKELLO WITHERSPOON
Position: Cornerback
College: Colorado
Height: 6-2 3/4
Weight: 193
Selection: Third round, No. 66 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a Sacramento native, in the third round of the NFL draft with the No. 66 overall pick.

“Being close to home is an incredible opportunity, as well as the type of defense they play -- press man, up in your face,” Witherspoon said. “When I came in for a visit, they were asking me if I’ve adopted that role and if I’d be willing to continue that. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’

“It’s an opportunity to play for such a great organization, close to home, with such a savvy defensive mentality. I think it’s going to be a great place for me.”

The 49ers were also scheduled to have the next pick, but traded the selection at No. 67 for the New Orleans Saints’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, as well as a seventh-round selection (No. 229 overall) this year. The 49ers now have 10 picks in next year’s draft.

The Saints used that pick at No. 67 to select Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara.

Witherspoon began his college career at Sacramento City. He played his final three college seasons at Colorado. He started 12 games last season and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Witherspoon led the nation with 22 pass breakups. He recorded one interception -- a game-saving pick in the end zone to preserve a 41-38 victory over Oregon. A pre-med student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, he said he aspires to be a doctor after his football career.

But Witherspoon said he is committed to football and promised the 49ers during his visit to Santa Clara that he will make huge strides over the next few years as he continues to develop as a player.