NFL admits timing error in 49ers-Rams game

913425.jpg

NFL admits timing error in 49ers-Rams game

The NFL on Monday issued a statement about a timing error that occurred in the second quarter of the 49ers' 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park.The statement from the NFL: "Early in the second quarter of Sunday's game between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers, the clock incorrectly ran for approximately 1:19 and was never corrected."With 13:40 remaining in the second quarter, San Francisco faced a 3rd-and-15 from their own 38 yard-line. Quarterback Alex Smith completed a pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who went out of bounds at the St. Louis 48 after a gain of 14 yards. Line judge Ron Marinucci blew his whistle and signaled for the clock to be stopped, which it was with 13:32 remaining."While the chains were being brought onto the field for a measurement -- and despite no official having signaled for the clock to start -- the clock ran down until it was again stopped with 12:20 remaining."The ball was short of the line to gain for a first down, so once the ball was spotted and ready for play, referee Clete Blakeman blew his whistle and signaled for the clock to start. It then wound down for seven seconds to 12:13 when the officials signaled for the clock to stop."Blakeman then conferred with line judge Ron Marinucci and field judge Buddy Horton and announced "we are checking the game clock for accuracy." "Marinucci -- who as the line judge is by rule responsible for the timing of the game -- spoke directly to the clock operator from the sideline phone and was told that there was no issue with the game clock. "He relayed this information to Blakeman who then announced "the game clock is correct. Fourth and short." Blakeman blew his whistle and signaled for the game clock -- still at 12:13 -- to start."The next snap occurred with 12:02 remaining in the second quarter."No member of the officiating crew recognized that the clock was incorrectly started by the clock operator during the measurement. Once the next snap occurs, there is no mechanism to adjust the clock. Matters of timing are not reviewable by instant replay."The clock operator is employed by the Officiating Department at the league office. The clock procedures will be carefully reviewed this week with all game officials and clock operators to avoid further clock mistakes."

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.