NFL capsule: 49ers 1-point favorites vs. Saints

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NFL capsule: 49ers 1-point favorites vs. Saints

SAN FRANCISCO (7-2-1) At NEW ORLEANS (5-5)Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOXOPENING LINE - 49ers by 1, per Bovada.lv
RECORD VS. SPREAD - San Francisco 6-4; New Orleans 6-4SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 46-24-2AP PRO32 RANKING - 49ers No. 2; Saints No. 12 (tie)LAST MEETING - 49ers beat Saints 36-32, Jan. 14, 2012LAST WEEK - 49ers beat Bears 32-7; Saints beat Raiders 38-17STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - 49ers QB Alex Smith had three TDs, 0 INTs and a 103.2 rating when teams last met in last season's divisional playoffs. He also ran for a 28-yard TD. ... When Smith sat out last week (concussion), QB Colin Kaepernick had two TDs, 0 INTs and 133.1 rating in first career start against Chicago last Monday night. ... WR Michael Crabtree has four TDs in past three games. He also had TD catch in last season's playoff victory over New Orleans. ... 49ers average 165.3 yards rushing, most in NFL. ... 49ers allow 13.4 points per game, fewest in NFL. ... LB Aldon Smith has 29 career sacks, most by player in first 26 games. He had 5 12 sacks last week. ... New Orleans has won five of last six after 0-4 start. ... QB Drew Brees holds NFL records with TD passes in 53 straight games and 20 or more completions in 46 straight. ... New Orleans has allowed at least 400 yards of offense in all 10 games. ... New Orleans has rushed for 140 yards or more in each of last three games, all with RB Darren Sproles out (broken hand). ... WR Marques Colston has 55 career TDs and needs one more to pass Deuce McAllister for most by Saint. ... Colston has seven TDs in past seven games. ... WR Lance Moore had two TDs last week.

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.

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Reuben Foster is likely to be a spectator when the 49ers hold their rookie minicamp next week.

But Foster said he is on pace to be fully cleared for football activity by the time the 49ers open training camp in late July. Recent national reports have suggested Foster would require another surgery on his right shoulder.

“That’s not accurate at all,” said Foster, who took part in a press conference on Friday after the 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft on Thursday. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”

Foster said he sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.

There were reports Foster could require additional surgery after he went through the medical re-check in Indianapolis.

“I’m making big progress,” Foster said. “I’ll be limited in OTAs. Training camp, I’ll be full-go, but if it’s my decision, I think I can go now.”

Later, Foster said the 49ers have all of his medical information.

“I guarantee they have enough X-rays, exams, MRIs to know where I stand,” he said. “I had the surgery. They already knew how many weeks I was out.”

Foster dropped in the draft over apparent concerns about his shoulder and character issues. Alabama coach Nick Saban told AL.com on Thursday that Foster did not consult him before undergoing surgery.

"Look, the way we like for things to get handled, that didn't get handled," Saban said. "We have the best doctors in the world in Dr. (James) Andrews and Dr. (Lyle) Cain who operate on most NFL players and his agent chose to take him someplace else. I think (Andrews and Cain) have tremendous credibility.

"So, you know, all these choices and decisions that you make have consequences and I hate it for our players when they do it, but he didn't seek my advice in what he should do. So, if that was an issue, that was an issue. It shouldn't have been an issue but if it was, I don't really know much about it."