Source: 49ers acquire former first-round guard from Lions


Source: 49ers acquire former first-round guard from Lions

The 49ers acquired guard Laken Tomlinson on Thursday in a trade with the Detroit Lions for a draft pick, an NFL source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 49ers will send a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Lions in return for Tomlinson, the NFL Network reported.

Tomlinson, a first-round pick (No. 28 overall) in 2015 from Duke, was the final top pick of then-Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, who currently serves as 49ers senior personnel executive under general manager John Lynch.

Tomlinson, 25, has started 24 of the 32 NFL games in which he appeared during his two-year career. Most of his action came at left guard, where Zane Beadles has been lined up with the 49ers’ first-team offense. Tomlinson appears to in strong position to unseat Beadles in the 49ers' starting lineup for the Sept. 10 season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

Veteran Brandon Fusco has worked with the 49ers' starting unit at right guard.

All indications are that second-year guard Joshua Garnett is not expected to be available for the first half of the season. He is likely to open the season on injured reserve or injured reserve/designated for return. Garnett underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus cartilage after two weeks of training camp.

Tomlinson (6-foot-3, 312 pounds) ranked No. 64 of NFL guards last season, according to Pro Football Focus' grading system. Fusco, then with the Minnesota Vikings, was 58th, while Beadles was 68th.

Inactives: 49ers third-round pick yet to make his debut


Inactives: 49ers third-round pick yet to make his debut

As the 49ers take on the Rams on Thursday Night Football, the team will be without five defenders and two from offense. 

Ahkello Witherspoon, who the team drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, will have to wait to make his debut another week. 

Below is the full list of inactives from Insider Matt Maiocco. 

49ers building defensive identity: 'We can help ourselves a lot by...'


49ers building defensive identity: 'We can help ourselves a lot by...'

SANTA CLARA – After spending the past three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, inside linebacker Brock Coyle knows how it is supposed to look.

And he believes the 49ers have gotten off to a good start under the direction of first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who has installed a scheme based on the Seahawks’ blueprint.

“What’s really cool about this defense is if you look at Seattle, Jacksonville and Atlanta, they all have their different traits, their different personalties and their characteristics,” Coyle said. “And we’re building our own identity on defense.

“You see guys flying around and growing. And this was just our second regular-season game together in this defense.”

Saleh uses such terms as “all gas no brakes” and “extreme violence” to describe the kind of style he wants to see from his defense. In the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers seemed to compete physically with the Seahawks for the first time in a long time.

On the first possession of the game, 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt set the tone when he separated Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham from the ball with a big hit. Graham was never a factor in the game, catching just one pass for 1 yard.

“If you’re looking from a progress standpoint, I don’t look at so much production as much as what it looks like on tape and the violence, the speed, attacking the ball, that’s what I’m excited about,” Saleh said.

The 49ers will have another chance on a quick turnaround to establish that identity on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster will miss his second game in a row with a high-ankle sprain. Ray-Ray Armstrong started against Seattle, alongside NaVorro Bowman, but Saleh said Coyle also fits into his plan.

Coyle entered the game at Seattle in the first half in place of Armstrong, and Saleh hinted he could use both players more interchangeably until Foster returns.

“He deserves it,” Saleh said of Coyle. “He works his tail off and he works hard and we wanted to make sure that we got him some more reps. And to be honest with you, I feel he should probably get a little bit more.

“He’s a great communicator and knows everybody’s job on the football field. He’s very, very strong at the point of attack and he is pretty athletic and fast.”

The 49ers' physicality is showing up on the early downs, as the defense leads the league in allowing just 2.7 yards per play on first downs. But the 49ers have to get a lot better on the down that matters most. The 49ers rank 23rd on third downs, allowing the opposition through two games to convert 46.9 percent of their opportunities.

“Third down is a major emphasis -- every week it is," Saleh said. "We faced 12 more plays than we needed to that first drive just because a lack of execution on that first third-down and 9. We were in great position to get off the field.

"We’ve got to tackle and that takes all 11 running to the ball because a lot of times that first guy does miss, but we can help ourselves a lot by being better on third down for sure.”