Stanford, Cal playmakers top NFL Scouting Combine list

Stanford, Cal playmakers top NFL Scouting Combine list

Stanford and Cal will both be represented with some marquee playmakers during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in two weeks.

The first group of draft hopefuls arrive in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Feb. 28, with the final players working out and departing on March 6.

Stanford will be represented by four players: running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Michael Rector, defensive end Solomon Thomas and kicker Conrad Ukropina.

Cal will send three athletes to the combine: quarterback Davis Webb, wide receiver Chad Hansen and long snapper Bradley Northnagel.

McCaffrey (6 foot, 197 pounds) entered his junior season as a top Heisman Trophy candidate after rushing for 2,019 yards and catching 645 yards in passes as a sophomore. He was also a dynamic playmaker in the return game.

McCaffrey appeared in just 11 games last season. He rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns with a 6.3-yard average. He skipped the Cardinal’s final game of the season, a victory over North Carolina in the Sun Bowl, to ensure he would be healthy to begin his NFL draft. He is the son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.

Webb (6-5, 229) started 12 games at Cal after playing his first three college seasons at Texas Tech. Webb completed 61.6 percent of his passes with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 12 games.

Webb’s top target was Hansen, who turned pro after his junior season. Hansen (6-2, 205) Michaecaught 92 passes in 10 games for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Stanford’s Rector (6-0, 187) was a four-year player who caught 32 passes for 367 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. As a junior, he posted career-bests with 34 receptions for 559 yards and seven touchdowns.

Thomas (6-3, 273) is a likely first-round draft pick. He recorded 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 12 games as a junior before declaring his eligibility for the NFL draft.

Ukropina made 82.4 percent of his field-goal attempts (42 of 51) in his Stanford career. He also connected on 113 of 114 extra-point attempts.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 27-29.

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.

The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement released Saturday morning. “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

It was the first significant move under Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.

The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.

Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.

Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.

The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 12 games at left guard, two games at left tackle and the final two games at center.

The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.

Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.

Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.


Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, has learned

Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers. 

The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles. 

Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.