Stanford linemen improve NFL stock


Stanford linemen improve NFL stock

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jonathan Martin felt the pressure. Sure, he felt the pressure.After all, his duty as Stanford's left tackle was to serve as Andrew Luck's insurance policy. That's a lot of responsibility.
"You're definitely conscious that you have a potential No. 1 pick and potential Heisman winner in the backfield for two years," Martin said at the NFL scouting combine.
Luck appears ticketed to the Indianapolis Colts the top overall selection, and later in the first round a couple of the players who helped protect him will likely be chosen.
Both Martin and guard David DeCastro redshirted as freshmen at Stanford under then-coach Jim Harbaugh. DeCastro started all 39 games during his three-year career, while Martin started 37 games. Each player decided to forego his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL.RELATED: Stanford's 2012 NFL scouting combine class
"When guys on the offensive line can start for three and four years, I think that's something that pops at you, that the guys find a way to start in college football, major college program, for three years and they would've started a fourth year had they come back," Harbaugh said.DeCastro, expected to be chosen in the mid-first round solidified his reputation among NFL types with a solid workout Saturday morning at the annual scouting combine."(DeCastro) looked very coordinated during positional drills," Wes Bunting of National Football Post wrote. "He was able to keep his base down, maintain balance laterally and showcased 'plus' change of direction skills. Honestly, if I had a need at guard, I wouldnt have any qualms using a top 10 pick on him."DeCastro's standing as the No. 1 guard in the draft appears set. Meanwhile, Martin has plenty of competition from other tackles in the draft, including USC's Matt Kalil and Iowa's Riley Reiff."He's a great tackle," Kalil said of Martin. "He's really athletic, really big. One of the best tackles I've seen when I've gotten to watch him. I respect the kind of player he is and think he'll do a great job wherever he goes."Kalil and Martin disagree on one thing, however: Each believes he is the best tackle available in the draft."Without a doubt," Martin said. "As a competitor, you've got to think you're the best. Matt's a tremendous player, but I think I'm better than he is."Said Kalil, "I would definitely say I am the best tackle in the draft. Especially at my position, or quarterback position or any big-time position, confidence is definitely a big part of your game. And I think they want to hear that you do think you're the best tackle. And I think I am."

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”


Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

SANTA CLARA – NaVorro Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season, has been a full participant as the 49ers return to the practice field this week.

Bowman worked with the first team at middle linebacker Wednesday and appeared to move at top speed as the 49ers went through the second day of on-field workouts at a voluntary minicamp.

The 49ers, under new coach Kyle Shanahan, are allowed an extra voluntary minicamp as part of their offseason program. Bowman's return to the practice field was the highlight as the 49ers enter their third-week of the offseason program.

In other notes:

--The 49ers had tryouts with three unsigned veteran players: cornerback Steve Williams, and offensive linemen Tim Barnes and Kitt O’Brien.

--Wide receiver DeAndre Carter made the best catch of the day on a deep throw from quarterback Matt Barkley. Carter beat Williams on the reception.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is a candidate to play the “Leo” position, was held out of competitive drills as he continues to recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

--Ronald Blair lined up at the “Leo” position with the first-team defense and beat No. 2 right tackle Garry Gilliam for a sack in the “non-contract” drills. Aaron Lynch was at the “Leo” position with the second team.

--Tank Carradine lined up at the 5-technique, which is a position where the 49ers could target Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

--Kyle Juszczyk showed the versatility that prompted the 49ers to make him the highest-paid fullback in the league with several pass receptions during the 90-minute practice.

--Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerbacks with the first-team defense. Robinson made a leaping interception of a Brian Hoyer deep sideline pass against Rashad Ross during 7-on-7 drills.

--Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garçon teamed up for a 20-yard completion on the opening play of the 11-on-11 period.

--Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, did not practice due to a soft-tissue injury not related to his hamstring injury of a year ago.

--Offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (soft tissue), tight end Je’Ron Hamm (leg), running back Raheem Mostert (soft tissue), linebacker Eli Harold (toe) and tight end Blake Bell (cut forehead) did not practice.