What roles for Moss, Jacobs, Ginn?

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What roles for Moss, Jacobs, Ginn?

SANTA CLARA -- Brandon Jacobs and Ted Ginn have not played in the 49ers' first two games of the season. And Randy Moss has played fewer than one-third of the team's offensive snaps.

That could change in future weeks, and coach Jim Harbaugh likes the mystery to build.
"There are a lot of possibilities there, and you like to have your opponent think about all those possibilities," Harbaugh said Monday, one day after the 49ers' 27-19 victory over the Detroit Lions.In training camp, it appeared as if Jacobs would be the 49ers' short-yardage back, Ginn would handle the return, Moss would be the No. 2 wide receiver behind Michael Crabtree.But after two games, Jacobs (left knee) and Ginn (right ankle) have been inactive due to injuries. And Mario Manningham, not Moss, appears entrenched as the starter opposite Crabtree.That's quite a departure for Moss, who ranks among the all-time NFL receiving leaders. Among the 49ers' receivers, Moss ranked fourth in playing time behind Crabtree, Manningham and Kyle Williams on Sunday nightRELATED: 49ers play time -- Moss was No. 4 receiver
"Nobody around here ever gets caught in 'The Guy' terminology," Harbaugh said. "It's about us. It's about the team. There's no evidence he (Moss) is concerned about 'The Guy' tag. He knows football. He knows the team that plays the best is going to win the game. He's about that."Early indications are that Jacobs might not be ready for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Ginn could be available to return to action, but it's not known whether he' will unseat Williams as a return man."We know what those guys can do," Harbaugh said of Jacobs and Ginn. "We know what their role is, and it is carved out. But at the same time, we're going to play the guys you feel each week that give us the best chance to win and are practicing better and whose ultimately is going to play better in the game. You also need to see that on the practice field."

49ers select TE George Kittle in fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select TE George Kittle in fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

GEORGE KITTLE
Position: Tight end
College: Iowa
Height: 6-3 3/4
Weight: 247
Selection: Fifth round, No. 146 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Iowa tight end George Kittle in the fifth round with the No. 146 overall pick.

Kittle becomes the second Iowa player the 49ers selected in two days. Late Friday, the 49ers traded up to select quarterback C.J. Beathard.

Kittle was considered an outstanding blocker in the Hawkeyes pro-style offense. As a senior, Kittle appeared in nine games and caught 22 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns. In 2015, he had 20 receptions for 290 yards and six touchdowns.

"I think my game overall, I’m a very versatile player," Kittle said. "I can have my hand in the dirt and block anybody you want me to block. You can move me around and run routes. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. I feel like I can catch the ball well and run routes well. I’m a versatile guy."

Kittle joins a 49ers tight end group that includes Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell and Je’Ron Hamm. 

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi on Friday reported the 49ers are attempting to trade McDonald. In one of former general manager Trent Baalke’s final moves, the 49ers signed McDonald in December to a five-year contract extension that included a $7 million signing bonus.

Kittle said he caught passes during Beathard's workout with 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello. The next day, he was invited to fly to Santa Clara as one of the 49ers' 30 pre-draft visits.

While the 49ers' selection of Beathard at the end of the third round might have surprised some, Kittle said he figured the 49ers would have reason to be interested in his teammate of the past four years.

"He’s just a guy, he loves football more than anything other than maybe his daughter," Kittle said of Beathard. "He lives and breathes it. That’s all he cares about. He is a genius in the film room and on the football field. He know absolutely everything that everybody is going to do. . . . He’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around.”

49ers trade up, pick RB Joe Williams in fourth round of 2017 NFL Draft

49ers trade up, pick RB Joe Williams in fourth round of 2017 NFL Draft

JOE WILLIAMS
Position: Running back
College: Utah
Height: 5-11
Weight: 210
Selection: Fourth round, No. 121 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers traded up in the fourth round to select Utah running back Joe Williams.

The 49ers traded up to No. 121 overall in general manager John Lynch’s sixth trade of the draft. Just minutes earlier, the 49ers acquired Kapri Bibbs in a trade with the Denver Broncos.

The 49ers traded up in the fourth round with Indianapolis to select Williams. The 49ers dealt No. 143 in the fourth round and No. 161 of the fifth round to the Colts to complete the trade.

Williams, who ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, rushed for 1,407 yards and 10 touchdowns on 210 rushing attempts in nine games. He also caught nine passes for 107 yards.

Williams walked away from the team two weeks into last season but was welcomed back. He was welcomed back to the team and rushed for 332 yards against UCLA.

Former 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson, who was Utah’s running backs coach, later explained Williams’ brief “retirement.”

"I knew he was down a little bit at the beginning of the year," Erickson said. "He fumbled a couple of times. Mentally, he was drained a little bit. Physically, he was not feeling very good."

Williams had 278 all-purpose yards to be named MVP of the Foster Farms Bowl against Indiana at Levi’s Stadium.

On a conferene call with Bay Area reporters, Williams explained his personal struggle of the past 10 years that led to him stepping away from the game:

"I had to lay it out on the line (to teams) that football is what I drink and breathe. It's what I wake up for in the morning and it's how I want to provide for my family. They knew at first they wanted to understand how I could walk away from football, but after I tell them how it came to be, I felt they were empathetic about it and they understand that sometimes you have to put things on hold to do what's right.

"My sister (Kylee, 7 years old) had passed away in 2006. She died in my hands. She died on Sunday, June 19th. She'd been in and out of the hospital that Friday and Saturday. She had fell unconscious and . . . just the guilt and shame I always put upon myself because I didn't act quickly enough with my parents or call 911, I thought it was my fault. Going through high school and college, I was getting counseling.

"Coming into this season, a lot of the emotions were coming to the forefront, and I was trying to deal them the best way I could. As the season started, and I knew my mental health wasn't where it needed to be, I knew the best option for me was to sit down in front of my wife and my coaches and just tell them where I was at. It came to the decision that stepping back at that time would be for my best interest -- not only for football but for life after football.

"I did a lot of soul-searching. I got my sister's tattoo on my left arm. I was doing everything necessary to finally come to peace with her death. . .  I finally forgave myself."