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In a draft-day trade, the Vikings get picks No. 31, 117, and 176, and the 49ers moved up to No. 25. The 49ers had to be moving up for a wide receiver, right? Right. Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk was the pick. I felt like this would be the guy as John Lynch is buddies with Herm Edwards, the Sun Devils head coach.

Aiyuk has a wingspan that is one inch bigger than Calvin Johnson. He underwent surgery that kept him out of the Senior Bowl, but is expected to be fully recovered by the time training camp starts. I had Aiyuk as the fourth-best “flanker” in the draft, and the other three wideouts ahead of him were taken.

Aiyuk may have been the most difficult prospect in the past few seasons for me. He’s oozing with athleticism and talent. The issue is the former Sun Devil needs to be consistent when the ball is in the air. He struggled at adjusting to throws and using his body to get open. There were plays here and there, but not enough to say Aiyuk is on the same level as some of the top receivers. Aiyuk plays much faster than his 4.5 40-yard dash, and it shows up as he’s eating up the cornerbacks’ cushion off the line of scrimmage and when the ball is in his hands. He’s also better at the top of his routes than given credit for.

I also had him higher than Justin Jefferson, who went earlier than Aiyuk at No. 22 to Minnesota.

He’ll need to become more refined, but Aiyuk’s ability after the catch and down the field is better suited in today’s NFL than Jefferson.


Draft Profile:

Yahoo! Sports

Niners 2020 draft picks:

Round 1, (pick 14): DT Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina
Round 1, (pick 25): WR Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State
Round 5, (pick 156):
Round 6, (pick 210):
Round 7, (pick 217):
2020 NFL draft schedule:

ABC, ESPN and NFL Network will televise the draft.

Thursday, April 23

5 p.m. PT (Round 1 – 10 minutes per pick)

Friday, April 24

4-9 p.m. PT (Round 2 – seven minutes per pick; Round 3 – five minutes per pick)

Saturday, April 25

9 am PT (Rounds 4 and 5 – five minutes per pick; Round 7 – four minutes per pick)

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The San Francisco 49ers moved down one slot in the 2020 NFL draft by trading their 13th and 245th picks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for picks No. 14 and No. 117, getting John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan a fourth-rounder. They used that No. 14 pick to select South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw.

At No. 13, the Bucs selected OT Tristan Wirfs from Iowa to come in and help protect quarterback Tom Brady. That means the 49ers gave up next to nothing while adding a fourth-round pick and still drafting the player they wanted to. That’s good business.

With multiple wide receivers on the board, the 49ers surprised some by picking Kinlaw, but John Lynch was consistent with building around the defensive line. Kinlaw is a high-upside player who has a chance to be special. He’ll be even better with the talent around him. I understand most may be upset about the pick, but “trust the process.” The 49ers might not be done moving around. It’s all about combinations. Let’s see who they pair with Kinlaw.

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centers have no shot against Kinlaw. with his style of play and how Kinlaw wins, it’s tough to imagine him not being a stud in the NFL.

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Kinlaw’s rookie contract will be a fraction of what DeForest Buckner’s was. The team traded an $84 million contract for a $20 million one. That is factored in to this decision. Honestly, he was the best player available.

Draft profile:


Remaining picks:

Round 1, Pick 31
Round 4, Pick 117 (via Tampa Bay)
Round 5, Pick 156 (via Denver)
Round 5, Pick 176
Round 6, Pick 210
Round 7, Pick 217 (via Detroit)

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Jason Verrett will make his San Francisco 49ers debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Verrett missed the entire preseason while rehabbing an ankle injury suffered during training camp and was a healthy scratch in Week 2. Verrett will make his first regular season appearance since Week 1 of the 2017 season with the San Diego Chargers.

Dee Ford also got the green light ahead of the 49ers home opener. Ford missed the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals while dealing with a quadricep and knee injury. The defensive lineman was sidelined leading up to Sunday’s contest, however was on hand for the team’s walk-through practice on Friday.

In addition to Verrett and Ford, Nick Bosa (ankle) and Jaquiski Tartt (toe), who were both questionable heading into the weekend, are active for the home opener.

Here’s a full list of inactives ahead of Sunday:

QB C.J. Beathard
WR Jalen Hurd
DB Jimmie Ward
RB Tevin Coleman
OL Sam Young
OL Joe Staley
DL Jullian Taylor
WR Donte Moncrief
FB Roosevelt Nix
LB Anthony Chickillo
OL Fred Johnson
OL Chukwuma Okorafor
DE Isaiah Buggs
LB Vince Williams

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The San Francisco 49ers announced on Thursday they have promoted TE Daniel Helm to the active roster from the team’s practice squad. In order to make room on the roster, the team placed TE Garrett Celek on the Injured Reserve List. The team also signed S Jacob Thieneman to the team’s practice squad.

Helm (6-4, 225) originally signed with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 10, 2019. He was waived by the Chargers on August 1 and claimed by the 49ers August 2. Helm was waived by the 49ers on August 31 and signed to the practice squad the following day.

A 24-year-old native of Chatham, IL, Helm attended Duke University where he appeared in 38 games (24 starts) for the Blue Devils and registered 69 receptions for 767 yards and six touchdowns in three seasons (2016-18) after transferring to the school from the University of Tennessee. As a senior in 2018, he appeared in all 13 games (11 starts) and finished with 26 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns, earning Third-Team All-ACC honors.

Helm will wear number 43.

Thieneman (6-1, 215) originally entered the NFL after signing with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent on May 15, 2019. He was waived by the Giants on June 13, later signed with the Indianapolis Colts on August 26 and was waived on August 31.

A 23-year-old native of Noblesville, IN, Thieneman attended Purdue University (2014-18), where he appeared in 34 games and registered 170 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 11 passes defensed, 7.0 sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Celek (6-5, 252) was activated from the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List on November 11, 2019 and appeared in five games (one start) this season.

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After Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the Super Bowl, many wondered whether the 49ers would explore quarterback options this offseason. Ultimately, they did not bite on Tom Brady or any of the other big-name passers. As far as teammate Kyle Juszczyk is concerned, the talk of replacing Jimmy G was overblown.

“I think people like the headlines,” Juszczyk told KNBR’s (h/t NBC Sports). “Jimmy G is a popular character out there, so if you can include his name in anything, I think you’re going to get a few more readers, a few more viewers that are going to check it out..I really, truly don’t understand why Jimmy gets [scrutinized] so hard. I think the guy had a phenomenal season, and I think anyone in our building will tell you that.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and other Niners officials have made similar comments to support Garoppolo. Meanwhile, we’ve heard that the Brady-SF connection was a bit overstated, even though the QB saw a potential match.

Here’s more on the Niners:

Looking ahead to the draft, the 49ers are looking at offensive tackles who could be available late in the first round or early in the second round, Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes. They currently hold Nos. 13 and 31, but their other leanings suggest that they’ll look to trade back. For example, they’re doing lots of homework on middle-round tight ends, Barrows hears, even though they do not have any picks in Rounds 2-4 at present. They also have versatile defensive linemen and speedy wide receivers on the radar, Barrows hears. Strong safety is also on the to-do list as Jaquiski Tartt enters his walk year, but Barrows writes that it’s not one of the top priorities.
If the 49ers stand pat at No. 13 overall, they could be tempted by South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports writes. Kinlaw is green, but he also offers tremendous potential. In time, he could be the kind of player the Niners need to replace the impact of DeForest Buckner up front.
California governor Gavin Newsom isn’t optimistic about the 49ers, Rams, and Chargers being able to host fans in their stadiums by September. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is pushing the NFL to start its 2020 season on time.

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The San Francisco 49ers have gotten off to an incredible start this season and much of that has been due to the dominant play of their defense. Their secondary is much-improved but is dealing with some injuries prompting the team to take a flier on former second-round pick Teez Tabor.

The 49ers officially signed Tabor to their practice squad Monday announcing the release of offensive tackle Ryan Pope in a concurrent move. Pope was an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State that was seen as more of a developmental prospect.

Tabor’s addition to the practice squad comes with more hype and intrigue than most practice squad signings. After all, Tabor was a second-round pick just three drafts ago and was seen as a near-lock to go in Round 1 before a poor combine plummeted his draft stock.

The Florida product ran a disastrous 4.70 40-yard dash at his pro day and followed that up with a disappointing 4.62 time at the combine. That was enough to scare off many scouts despite what his tape showed in college.

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Tabor — along with teammate Quincy Wilson — formed one of the most formidable cornerback duos in the nation while at Florida as the former was a first-team All-SEC selection in consecutive seasons back in 2015 and 2016.

The 23-year-old was viewed as one of the best zone coverage corners in the draft which is likely one of the primary reasons that San Francisco gave him a chance. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme relies heavily on zone coverage making this a solid fit.

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However, it’s impossible not to ignore Tabor’s struggles in his first two years in the league. In two seasons with the Detroit Lions, Tabor was given every opportunity to earn a starting job.

In fact, the Lions allowed him to compete for the No. 2 cornerback role behind Darius Slay in his very first season. However, Tabor was beaten out by veterans D.J. Hayden and Nevin Lawson and saw the field sparingly over those two seasons.

Unfortunately, when he was on the field, the success that he had at Florida was nowhere to be found.

Tabor graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the league last season earning an atrocious 32.2 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. Incredibly enough, opponents completed a pass on 81.5% of passes where he was in coverage.

81.5! That means that opponents would complete a pass on him more than four out of five times. That’s downright dreadful.

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Much of his struggles came as a result of his lack of speed as he simply couldn’t keep up with opposing receivers. Moreover, he would often play so deep because of his lack of speed that he would give receivers 10+ yards of cushion.

Tabor’s struggles led to perhaps the worst season of any cornerback in football history last season — in fact, it’s impossible to get any worse. The former college standout allowed a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the entire duration of the season.

That’s right, Tabor played 276 snaps for the Lions in 2018 and he could not have finished with worse stats if he tried.

There is still hope given his draft pedigree and prior success in college, but it’s clear that this is a reclamation project. But for a practice squad player, Tabor is certainly more high-profile than most.

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Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey put on his wheeling-and-dealing hat yet again.

The Browns announced Monday afternoon that defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for safety Eric Murray. The Chiefs also announced the transaction.

Ogbah did not report Monday for the start of the Browns’ voluntary offseason workout program while the Browns actively pursued a trade partner, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier.

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With Ogbah, the Chiefs land an experienced player for a retooled defensive front as the team transitions from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 front under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. In three seasons with the Browns, Ogbah started 40 games and totaled 122 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 29 quarterback hits.

The Chiefs previously signed defensive end Alex Okafor during free agency and the additions of Okafor and Ogbah come after Kansas City parted ways with outside linebackers Justin Houston, who later signed a free-agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts, and Dee Ford, whom the Chiefs traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

Meanwhile, Cleveland gets a player Dorsey knows well. Murray entered the league in 2016 as a fourth-round draft pick with the Chiefs while Dorsey served as the general manager.

The 25-year-old Murray, a converted college cornerback, provides versatility on the back end of coverage and replaces safety Derrick Kindred, who was released earlier Monday.

On his three-year career, Murray has appeared in 45 games with 11 starts, totaling 72 tackles, a sack, an interception and seven passes defensed.

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LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Some of the San Francisco 49ers took a bit of the sting out of their Super Bowl loss with a trip to Las Vegas this week.

Pro Bowlers Richard Sherman, Nick Bosa and George Kittle joined several other Niners for a red-carpet welcome at The Venetian on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the resort.

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The group dined at CUT by Wolfgang Puck and posed for photos in front of the LOVE sculpture in the waterfall atrium.

San Francisco finished the regular season at 13-3 and won the NFC championship. The team would lose to Kansas City in Sunday’s big game, 31-20.

Other players who joined the Vegas contingent: Shanderious “Kwon” Alexander, Arik Armstead, Marcell Harris, Dontae Johnson, Jermaine Kelly Jr., Elijah Lee, Emmanuel Moseley, Raheem Mostert, Jimmie Suave-Ward, Jaquiski Tartt, Jacob Thieneman, Levine Toilolo, Fred Warner, K’Waun Williams, and Ahkello Witherspoon.

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A pair of cornerbacks are returning to San Francisco.

The 49ers announced Monday that Dontae Johnson and Jason Verrett were each re-signed on one-year deals. They join a cornerback depth chart that also includes Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley.

Johnson, 28, appeared in seven games for the Niners last season, registering three tackles. For his career, he’s posted 161 tackles, two interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

After starting 16 games for the Niners in 2017 he bounced around between the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers the past two years before returning to San Francisco in 2019.

Verrett, 28, appeared in just one game for San Francisco last season after being placed on injured reserve in October with a knee condition. Injuries have been the prevailing theme of Verrett’s career. Since being a Pro Bowler in the 2015 season he’s appeared in just six games.

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He’s notched 80 tackles and five interceptions in his career.

It appeared early in his career that Verrett was on track to be one of the game’s best cornerbacks, only for injuries to rob him of reaching that potential. The Niners will be hoping he can provide quality depth, however, and that he can stay on the field.

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Remember when the San Francisco 49ers selected former Virginia cornerback Tim Harris in Round 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Probably not, and that’s OK. After all, Harris had an injury-plagued collegiate career, and his early time with the Niners was abbreviated by him being placed on season-ending injured reserve right out of the preseason.

Harris managed to play in two exhibition games last year, recording three tackles and generally showing why San Francisco took a late-round flier on him in the first place.

But what does Harris’ future hold moving forward?

It’s important to acknowledge the 49ers have some short- and long-term concerns at the position. Veteran corner Richard Sherman is entering a contract year. And with him turning 32 years old this month, it’s unknown whether or not the Niners have any intentions of re-signing him once his deal is finished.

And fellow cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley haven’t locked down the opposite starting job on the boundary, either.

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While it’s a long shot, Harris has an outsider’s chance to be a starting cornerback this upcoming season. At 6-foot-2 and 197 pounds, his body type fits the bill for what coordinator Robert Saleh looks for his defense. And while Harris’ lengthy six-year college career produced essentially only two quality seasons, 2015 and 2018, one can look at his positive traits as reasons why Saleh and Co. will want to see what he can do this offseason.

Harris ran a 4.45 40-yard time at his 2019 pro day, flashing solid speed, while his ball skills were pretty notable at the college level.

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs felt pretty good about Harris, projecting him to be a possible fourth-round pick last year:

Tim Harris has all of the tools needed to potentially develop into a starting outside cornerback in the pros. The problem? Harris has had severe bouts with health and his long term availability is in something of a question as a result. Harris has attractive traits and it’s easy to love hit ball skills, physicality and anticipation. But can he stay healthy? This is a high ceiling, low floor type player when considering durability. Worth the risk in the late rounds, though.

Given the Niners ended up getting Harris in Round 6, one has to think any worthy production from the 24 year old now would only be a bonus.

How Harris bounces back from his 2019 injury will ultimately determine what kind of role he’ll have entering offseason activities. It’s likely San Francisco opens up the competition for the No. 2 cornerback spot between Witherspoon and Moseley, perhaps giving Harris second- or third-string duties during OTAs.