clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Golden Nuggets: Aiyuk is showing some Deebo-like qualities

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Thursday, October 1, 2020

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson praised Nick Mullens on Tuesday, but Kyle Shanahan has made it clear that Jimmy Garoppolo is “the guy.” Meanwhile, Brandon Aiyuk is showing some Deebo-esque versatility. Here are the nuggets for today.

Aiyuk carving 49ers role early with Deebo-esque versatility

You couldn’t watch the play without thinking how coach Kyle Shanahan used Samuel, then a rookie, as a runner last season. Shanahan said that wasn’t the primary reason the 49ers traded up in the 2020 NFL Draft to select Aiyuk with the 25th overall pick, but it didn’t hurt the rookie’s case, either. ”You don’t take guys just to hand the ball off to them,” Shanahan said Monday. “The same thing with Deebo. But when they are physical runners, when they have the speed to do it and they compete while doing it, it’s always a good bonus.”

Kyle Shanahan quashes QB controversy as Nick Mullens prepares for second start

“No, that scenario doesn’t exist, but I don’t think past one game, either,” Shanahan said during a Zoom news conference Wednesday. “That’s for you to do. But this is Jimmy’s team. He’s done a hell of a job for us. And when he’s healthy, he’ll be playing again for us.”

“Any time you’re dealing with an ankle, it might feel all right when you’re standing there,” he said. “But can you move around and get into awkward positions without hurting yourself? And that’s really what we have to see.”

George Kittle practices, expected to return for 49ers-Eagles SNF game

“I think we’ll always be smart with him,” Shanahan said. “We’re not just going to throw him in with his normal reps and everything, but he’s full go. He’ll be involved in it all, and I’m excited to see him out there going.”

Kittle’s return comes at a good time, as the 49ers plan to place veteran Jordan Reed on injured reserve this week. Reed is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his knee.

Pete Prisco’s NFL Week 4 odds, picks: Cowboys rout Browns, Chiefs roll past Patriots, 49ers edge Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles (+7) at San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles haven’t played well yet. Carson Wentz is struggling in a big way. Can he turn it around here? It won’t be easy, even against a banged-up 49ers team. The 49ers take it in a close one.

Pick: 49ers 26, Eagles 21

5 young SF 49ers players who look like emerging ballers

He won’t receive anywhere near the publicity or attention given to Javon Kinlaw. But defensive tackle Kevin Givens is quickly emerging as a solid and reliable depth piece to San Francisco’s defensive line.

And in light of the team’s growing numbers of injuries up front, Givens will have to be such a player.

Defensive linemen Arik Armstead and Kerry Hyder are the SF 49ers’ two best pass-rushers so far through the first three weeks of the season, boasting five and four quarterback pressures, respectively. The No. 3 player on that list, however?

Givens with three.

Like Javon Kinlaw, Givens is putting up respectable Pro Football Focus grades (68.2 overall and split pretty evenly against the run and pass), yet the latter’s efforts are made more notable because of his status being an undrafted free agent entering only his second year.

Eagles vs. 49ers: Five matchups to watch

1) The Eagles’ defensive line vs. the Niners’ offensive line

The Eagles’ best chance of winning this game is if they can get consistent pressure on the quarterback, whether that be Jimmy Garoppolo, or Nick Mullens (likely Mullens). Last Sunday against the Bengals, the Eagles’ defensive line was dominant, as the defense sacked Joe Burrow eight times, and hit him 18(!) times.

On average, Mullens has gotten the ball out, from snap to throw, at 2.68 seconds, per the NFL’s NextGen stats. Garoppolo has gotten it out at 2.75 seconds, on average. Those are both middle-of-the-pack averages, though the Niners’ offense is built on the run game and a quick passing attack.