In today’s links, you’ll see a detail from Albert Breer about Justin Fields, a mock draft, a couple of execs talking about Mac Jones at No. 3, Marquise Goodwin signing with the Bears, and a thread from Mike Silver.
“I think there’s some NCAA rules about who can go run routes for him,” Breer told Rich Eisen on the Rich Eisen Show. “So two weeks ago, whenever the first pro day was, they had Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson running routes for Justin, and for one reason or another, by rule, those guys couldn’t do it again. It’s NCAA draft rules, whatever it is.
“So, they had to do it with new guys this time around. So Justin was throwing to two freshmen this time. Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming were the two kids. And my understanding is, Justin was, as the workout was going on, coaching these guys up on routes, and how to run this route, and how to run that route.”
“[I]f you look at Kyle Shanahan’s background, it’s in receivers,” Breer continued. “He was a receiver at Texas, right? And so, I think getting to see Justin’s intricate knowledge of the way that the receivers should run routes, the way he wanted them to run routes, where Justin’s head is with all these questions that have come up on him, I think it’s just sort of an interesting detail, and maybe something that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch can take away from the experience.”
Round 2 (No. 43): Elijah Molden, DB, Washington
For some, this might be a tough value proposition, since Molden is a nickelback, and outside cornerbacks are typically more coveted and better paid than their counterparts in the slot.
But the 49ers might be an exceptional case, especially if their defense remains similarly structured moving forward. Pass rush, and not outside corner play, has been the star of the show for them — and the nickelback position is much more involved with what happens at or near the line of scrimmage.
That’s why coaches and teammates have frequently credited K’Waun Williams with being one of the most important players on the 49ers defense and why Molden — who’s versatile enough to contribute at more than one spot — represents an instant-impact succession plan for that position.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote that Molden, named Washington’s most inspirational player in 2020, is an “instinctive hunter with quick eyes and trigger.” Molden’s six tackles for loss, five interceptions and 19 pass breakups over the past two seasons should also be appealing to the 49ers.
“It shocks me that they would trade that much to get Mac Jones when he might have been there with their original pick,” one GM told The Athletic.
“I could see (Kyle) saying, ‘Hey, listen, I don’t care what the value is. Just go get him. That’s what we need,’” the GM said.
“Maybe it’s (Jones). Who knows?” said one puzzled executive. “Maybe it’s Justin Fields — but it sure feels like it’s Mac Jones.”
The Bears on Friday bolstered their offense by signing speedy free agent receiver Marquise Goodwin to a one-year contract.
Goodwin was traded by the 49ers to the Eagles last April. But he never played for Philadelphia, opting out of the 2020 season. Due to a stipulation in the trade, his rights reverted to the 49ers last month, and he was released by San Francisco.
Goodwin represented the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games as a long jumper, an event in which he won two national college championships when he attended Texas.