On Wednesday, we saw rule changes and jersey number changes. Plus, the 49ers officially signed RB Wayne Gallman and edge rusher Arden Key. I wonder if that closes the door on a Ronald Blair reunion. Blair visited the Niners a couple of weeks ago.
I thought this conversation Matt Maiocco had with Quincy Avery was fantastic. Then, you have this piece by Eric Branch peeling back the layers on a touchy subject regarding black quarterbacks. The content has been superb.
“We’ve had a number of teams call us,” Grier said. “They were talking about coming up to three. We were comfortable being where we were and once we evaluated it, obviously San Francisco was very aggressive. John was great to deal with. He was very open and honest, transparent.”
“As we worked through it, we thought with the offers that we talked through, once they gave us the offer that we were comfortable with taking, we decided it was important for us also to get back into that top 10. Once it looked like San Francisco could happen, we kind of reached out to a few teams just gauging whether they would move or not.”
“There were a lot of teams that wanted to wait. They wanted to wait and see. It takes guts to make a move like that so I give San Francisco and Philadelphia both credit for doing it.”
Sure handed: Amon-Ra St. Brown has hands you can trust. Very very rarely will he drop a catchable ball, and he does a good job going up to catch balls at the highest point to prevent defenders from getting their hands on passes. He’s also great at adjusting to passes, and making catches with defenders draped over him. Especially in the red zone.
Yards after catch: While he won’t offer the YAC ability we see with a prospect like Rondale Moore, he certainly isn’t a slouch after the catch. He can be elusive and get around defenders for additional yardage, or he can put his head down and get the extra couple yards after contact. Ideal for situations near the sticks.
Versatility: St. Brown isn’t limited to just lining up outside, or just lining up in the slot. He did both in USC and was effective in both spots. Shanahan likes to line up his receivers in a variety of positions, so having that experience playing in both spots could be a plus if Shanahan has interest.
From Craig Ginsberg (@CraigAdamG): Which of the 3 QBs after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson have the best chance of falling in the draft?
Craig, I think all of them will go in the first 10 picks. If you were asking me to set up ranges right now, I’d put Fields’s range at three to eight, Lance’s range at three to nine, and Jones’s range at three to 15, with Jones probably still most likely to go third.
I think that reflects the truth, which is that this is a very, very strong quarterback class with multiple players worthy of going first overall, and the one who will be standing as a truly generational prospect at the position. Also, I’d add that sometimes a quarterback’s sliding can be a blessing in disguise. Not going at the very top, after all, made Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes available to consistent contenders with a ton of stability in the front office and coaching staff. Guys drafted in front of those two didn’t have that benefit.
5. When everybody close to him wanted him to bolt the 49ers
This was after the 2010 season, when Smith had finally reached free agency. He’d gone through hell with the 49ers. They’d drafted Kaepernick in the second round and theoretically were looking for a veteran QB. Wasn’t it time to start his career somewhere else? Smith’s family thought so. His agent thought so. I sure thought so.
But nope: Smith met a few times with Harbaugh, who had just been hired, before the league locked the players out that offseason. And Smith decided that if Harbaugh wanted him, he wanted to stay, so he signed a one-year deal.
“I guess from my upbringing — I think I get it from my father — just because it might be the easy thing to do, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” Smith said a few months later. “I just kind of felt it was the easy way out. ‘Well, I’ll just leave and go somewhere else.’ Like, basically, (indicating) that it was their fault, it wasn’t me.”