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Golden Nuggets: 49ers’ Trey Lance and Brandon Aiyuk are training together

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, May 9, 2021

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As you’ll read below, Trey Lance and Brandon Aiyuk are training together. It may only be speed workouts, but the two have a chance to build a rapport with each other this offseason. That could go a long way when it comes to having chemistry on the field.

Are the 49ers Still Super Bowl Contenders?

1.) DeMeco Ryans is a first time defensive coordinator this season. While there is some idea as to how he will call and scheme the defense, this is still uncharted waters for him. He is definitely not the level of Robert Saleh who was a mad genius with his scheme. Ryans still has to prove how far off he is from Saleh. If he can keep the defense to a teetering-top-10 level, then they will be in a strong position to get there.

2.) The offensive line wasn’t great in 2020, to say the least. Injuries certainly played a part in the average-to-below-average performances, but there were still issues everywhere outside of Trent Williams. The interior is hopefully getting rounded out with Alex Mack and Aaron Banks now in the fold. The key player here is going to be Mike McGlinchey. If he continues to stay at his current skinny level, then it is going to tough on Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.

San Francisco 49ers: Early look at 5 targets in 2022 NFL Draft

49ers Target No. 4: TE Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

Or, just as likely, the 49ers merely tabled this desire until 2022.

If the latter is the case, a worthy target could end up being Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley, who is potentially on pace to be one of college football’s biggest breakout stars this season. With wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith now gone, it’ll be up to players like Billingsley to fill the void.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect only has 20 receptions for 303 yards and three touchdowns with the Crimson Tide over two seasons.

The lack of volume likely keeps Billingsley as a second- or third-round pick right now. Yet one can see how the raw tools are there, and those could be enough for a team like the Niners to think about bringing him aboard a year from now.

Rookie QB Trey Lance is the 49ers’ future, and he happily awaits it

“I think coach Shanahan gets put in a box a little bit,” Lance said. “I think he can do so many different things and this organization can do so many different things offensively, not only scheme-wise but just the weapons they have.

“Coach Shanahan can make this offense look however he wants it to look and I trust him and his football mind. It’s one of the best. I’m just super excited to obviously see what he does and continue to push me outside my comfort zone. I know he can do whatever he wants with the offense to make it successful, and I fully believe he’s going to do that.”

11 Reasons the 49ers Should Not Re-Sign Richard Sherman

1. He’s 33.

11. Sherman is too slow to play cornerback in the NFL — he needs to move to safety. And the 49ers don’t need another injury-prone safety. He can take his talents elsewhere.

Realistic Expectations for Arik Armstead in 2021

But last season, Armstead was the 49ers’ best healthy defensive lineman after DeForest Buckner got traded and Nick Bosa and Dee Ford got injured. So the 49ers moved Armstead to defensive end full time, and he was a net negative. He couldn’t generate pressure on the opposing quarterback or keep him in the pocket. He repeatedly rushed wildly from the edge and allowed the quarterback to scramble to his right and fire passes down the field. The 49ers defense would have been better off had Armstead simply stood still on the field as opposed to trying to rush the quarterback.

49ers’ Trey Lance and Brandon Aiyuk already working out together