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Reading the tea leaves: What the 49ers’ combine commentary means for the offseason – by matt-kolsky – March 3, 2019



The San Francisco 49ers have just beneath $70 million in cap room, seventh-most in the league, as well as the 2nd general select in April’s draft and 4 other choices. They’re hunting not just to boost on a disappointing 4-12 year, but to make a leap from unpleasant mediocrity to legit competition.

They consider they have some key pieces in location — a QB they appreciate, a star limited conclude and a few of young defenders with appreciable potential — but the preponderance of roster holes tends to make this spring the key to good results in 2019.

Head mentor Kyle Shanahan and common supervisor John Lynch the two spoke at this week’s NFL Draft Incorporate, giving us some tea leaves to examine as much as how they’ll allocate their appreciable sources. Here are 4 noteworthy takeaways from San Francisco’s gridiron gang.

Go Hurry Priority

Exterior go rush is by much the thinnest spot on the 49ers defense. The crew tied for eighth-worst in the league with 37 sacks. Behind DeForest Buckner’s 12, the superior mark was 5.5 — from veterans Ronald Blair III and Cassius Marsh, neither of whom are guaranteed bets to remain on the roster. No one else beat Arik Armstead’s 3 sacks or 6 tackles for reduction.

Lynch acknowledged that 2019 is “a great calendar year to be hunting for D-linemen … this is as robust of a course as the previous eight many years.” Major potential customers Nick Bosa and Josh Allen are edge rush experts, and the Niners must find 1 of the two.

“There’s some on the free agent [market, too],” Lynch included. “Obviously the 1 detail about free company is that you have seen them at our amount. So if you truly feel assured and you have area … that is a frequent dialogue that is ongoing.”

The free agent current market consists of some studs — DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark — who might never ever make it to current market (since “they get franchised, the fantastic kinds.”) Be expecting the 49ers to spend a massive chunk of their money on 1 or two fellas from a group that would continue to include Trey Flowers, Ziggy Ansah and Preston Smith.

Passer Pliability

This is a pretty sizeable inference, but I consider John Lynch subtly solicited bids for QBs Nick Mullens and (especially) CJ Beathard in his initially solution in the course of Thursday’s availability.

The case for this is, as Lynch himself claimed, “Traditionally, we’ve been of the belief that you retain two since it will allow you to do matters with your roster.” If they consider they have two able backups, 1 may well be really worth a lot more as a trade asset than as a third-stringer.

Lynch engaged in vintage GM-discuss, commencing his remarks by indicating he would not “close the door on just about anything.” He was also free with praise — “We like each and every and each individual 1 of individuals fellas for what they bring to the desk, the two in their expertise and who they are as people today. We’re massive believers in all of them.”

This could be a explanation to retain everybody, but it rang a whole lot like a benefit-boosting gambit. In other words and phrases, the common supervisor is indicating, “I consider I’ve received two legit NFL backup quarterbacks on my roster. I likely only will need 1. Make me an offer you, but you better WOW me since I’m content to sit limited.”

Calm on Receivers

Supporters are warm for a massive-title huge receiver, but it sounds like the crew will try to address a debilitating deficiency of creation at that place (not to point out their crimson zone struggles) via avenues other than free company.

There is no noticeable star receiver in this draft, but there are a assortment of massive-bodied fellas who could help and must be available. Kelvin Harmon, N’Keal Harry, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Riley Ridley must all be available when the 49ers make their 2nd select.

What’s more, the 49ers consider they have a amount-1 go catcher in George Kittle. Lynch named the breakout limited conclude “a specialist in each individual part … diligent and tireless.” Shanahan concluded that “You have to” set him in the dialogue with Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz: “He had the most yards in NFL background as a receiver. He’s as fantastic of a blocking limited conclude as I’ve ever been about.”

Shanahan expects the offensive line to be better — he named Weston Richburg “one of the ideal centers in the league,” inspite of his 2018 struggles, incorporating that he “battled as a result of a extremely rough personal injury.” The tackle positions are secured for now by Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey (Shanahan named the rookie’s year “impressive”) and Laken Tomlinson is the remaining guard.

Suitable guard will involve some sources — Shanahan outlined how significantly he preferred Mike Particular person, but Particular person is a free agent. He designed significantly less than a million pounds previous calendar year, but the prime 30 NFL guards all make at least $4 million for every calendar year on typical and the prime 12 are all at $9 million a year or a lot more.

Shanahan and Lynch see a lot of other offensive advancements coming: the return of Jimmy Garropolo and Jerick McKinnnon (the GM is “really inspired with their potential customers and wherever they are going to be”) the ascendance of Dante Pettis (“I have massive anticipations,” Shanahan claimed. “Finished the calendar year up likely as our ideal guy”) even the addition of coaches Wes Welker and Miles Austin (the two of whom Shanahan named “serious about turning out to be a mentor and ready to set in the work”), which theoretically allows passing activity coordinator Mike LaFleur by “[taking] a tiny off his plate which must help him help us a lot more in activity-scheduling.”

Neither claimed just about anything to suggest they’ll commit belongings to a celebrity receiver like Odell Beckham or Antonio Brown. Lynch particularly claimed he had no speak to with the Steelers, and would not even dignify the question with some GM-discuss about discovering choices or hunting to boost.

“I’ll just leave it at he’s a great player.”

No Kicking Problem

The 49ers know exactly what they have in Robbie Gould, and they won’t allow him sneak out the door. They made use of the franchise tag to make guaranteed there was not even a dalliance with one more crew, but it also presents them all summertime to negotiate a for a longer period deal.

‘“He’s a great kicker and we really do not want to get rid of him,” Shanahan claimed. “I truly hope it’s for a longer period … I’ve been calling performs long adequate to know that it’s extremely rough when you get to that 30-property-line [and] you really do not consider the kicker is going to make it … I never ever consider we’re going to miss it.”

When requested simply “What is it about Robbie Gould?” Lynch claimed what we all know: “He’s sound as a rock … as dependable as they arrive … We’re extremely hopeful that we go on speaking and check out to arrive to an settlement to retain him about for a when.”

It does not acquire a rocket scientist — or even an NFL GM of typical intelligence — to figure out that there are not adequate fantastic kickers to go about. A dependable kicking activity is 1 detail, at least, the 49ers really do not have to stress about.

Matt Kolsky is a sports media specialist (or some thing like that) and lives with an growing old Shih Tzu/Schnauser combine in Berkeley. You can hear him on the Bay Area sports radio station 95.7 the Game, 5a-6a each individual weekday early morning. You can pay attention to his podcast, The Toy Department, on iTunes or wherever else fine podcasts are free. You can obtain him on Twitter @thekolsky to share your particular feelings about this posting or any other subject matter, he will react to most tweets that do not incorporate racial slurs.

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