49ers 2017 pre-draft depth chart

49ers 2017 pre-draft depth chart

One of the goals of new 49ers general manager John Lynch was to fill every starting job – at least tentatively – with a player capable of being an NFL starter.

After adding 16 players with significant NFL experience in his first offseason, Lynch appears to have accomplished that goal heading into the draft at the end of the month.

“Would we want to improve on that at multiple positions? Yes,” Lynch said last week at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “Depth and competition brings out the best in everyone so you improve the depth at the back end of your roster for a lot of reasons, because you just want overall quality but also to bring out the best in everyone.

"We want to continue to push the envelope there and look at every avenue to improve as a team, and that’s how you do it.”

The 49ers believe they have a starter for every position, but in some case, they are not certain where all the pieces fit.

For instance, along the defensive line, Aaron Lynch is likely to play the pass-rush end spot and Earl Mitchell is best-suited at nose tackle. Many of the other players on the defensive line are versatile enough to play any of the other positions.

It appears Jimmie Ward will be moved back to free safety. But Ward may also handle the job at nickel back, covering the slot receiver, which would enable promising Jaquiski Tartt to get on the field with regularity.

On offense, veteran Jeremy Zuttah, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, can play either center or guard. So the 49ers will have to determine whether the line is better with Zuttah at center or with Daniel Kilgore at center and Zuttah at one of the guard positions.

The 49ers open their offseason program Monday, April 10, under coach Kyle Shanahan. Here is how their depth chart could appear before the draft (updated after the release of cornerback Tramaine Brock):

WR: Pierre Garçon, Aaron Burbridge, Eric Rogers, Rashad Ross, DeAndre Smelter
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Jeremy Zuttah, Daniel Kilgore, Alex Balducci
RG: Joshua Garnett, Norman Price
RT: Trent Brown, John Theus
TE: Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell, Je’Ron Hamm
WR: Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Chris Harper
Slot WR: Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Carter
RB: Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, Raheem Mostert
FB: Kyle Juszczyk
QB: Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley

LDE: Arik Armstread, Ronald Blair, Zach Moore
NT: Earl Mitchell, Quinton Dial, Mike Purcell
DT: DeForest Buckner Chris Jones
RDE: Aaron Lynch, Tank Carradine
SLB: Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold
MLB: NaVorro Bowman, Carl Bradford, Wynton McManis, Shayne Skov
WLB: Malcolm Smith, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Brock Coyle, Dekoda Watson
LCB: Dontae Johnson, Will Redmond*
RCB: Rashard Robinson, Keith Reaser, Prince Charles Iworah
Nickel: K’Waun Williams, JaCorey Shepherd
FS: Jimmie Ward*, Don Jones, Vinnie Sunseri
SS: Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, Marcus Ball
*-Can also play nickel

P: Bradley Pinion, Brock Miller
K: Robbie Gould, Nick Rose
H: Bradley Pinion
PR: Jeremy Kerley, Bruce Ellington
KOR: Jeremy Kerley, JaCorey Shepherd, Rashad Ross
LS: Kyle Nelson

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers


49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns.