49ers Mailbag: Aren't first-round picks expected to play?


49ers Mailbag: Aren't first-round picks expected to play?

What do you when you're preparing for a 10-day road trip?

Being averse to checking baggage, I'm thinking of taking my usual carry-on and packing for five days with a mandatory laundry day during my stay in Youngstown, Ohio.
That's a question you can answer for me. In the meantime, I'll tackle a couple articles from the 49ers Mailbag . . . Is this a sign of a poor selection in Jenkins? Aren't 1st rounders supposed to contribute year 1? (@5drecruiting)
Without question, first-round draft picks should be good enough to contribute as rookies if there are no competent incumbents at the position in question.In the case of wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, the 49ers already added Mario Manningham and Randy Moss before the draft to go along with Michael Crabtree, Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn Jr.
And before the 49ers selected running back LaMichael James in the second round, the team added veteran Brandon Jacobs to join Frank Gore and top backup Kendall Hunter.Barring injuries, I don't expect Jenkins or James to play -- or make much impact, anyway -- as first-year players. But it's way too early to judge them.
Jenkins and James might turn out to be bad draft picks. Clearly, the 49ers weren't expecting huge contributions from those players as rookies with so many established veterans already on the roster at those spots.But Jenkins and James might turn out to be good draft picks, too. It will all play out over the next couple of seasons.As much as I might question at this stage how much the 49ers will get out of their top two picks in the future, I do not believe they could've chosen anyone at any position in the first two rounds that would be major players as rookies.In my mock draft, I had the 49ers selecting guard Amini Silatolu with the No. 30 overall pick. The Carolina Panthers selected Silatolu at No. 40 overall. Silatolu starts at left guard for Carolina. The only position on the offense line with some question about the starter around the time of the draft was right guard. But it's highly doubtful Silatolu would've won the job over Alex Boone, who is playing very well.Brian Quick (Rams, No. 33), Stephen Hill (Jets, No 43) and Alshon Jeffery (Bears, No. 45) were the next wide receivers chosen after Jenkins. It's unlikely any of those rookies would've been able to surpass Crabtree, Manningham and Moss to win significant playing time in 2012.
What about tight end Coby Fleener? The Colts selected him at No. 34 overall. Obviously, he wasn't going to take playing time away from Vernon Davis. And Delanie Walker has developed into a valuable blocker as the No. 2 tight end. Fleener is a formidable threat as a receiver, but he's not an accomplished blocker. That would've been a problem. Obviously, there's not a staff in the NFL that knows the former Stanford player as well as the 49ers' . . . and they decided to go with Jenkins. So that says something.The two selections after Jenkins in the first round were both running backs. The Buccaneers selected Doug Martin at No. 31, followed by the Giants' choice of David Wilson. Again, I don't know how much time Martin or Wilson would get with Gore, Hunter and Jacobs already on the roster. But either of those two probably would have a better chance in future seasons of being an every-down player.So, as I've stated before, the 49ers do not expect to see much of the 2012 draft class as rookies. But a final grade is still years away.Any idea why Trent would sign Haggans knowing the possibility of his issuesuspension? Didn't they release Eric B. just before the season started? (John H.)
Yes, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke knew veteran Clark Haggans would likely be suspended for three games for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse.The 49ers signed Haggans to a one-year, 940,000 contract so they would have him for 13 regular-season games and, potentially, the playoffs. (By the way, Haggans is suspended without pay, so he'll forfeit more than 163,000 of his salary.)If the 49ers need a replacement at some point for Aldon Smith or Ahmad Brooks at outside linebacker, Baalke felt as if Haggans was the one person available best-equipped to step in and play.And, yes, the 49ers released Eric Bakhtiari after top backup Parys Haralson had already undergone season-ending surgery on a torn triceps. They believed Bakhtiari would still be available ifwhen they needed somebody after Haggans' suspension.The 49ers reportedly took a look at veteran free agent Shawne Merriman on Wednesday, the day Bakhtiari was signed and had his first regular-season practice with the club. Interestingly, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he was not privy to any workout Merriman had with the team.The door is open for Bakhtiari to win a permanent job with the 49ers. A year ago, Chris Culliver and Bruce Miller took advantage of openings created by injuries to hold onto significant roles after playing well as fill-ins.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”