49ers

49ers review: Defensive backs, specialists

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49ers review: Defensive backs, specialists

The player-by-player review of every position group from the 49ers' 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills concludes . . .Defensive backs
20-Perrish Cox: The 49ers' fourth corner played only six snaps. Entered as part of the team's dime package early in the third quarter and made the tackle on RB Fred Jackson for a 5-yard gain on a third-and-19 situation.
22-Carlos Rogers: He played 41 snaps, mostly in the slot, and recorded three tackles. The Bills has some success when they targeted him, as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 3 of 4 throws Rogers' way for 36 yards.
25-Tarell Brown: He played 41 snaps at right cornerback and recorded two tackles. Fitzpatrick completed 2 of 4 passes thrown with Brown in coverage for 22 yards.
26-Tramaine Brock: He played five snaps of defense late in the game after the 49ers took many of their starters off the field. He made a quick tackle of WR Stevie Johnson for no gain in the fourth quarter. . . Ran down Leodis McKelvin on 59-yard kickoff return in first quarter to save possible TD return.
27-C.J. Spillman: He played five snaps on defense and made one solo tackle. He also played 18 snaps on special teams.
28-Darcel McBath: he played five snaps of safety and also saw action on 20 plays of special teams. He was credited with one tackle on defense. He missed a tackle on McKelvin's 59-yard kickoff return.
29-Chris Culliver: He saw more action than any other player on defense with 42 snaps, as the 49ers were regularly in their nickel defense. He had another strong game with two tackles and an interception. . . He had good coverage against WR Donald Jones and made interception at the SF 2-yard line in the third quarter. Fitzgerald targeted Culliver five times, and the Bills had just one completion for 8 yards on those plays.
30-Trenton Robinson: Was not active (coaches' decision).
31-Donte Whitner: He played 41 snaps of defense and recorded three tackles. He was in coverage against TE Scott Chandler, whose 20-yard reception was the biggest Bills play in the passing game.
38-Dashon Goldson: He played 41 snaps, and made three tackles. Came crashing down on the line of scrimmage to stop RB C.J. Spiller for a 3-yard gain in the second quarter. . . Over-pursued on second-quarter play in which Spiller gained 12 yards. . . Picked up fumble late in first quarter and returned it 5 yards to set up a touchdown before the end of the half.REWIND: Defense clamps down on Bills
Specialists
2-David Akers: Made a 19-yard field goal in the first quarter. He has made a field goal in each of his 21 games with the 49ers, tying the club record of Bruce Gossett. . . Six of his eight kickoffs were touchbacks.
4-Andy Lee: He averaged 56.0 yards (42.0 net) on his only two punts of the game.
86-Brian Jennings: He handled the long-snapping chores just fine.

Lynch: If charges are proven true, Reuben Foster 'won't be part of our organization'

Lynch: If charges are proven true, Reuben Foster 'won't be part of our organization'

Despite facing three felony charges for domestic violence, linebacker Reuben Foster is still a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

While Foster won't participate in the team's offseason program, he hasn't been cut.

On Monday, 49ers GM John Lynch addressed Foster's future with the team while talking to the media in Santa Clara.

"I do have a couple of thoughts in speaking for our organization and speaking for Jed and speaking for Kyle and speaking for the York family. As you all know and as our release indicated, we take the gravity of these charges...it has not been lost on us. We take it extremely seriously. We do feel like patience is the right approach right now, that we are going to learn things through this legal process. But I do want to be clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, that if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won't be part of our organization going forward. That's the standard we want on our team, that's the standard we are going to operate under," Lynch said.

Four important questions about 49ers' first-round pick

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AP

Four important questions about 49ers' first-round pick

The 49ers do not control their own draft destiny.

With the No. 9 overall pick, the 49ers’ selection will, in part, be based on what happens in the first eight draft slots. Of course, they could move up or back. But that would involve finding a trade partner.

The answers to these questions will shape the 49ers’ actions on Thursday in the first round of the NFL draft:

Will a linebacker be best on the board?
Reuben Foster’s time with the 49ers might not be over, but it is unclear how much time he is going to miss or how much the 49ers can rely on him to be a long-term member of the organization.

Roquan Smith (Georgia) and Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech) are considered the top two options at linebacker, and either one of them could be the best available player on the board when the 49ers select.

Smith is a high-character, instinctive, athletic player who can step in and immediately become the team’s leading tackler. Edmunds is big, young and raw. Smith is close to a sure thing. Edmunds’ upside is unlimited.

Could Chubb or Nelson be around?
The 49ers have struggled to find a pass rush since Aldon Smith’s departure. Bradley Chubb (North Carolina State) is the best edge rusher in the draft, and would be a nice fit for the 49ers’ scheme. But the 49ers should not hold their breath. Chubb and running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State) are expected be the first non-quarterbacks selected.

Although unlikely, it is possible guard Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame) could still be on the board when the 49ers select. The 49ers believe they have strengthened their guard positions – or at least strengthened the competition – with the signing of Jonathan Cooper. Laken Tomlinson and Joshua Garnett are slated to compete, along with Cooper, for the starting jobs.

Nelson is big and powerful. He is also athletic enough to fit into Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, which places a lot more responsibility on the shoulders of the guards that most systems. Nelson could be chosen at any of the three spots (Indianapolis, Tampa Bay or Chicago) before the 49ers are scheduled to go on the clock. If he remains there at No. 9, the guess is the 49ers would gladly call his name.

Who is the best fit in the secondary?
There are some very good defensive backs who will be drafted within the first dozen picks. But which of those players gives the 49ers what they need or want?

Cornerback Denzel Ward (Ohio State), and safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) and Derwin James (Florida State) are the consensus top defensive backs available in this draft.

Ward’s speed and coverage skills are outstanding. But his size (5-11, 183) and non-physical style do not match what the 49ers want from their cornerbacks.

Fitzpatrick can play just about anywhere in the secondary. James is tough and aggressive. Strong safety is his best fit.

Fitzpatrick is good in the slot, where the 49ers already have K’Waun Williams at nickel back. At cornerback, the 49ers have presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. Safety Jimmie Ward will play on the outside in the offseason program.

At safety, Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt are scheduled for unrestricted free agency next offseason, so the 49ers could look ahead to what might be a need a year from now. Adrian Colbert looks to be a keeper.

Will a surprise really be a surprise?
So who is the second-best pass rusher? Who is the second-best offensive lineman? And would the 49ers consider either of those players worthy of a top-10 selection?

The 49ers must look to address their looming issues at offensive tackle, and Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame) could be considered. Joe Staley might have a couple of good seasons left in him. But right tackle Trent Brown couild be gone after this season.

And how about the need for an edge rusher? It would not be much of a stretch for the 49ers to consider Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio) or Harold Landry (Boston College).

Cornerback is also a position the 49ers could consider. Isaiah Oliver (Colorado) and Josh Jackson (Iowa) are the best fits for the 49ers’ scheme.

The 49ers were not willing to spend money for a wide receiver in free agency, so they can be expected to add someone in the draft. But a top-10 pick would seem too high to go target any of the top guys: Calvin Ridley (Alabama), D.J. Moore (Maryland) or Courtland Sutton (SMU).