49ers

49ers select DE Pita Taumoepenu in sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select DE Pita Taumoepenu in sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

PITA TAUMOEPENU
Position: Defensive line
College: Utah
Height: 6-1 1/4
Weight: 243
Selection: Sixth round, No. 202 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Utah pass-rusher Pita Taumoepenu in the sixth round with the No. 202 overall pick.

Taumoepenu recorded nine sacks last season and figures to line up at the 49ers’ “Leo” position in their new 4-3 scheme under first-year coordinator Robert Saleh.

“I have a great ability to get after the quarterback,” he said. “That’s what I do. I have a lot of passion for it.”

Taumoepenu (pronounced tao-mo-eh-pen-new) was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection. In addition to tying for fourth in the conference in sacks, he tied for third in the Pac-12 with three forced fumbles.

In the Foster Farms Bowl against Indiana at Levi's Stadium, Taumoepenu recorded six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

"We need to find out who the best pass rushers are on this team," 49ers general manager John Lynch said. "We got there in the sixth round and we felt Pita was the best pass rusher who was there. So, that’s why we took a shot on him. We want to continue improving in pass rushing."

Taumoepenu took pre-draft visits to the Pittsburgh Steelers and had workouts with the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, he said.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”