Trent Taylor

Garoppolo heaps praise on WRs Taylor, Goodwin

goodwin-taylor-ap.jpg
AP

Garoppolo heaps praise on WRs Taylor, Goodwin

Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start with the 49ers was highlighted by the on-field rapport he demonstrated with receivers Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor.

Garoppolo targeted Goodwin eight times and connected each time for a total of 99 yards. On passes intended for Taylor, a slot receiver, Garoppolo was 6-for-6 for 92 yards, including five successful third-down conversions.

“That’s what you look forward to, especially on third down when guys who can separate versus man-to-man and when they catch it they turn it up the field and move the chains,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s been an important role throughout the league, something that we’ve always had on our team.

“You can win with size or speed on the outside. On the inside, I think you have to win with quickness, whether it’s a slot receiver, whether it’s a tight end, whether it’s a running back. Those are usually the three areas you get those types of routes from.”

Garoppolo found Taylor the most-crucial time in the game, finding him across the middle for a 33-yard gain on a third-and-9 play to lead up to the two-minute warning. The play helped set up Robbie Gould for the game-winning field goal with :04 remaining.

“I think Trent’s a very talented player,” Garoppolo said. “Very young. He’s still learning things. But having guys in New England who are very similar to him, I think it’s going to help us acclimate to one another. Him acclimate to me and me do the same to him. He has a savviness for the game that’s rare in a young guy like that.”

Taylor, a fifth-round draft pick from Louisiana Tech, has 32 receptions for 331 yards on the season. Goodwin was signed as a free agent after four pedestrian seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He has already put together his best NFL season with 35 catches for a team-leading 677 yards.

“He scares people with his speed. No doubt about it. The guy’s a legit,” Garoppolo said of Goodwin. “I don’t know what his hundred (time) is but it’s fast. It takes the top off defenses and makes them think about that. It allows him to run some different types of routes. But he’s an all-around good receiver for us.”

49ers sign six draft picks, 18 undrafted rookies

49ers sign six draft picks, 18 undrafted rookies

The 49ers on Thursday announced contract signings with their six picks selected on the final day of the draft.

The 49ers reached the mandatory four-year contract agreements with the following players:

Fourth round, No. 121: RB Joe Williams, Utah
Fifth round, No. 146: TE George Kittle, Iowa
Fifth round, No. 177: WR Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech
Sixth round, No. 198: DT D.J. Jones, Mississippi
Sixth round, No. 202: DE/OLB Pita Taumeopenu, Utah
Seventh round, No. 229: DB Adrian Colbert, Miami

The 49ers also announced the signings of 18 undrafted rookies to the mandatory three-year contracts:

QB Nick Mullens, Southern Mississippi
TE Cole Hikutini, Louisville
DB Lorenzo Jerome, Saint Francis (PA)
RB Matt Breida, Georgia Southern
OL Erik Magnuson, Michigan
WR Kendrick Bourne, Eastern Washington
OT Darrell Williams Jr., Western Kentucky
WR KD Cannon, Baylor
WR Victor Bolden, Oregon State
LB Jimmie Gilbert, Colorado
OL J.P. Flynn, Montana State
DE Noble Nwachukwu, West Virginia
LB Donavin Newsom, Missouri
OL Bret Treadway, Lamar
FB Tyler McCloskey, Houston
S Malik Golden, Penn State
OL Evan Goodman, Arizona State
DB Zach Franklin, Washburn

How 49ers' additions during draft fit into the big picture

How 49ers' additions during draft fit into the big picture

During the course of the three-day NFL Draft, 49ers general manager John Lynch made six trades to finish the weekend with 10 draft picks and one veteran player.

There is a specific plan for each of those players, Lynch said.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells sent 49ers CEO Jed York a text and asked him to pass along some words of advice for the first-time general manager.

“He talked about making sure if you’re going to draft someone that everybody from personnel to coaching staff has a clear vision for what this player’s going to be for us,” Lynch said of the text from Parcells. “And we’ve tried to, with each player, challenge coaches to say, ‘How are you going to play this guy?’

“And if there’s any (vagueness) or it’s not crystal clear how they anticipate playing him, then we’ve either challenged them, ‘You better get there or I can’t feel comfortable taking him,’ and move on.”

Here is a look at the 11 players acquired and how they fit into what the 49ers are trying to build:

First round, No. 3: DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford
Thomas has the versatility to play – or at least be given a chance – at every position along the 49ers’ four-man line with the exception of nose tackle. The defensive end position on the strong side is his natural position. He is also a nice fit at the defensive tackle spot next to the team’s pass-rusher position on the weak side. Thomas could also get a look at that pass-rusher position, where Arik Armstead will get a look when he gets healthy from shoulder surgery.

First round, No. 31: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
The 49ers signed veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith to a five-year, $26.5 million contract with $11.5 million fully guaranteed on the first day of free agency. But the 49ers traded up to grab Foster at the end of the first round with the thought of playing him in the same position. Foster will immediately learn the “Will” linebacker position. “That’s where he’ll lineup, but he’s going to be sideline to sideline,” Lynch said. Eventually, Foster could replace Bowman at middle linebacker. In Foster, the 49ers envision a player who can also make contributions on special teams, in pass coverage and as a pass-rusher.

Third round, No. 66: CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado
Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerback positions during the voluntary veteran minicamp last week. Witherspoon is a talented player who is relatively new to the game. He admitted his tackling needs a lot of work. If he can play with a physicality and an attitude, he could win a starting job as a rookie over some of the other unproven cornerbacks on the roster.

Third round, No. 104: QB C.J. Beathard, Iowa
Coach Kyle Shanahan hand-picked Beathard to develop for future seasons. There is no pressure. Beathard comes to the 49ers as the clear No. 3 quarterback behind starter Brian Hoyer and backup Matt Barkley. “He’s extremely intelligent,” Shanahan said. “Football means the world to him. He really works at it. He’s accurate and he can process and play the game very fast in the pocket, I think that gives you a chance to play in this league. By no means does that mean that he’s ready to do that, but I think that’s a great guy that you have a chance with.”

Trade with Denver: RB Kapri Bibbs
Lynch served as a TV analyst for the Broncos exhibition games, and he liked what he saw from Bibbs, who spent three seasons in Denver. Bibbs finally earned a role last season with 29 carries for 129 yards in 12 games. He figures to compete for action on third downs, where Shanahan can isolate him in favorable matchups to catch passes out of the backfield.

Fourth round, No. 121: RB Joe Williams, Utah
Carlos Hyde is entering the final year of his contract, and he is going to have to show a lot to warrant a second contract with the organization. Williams (5-foot-11, 210 pounds) could take over as the team’s top running back. The 49ers initially removed Williams from consideration because he walked away from his college team early in the season. But Shanahan watched him on film and loved what he saw. After digging deeper into his background, the 49ers felt confident enough to invest a fourth-round pick in him.

Fifth round, No. 146: TE George Kittle, Iowa
Kittle is a good blocker who has a lot of upside as a pass-catcher. He is just four pounds lighter than O.J. Howard and ran an official time in the 40-yard dash at the combine that clocked just .01 seconds slower than the first tight end selected. The 49ers spent the weekend shopping veteran Vance McDonald in a trade. His time appears to be running out. It does not help him that Shanahan selected a tight end that exhibits the traits he wants from that position.

Fifth round, No. 177: WR Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech
Taylor caught 136 passes and led the nation with 1,803 receiving yards as a slot receiver. His addition places oft-injured Bruce Ellington’s future with the team on shaky ground. Taylor is more quick than fast, and that is OK for how the 49ers envision using him. “This was a guy that we were excited with in his ability to separate in the slot, which is such a key component in today’s football,” Lynch said. Jeremy Kerley begins the offseason program as the 49ers' top slot receiver.

Sixth round, No. 198: DT D.J. Jones, Mississippi
The 49ers’ run defense was horrible last year, and it all started at nose tackle. The team signed veteran Earl Mitchell as the presumptive starter. The 49ers are still trying to find the best fit for Quinton Dial, who could work his way into that position, as well. Jones gives the 49ers more brute strength on the inside. Said Lynch, “He’s a stout nose, who also has three-technique versatility, but yet I think really dynamic."

Sixth round, No. 202: DE/OLB Pita Taumeopenu, Utah
The 49ers have a few players they plan to audition at the pass-rush spot known as the “Leo.” Most of those players are big-bodied and are not prototypes for that position. Taumeopenu provides the 49ers with a dynamic pass-rusher who recorded nine sacks last season. “We felt like we’ve got so many big guys, we just want a speed rusher off the edge,” Lynch said. “He gave us a guy that, again, a guy that we grew to become very fond of throughout the process.”

Seventh round, No. 229: DB Adrian Colbert, Miami
Colbert is a hard-hitter who could make the team as a rookie based entirely off his play on special teams. The 49ers will place him at cornerback during the rookie minicamp. Depending on how he looks playing that position in Robert Saleh’s defensive scheme, the 49ers could move him to free safety to get work behind Jimmie Ward.