49ers

2019 NFL Supplemental Draft: Why 49ers might target safety Jalen Thompson

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AP

2019 NFL Supplemental Draft: Why 49ers might target safety Jalen Thompson

Only three players have been selected in the NFL supplemental draft since 2013. However, two of those came just last year, and when the league holds the 2019 Supplemental Draft on Wednesday, there's a decent chance at least two players could be selected, one of which could be of interest to the 49ers.

A little background: The supplemental draft is an option for draft-eligible players who did not declare for the regular NFL draft in April. Typically, players who declare for the supplemental draft do so due to unexpected eligibility issues at the collegiate level, such as those related to academics or discipline.

If a team selects a player in the supplemental draft, it forfeits its pick in that same round in the following NFL draft in April. For example, the New York Giants selected cornerback Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 supplemental draft, and thus forfeited their third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

If the 49ers are going to select anyone in the 2019 Supplemental Draft on Wednesday, chances are it will be Washington State safety Jalen Thompson, who represents the most talented player available according to The Athletic's Dane Brugler.

Thompson is coming off a junior season in which he tallied 67 tackles, 10 passes defended and two interceptions. His sophomore season, he led the Cougars with 73 tackles and four picks. He's got great speed and athleticism, but at just 186 pounds, is on the smaller side for his position. Nonetheless, he doesn't shy away from physicality, but that can occasionally hamper his ability to wrap up.

Brugler compares Thompson to former Lions' Pro Bowl safety Glover Quin, and projects him to go in the third or fourth round of the 2019 Supplemental Draft on Wednesday and eventually ascend to starter level.

"If his character checks out," Brugler qualified, "Thompson is a player who can compete for a nickel role early in his NFL career and all the ingredients are there for him to be starting by Year Two."

Could Thompson be a fit for the 49ers? From a positional standpoint, at least, it certainly seems so.

Despite a loaded free-agent safety class and a draft class filled with promising prospects at the position, San Francisco declined to select a safety in the 2019 NFL Draft after re-signing Jimmie Ward to a one-year deal. Of course, the oft-injured Ward didn't take long to make that decision look questionable at best after he broke his collarbone in the first week of OTAs

Former seventh-round draft pick Adrian Colbert is the back-up free safety on the roster, but he didn't exactly inspire confidence with his performance last season. Behind Colbert is Tarvarius Moore, who just made the positional change to safety after spending his rookie season at cornerback.

[RELATED: Moore back at safety after playing rookie year at corner]

So, yes, the 49ers could use an influx of talent, youth and health at the same position Thompson plays. It's uncommon for teams to utilize the supplemental draft, but if San Francisco elects to do so Wednesday, it seems obvious who they'll be targeting, and why.

Mike Tomlin won't address if Steelers considered QB Colin Kaepernick

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USATSI

Mike Tomlin won't address if Steelers considered QB Colin Kaepernick

After the Pittsburgh Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season, they acted quickly Monday to add one quarterback to the active roster and another to the practice squad.

Mason Rudolph, a third-round draft pick, takes over as the starter, beginning Sunday against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it seems, never was under serious consideration.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was asked Monday if the organization contacted Kaepernick after learning that Roethlisberger would require season-ending surgery on his elbow. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, but his résumé is more impressive than either rookie backup Devlin Hodges or Paxton Lynch, the club’s newest addition to the practice squad.

“Hey guys, I went through the process that we went through in terms of our decision making,” Tomlin said during a press conference Monday. “We went with Hodges because he’s been a significant component of our offseason and training camp; and for short term fluidity, we thought that was the best.

“And we acquired Paxton Lynch because he is practice squad eligible and we can bring him up to speed and evaluate him without utilizing a roster spot. I’m not talking openly about free agents that aren’t on our roster. That conversation could go on for days and be endless. There’s a number of people at the quarterback position and others that are unemployed in today’s NFL. I’m not going to use this forum to do that.”

[RELATED: Why Steelers need to do what's right: sign Colin Kaepernick]

Kaepernick has been the center of a national controversy since he chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 season as a way to protest racial inequality.

In February, the NFL reached settlements with Kaepernick and former 49ers safety Eric Reid on their collusion grievances. Reid remains in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers.

Kaepernick, 31, played six seasons with the 49ers. He appeared in 69 games with 58 starts. Kaepernick is a 59.8 percent career passer with 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions and has a career passer rating of 88.9. He also rushed for 2,300 yards.

49ers sign ex-Raiders long snapper Jon Condo to replace Colin Holba

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AP

49ers sign ex-Raiders long snapper Jon Condo to replace Colin Holba

The 49ers made a switch at long snapper Tuesday, cutting Colin Holba and signing Jon Condo, who spent 11 seasons in that role with the Raiders.

Condo, 38, was the Raiders’ long snapper from 2007 to ’17. He appeared in the final four games last season for the Atlanta Falcons. He began his career in 2005 with the Dallas Cowboys, appearing in three games before winning a spot with the Raiders two seasons later.

Holba was signed last year after Kyle Nelson was suspended 10 games for his second offense of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Nelson served the first four games of his penalty in 2018, and will be eligible to return to the 49ers after six games this season. Holba did not have any obvious mistakes in the first two games this season.

Condo will wear No. 59 for the 49ers.

[RELATED: Why 49ers' hot start has Shanahan eyeing another long trip]

The 49ers also filled an open spot on their practice squad with the addition of offensive lineman Will Holden.

Holden (6-foot-7, 312 pounds) entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. He appeared in 11 games with seven starts for Arizona the past two seasons. He spent time in the offseason with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.