2019 Senior Bowl: UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss could be fit for 49ers


2019 Senior Bowl: UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss could be fit for 49ers

UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss caught NFL scouts' attention with his four reception, 55-yard performance at the Senior Bowl. That did not surprise Dan Hawkins, who has been his head coach for the past two seasons.

Hawkins describes Doss as a special breed of wide receiver, the complete opposite of a diva; a film-room junkie who quietly comes in every day and goes to work. 

“What a great kid,” Hawkins said. “He’s an amazing person, humble, smart and a good worker. I’m really pleased how he handled himself this week and it didn’t surprise me at all.”

Doss was equally complimentary about Hawkins. 

“It’s kind of just me as a person,” Doss said during his week in Mobile, Alabama. “I like to go out there and take care of business so I can’t thank coach Hawk enough for what he’s done helping my career since he’s been at UC Davis. I’m just thankful.” 

Hawkins believes there are few challenges for Doss as he prepares for the draft. One will be his 40-yard dash time, and the other will be proving he can get separation at the top of his routes. That’s not saying he’s worried about him at all, because he isn't. 

“Whatever team is lucky enough to get him,” Hawkins said, “will be very happy with him. He’s rare. He doesn’t just want to play, he will put in the work. He’s always the first one in and the last one out.” 

“I’ll be in the film room watching this whole practice right after this,” Doss said at the end of the first day of practice at the Senior Bowl. “Like to see what I messed up on, like to see what I’ve been good on and what I can improve on for next practice.” 

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Doss knows what he needs to work on heading towards the NFL scouting combine and the draft. At 6-foot-3 and over 200 lbs., he’s not a burner. But, his performance at the Senior Bowl already has scouts buzzing about him. 

“That’s what everyone will see out of me,” Doss said, “because I’m a big guy. Just going to keep training for it and let the results take care of themselves. I’m not worried about it. Got to go out there and work hard for it and see what happens.” 

Doss was so busy taking meetings with team scouts when he was in Mobile that Hawkins had to advise his receiver to get some rest, knowing there will be plenty of time for meetings in the coming months. 

Hawkins also praised Doss’ versatility, as the receiver spent time on offense and special teams. He was very proud of the first Senior Bowl practice, as Doss knew exactly what his job was on the punt team and other players seemed unsure of their roles. 

“I was fired up how he was jumping in there and rolling with it,” Hawkins said. “He can get the call 10 times or one time. It doesn’t matter. He keeps working.” 

After his first practice under Raiders coach Jon Gruden, Doss recognized the magnitude of who he was working with. 

“It was great,” Doss said. “He’s obviously very passionate about what he does. Just being coached by him and understanding what he’s trying to teach us is a big deal.” 

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Coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers personnel department also got a close look at what Doss in Mobile. He could be a viable addition to a receiving group that needed help -- and depth -- at the end of the 2018 season. 

No matter where he lands, Doss will be missed in the Aggies locker room in 2019. Yet, Hawkins couldn’t be more excited for the wide receiver's future. 

“When your best player is your hardest worker, it sets the tone for your team. He’s going to make a team very happy.” 

49ers' George Kittle doesn't want to miss 'massive' game vs. Packers

49ers' George Kittle doesn't want to miss 'massive' game vs. Packers

SANTA CLARA -- Tight end George Kittle said he knew at the time he sustained injuries to his left knee and ankle in Week 9 that he would be out for a couple of weeks.

On Thursday, he returned to limited practice after sitting out two weeks of 49ers' practices and games.

“It went really well,” Kittle said after practice. “It was definitely a great step in the right direction. It was really fun being back out there with all the guys. I definitely don’t miss sitting in the training room all day. My goal definitely is still Green Bay.”

Kittle and wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder) returned to limited practice on Thursday, suggesting there is a strong likelihood each player will be available to play Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium.

“Unfortunately, that falls on the doctors and coach [Kyle] Shanahan, so whatever they decide, I’ll do,” Kittle said.

Kittle was forced to watch the past two games from a suite on the 800 level of Levi’s Stadium, rather than being on the sideline. Kittle described that experience as “absolutely brutal, absolutely awful.” At worst, he hoped to be allowed on the sideline with his teammates.

“I want to be down there, but they said I’d hurt myself if I put myself down there,” Kittle said. “I disagreed, but I understand.

“It’s a lower body injury, so it doesn’t make any sense to stand on it for three or four hours, and fatigue it. I agree with them, and I disagree with them.”

Kittle, as Shanahan has done in the past two weeks, declined to disclose the nature of his injuries. When asked if his ankle or knee is giving him the most difficulty, he quipped, “Yes.”

Kittle was injured on the 49ers’ first play of their Oct. 31 game against the Arizona Cardinals. He said he did not believe his decision to remain in the game caused the injuries to worsen.

“They said, ‘You want to play?’ And I said, ‘I’ll do everything I can to finish the game,’ and I got an extra three quarters out of it,” Kittle said. “I don’t think it affected my injury any further.”

Kittle leads the 49ers with 46 receptions for 541 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers are atop the NFC West, as well as the conference, with a 9-1 record. The Packers are 8-2.

[RELATED: Why beating the 49ers at Levi's means so much to Rodgers]

“Every game is a big game, but definitely an 8-2 Packers team coming, it’s definitely a battle for the NFC, definitely a massive game,” Kittle said. “It’s one I don’t want to miss.”

How 49ers' Jeff Wilson is able to stay ready for number to be called

How 49ers' Jeff Wilson is able to stay ready for number to be called

SANTA CLARA  — Running back Jeff Wilson might have only played one offensive snap in the 49ers' victory over the Cardinals in Week 11 but it was an important one. 

The play had the potential for disaster. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo admitted he couldn’t see his running back and Wilson couldn’t see the pass coming out of the pocket. The ball arrived slightly behind Wilson, but the undrafted free agent was able to secure the ball and make his way 25 yards down the field to the end zone. 

The 49ers and Cardinals changed leads three times last Sunday at Levi's Stadium, but Wilson's touchdown with 31 seconds left put Kyle Shanahan's crew on top for good, winning 36-26.

Wilson’s first receiving touchdown comes after entering the year with no assurances he would ever see the field during the regular season. With a stacked running backs room to begin the offseason, Wilson was expected to have a spot on the scout team with Jerick McKinnon, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert all ahead of him on the depth chart, not to mention fullback Kyle Juszczyk. 

Injuries hit the running backs room hard and Wilson's number was called. In seven appearances, Wilson has racked up four rushing touchdowns, filling in as needed. No matter how often his number is called, he stays ready to make an impact. 

“That’s just how the game goes,” Wilson told NBC Sports Bay Area. “That’s kind of what you get yourself into, That’s something you go into already expecting and knowing. Obviously, I knew that from the beginning of the season. Never know when I’m going to get called up.” 

The support of his position mates has made the process easier for the second-year running back. The group is very close. During pregame warmups they spend several minutes, arm-in-arm, huddled together in the end zone. Players who are inactive for the game or injured always are included.  
"To have Matt there, Tevin, Juice, the guys I’m in the locker room with, makes it easier,” Wilson said. “They are very supportive. It’s like if one of us is doing something, it’s like all of us are doing it. 

“At the same time if one person scores it feels like all of us scored. That’s kind of how we work. We want to make everyone to feel a part of it. We always call Jet, you know what I mean? He’s the leader of the group still. We always keep Jet involved. That’s kind of how we are.” 

[RELATED: 49ers' Kittle back at practice but off-limits for contact]

That support helped fuel Wilson’s dash to the end zone. His bouncing up and down in the huddle before the play might have made coach Shanahan a little nervous, but Wilson said he was ready thanks to playing 13 special teams snaps to stay warmed up. But he might not have expected the feelings that took over his body once he got into the end zone. 

“I don’t know, that was just a lot of emotion,” Wilson said. “A lot of stuff just built up on the inside that kind of came out all at once. I couldn’t control myself. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t in control of my body at that point. It was crazy, but it’s a blessing. It was a moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”