49ers camp report: DeForest Buckner gets reps at edge rusher

49ers camp report: DeForest Buckner gets reps at edge rusher

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are looking for ways to create more production from their best player.

DeForest Buckner got plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks last season, but he had just three sacks to show for it while rushing as an interior defensive lineman. That could change this season, if the two practices this week are any indication.

Buckner was excited to learn recently he would occasionally line up at defensive end.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” Buckner said on Monday. “The coaches are experimenting with me on the edge. It changes the game up a little bit, shows my versatility. I’m just trying to affect the game.

“I went into meetings one day and they said, ‘Hey, Buck, you’re going to be at the end position in this package.’ So I was like, ‘OK, sounds good.’ It’s a confidence-booster that they can see that I’m able to rush on the edge.”

The 49ers have gone four consecutive seasons without a pass-rusher recording as many as seven sacks in a season.

The 49ers are expecting Buckner and Solomon Thomas, the team’s first-round picks of the 2016 and ’17 seasons, to make improvements in that area. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said that is where Thomas has made his biggest strides during his second NFL training camp.

“When you watch him on one-on-ones and pass rush, it’s much improved,” Saleh said of Thomas. “He’s winning consistently."

Offensive Play of the Day

There were no explosive offensive plays until the final snap of practice. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lobbed a deep ball 45 yards down the field toward Marquise Goodwin. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon appeared to have good coverage but mistimed his leap. Goodwin kept his concentrations to come down with the ball inbounds for a touchdown. Goodwin had the other candidate for offensive play of the day when he held on to a 25-yard pass from Garoppolo despite absorbing an inadvertant hit from safety Adrian Colbert.

Defensive Play of the Day

In a move-the-chains period in practice, the 49ers’ offense faced a third-and-1 situation. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk got the call on a run play up the middle, but Thomas was not fooled. He blasted into the backfield between the guard and center and stopped Juszczyk for a 1-yard loss.

Ward Back in the Mix

Cornerback Jimmie Ward, who missed some practice time with a mild hamstring strain, was back with a full day of work on Monday. He saw some action with the first-team defense in Richard Sherman’s spot. He also lined up in the team’s dime package in a linebacker role. “He’s one of the better football players,” Saleh said of Ward, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. “The challenge for Jimmie is to get on the football field. And when he is on the football field, he is one of the better players.”

Injury report

Nickel back K’Waun Williams will miss at least this week of practice due to a low-ankle sprain. He could progress back into practice next week.

Out this week, progress back: CB Williams (ankle), CB Sherman (hamstring), G Garnett (knee), G Flynn (knee), LB Brock Coyle (hip) Week to week: DL Armstead (hamstring) Day to day: LB Nzeocha (elbow). Limited: LB Warner (chest), TE Wick (knee), LB Coyle 
 Cornerback Richard Sherman, offensive linemen Joshua Garnett (knee) and JP Flynn (knee), and linebacker Brock Coyle (hip) are listed as out this week and “progress back next week.”

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (hamstring) is listed as “week to week,” while linebacker Mark Nzeocha (elbow) is “day to day.”

Linebackers Fred Warner (chest) and Brock Coyle (hip), and tight end Cole Wick (knee) were limited.

This ‘n’ That

Mike Person and Erik Magnuson are making their cases to open the season in the starting lineup. Person and Magnuson split time at center and right guard during practice on Monday. Starting center Weston Richburg took a veteran rest day. Person and Magnuson are the only two players competing for the right guard position, as Jonathan Cooper has yet to practice and Garnett is out indefinitely with a knee condition. . . Wide receiver Trent Taylor and tight end Cole Hikutini took part in 11-on-11 drills and made receptions. . . Rookie D.J. Reed lined up with the first-team defense in place of Williams. “He’s coming along well,” Saleh said. “He fights his tail off. He’s got a great mindset, a great mentality. He’s fighting. We’re asking him a lot for a rookie to learn free safety and nickel. He’s doing a good job with it.” . . . Defensive linemen Jeremiah Attaochu made a hustle play to strip receiver Steven Dunbar of the ball after a completion from Nick Mullens. . . Colbert forced a fumble of running back Jerick McKinnon. . . Rookie receiver Dante Pettis had two receptions from C.J. Beathard, including one of a throw that was not intended for him. Beathard delivered a pass that deflected off tight end Ross Dwelley on an underneath route. Pettis caught the pass further down the field. . . Linebacker Reuben Foster appeared to be slowed during one-on-one drills with some leg tightness, but he broke up a Garoppolo pass intended for Aaron Burbridge near the end of practice.

Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks


Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks

The 49ers really messed with the Rams' heads.

In the wake of Los Angeles' 20-7 loss to San Francisco in Week 6, the Rams first traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, and then made an even bigger move.

The Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in exchange for two first-round and one fourth-round draft pick.

[RELATED: Why gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the game, and has widely been rumored to be on the trade block ever since getting into a sideline confrontation with Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone in Week 2.

The All-Pro cornerback got his wish and got out of Jacksonville. The 49ers will see him in Week 16 when the Rams visit Levi's Stadium.

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Two days after the unbeaten 49ers sent the Los Angeles Rams to their third consecutive loss, the two-time defending NFC West champions reacted.

The Rams traded away cornerback Marcus Peters -- who intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone Sunday and acquired linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round draft pick. Then, the Rams put the finishing touches on a trade to acquire disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams sent first-round picks in 2020 and ’21 to Jacksonville, along with a fourth-round selection in ’21.

When Ramsey asked for a trade last month, the 49ers were not interested in paying the price, NBC Sports Bay Area reported. General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were not willing to give up the high draft picks, coupled with the big contract that Ramsey will be seeking when his contract expires.

Ramsey is a great player, of course. He scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2020, the final year of his deal. The Rams are parting ways with two first-round draft picks for a player they have under contract for only one-and-a-half seasons.

If the 49ers’ 20-7 win over the Rams on Sunday showed anything, it’s that the Rams need a lot of help in front of quarterback Jared Goff. The 49ers’ defensive line thoroughly overmatched the Los Angeles offensive line. Goff looked shaken and unsteady. The Rams managed just 48 net passing yards.

The Rams have an obvious need on their offensive line -- especially with Andrew Whitworth, a 14-year veteran, lining up at left tackle. This could be the end of the road for him.

With the college game producing a dearth of offensive linemen, any team that needs help at tackle must invest a high draft pick to get a talented player at that position.

Los Angeles made the decision to acquire one of the league’s best cornerbacks for the next one-and-a-half seasons at the expense of, potentially, beefing up their offensive line with a player who could provide a counter-balance to the 49ers’ strength on the defensive line.

Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead have reason to be excited about facing this collection of Rams offensive linemen for a while.

[RELATED: 49ers' Breida impressed by defense in win against Rams]

Can Ramsey cover tight end George Kittle? That’s about the only way Ramsey can help the Rams in head-to-head matchups against the 49ers.

Lynch and Shanahan have put together a long-term plan designed at doing their best to ensure the 49ers can remain competitive on a yearly basis. This trade by an NFC West opponent is a big step toward them achieving that goal.