49ers camp report: Garoppolo, fellow starters to play at least one series


49ers camp report: Garoppolo, fellow starters to play at least one series

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not have a long night of work on Thursday night when the 49ers play their first exhibition game of the summer.

Garoppolo and the 49ers went through a full practice on Tuesday. They will take part in a walk-through practice Wednesday before lining up against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Garoppolo will open the game with the starters but is not expected to see much – or any -- action beyond the first series of the game. Most of the 49ers' starters on both sides of the ball are tentatively scheduled for a similar work day.

“We’ll treat him like what we’ve probably done more in the past,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “He’ll play somewhat into the first quarter. We’ll see how long the opening drive is. Usually, the second game you play guys a little more into the second quarter. Usually, the third game they play the whole first half and sometimes start the third quarter. Then, the fourth game they rarely play.”

Last year, the 49ers’ starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, played seven snaps in the team’s first exhibition game.

Cooper Enters Competition

Up to this point in training camp, the competition at right guard has been a battle featuring only Mike Person and Erik Magnuson. Finally, veteran guard Jonathan Cooper saw limited action with the first-team offense during practice. The 49ers are bringing him along slowly after sustaining a knee injury in his final game last season with the Cowboys. Cooper will not play on Thursday night.

“He’s not able to get through a practice, yet,” Shanahan said. “We’re just putting him in. I want to say it’s two plays a period. We’re very selective with those plays we put him in. Just trying to build back his confidence from coming off his injury.”

Offensive Play of the Day

Garoppolo is dialing in his deep ball, and not just to Marquise Goodwin, his favorite downfield target. On Tuesday, Garoppolo unloaded a well-thrown spiral that traveled 50 yards in the air and into the hands of Aldrick Robinson, who got behind cornerback Emmanuel Moseley for the touchdown.

Defensive Play of the Day

Undrafted rookie safety Terrell Williams made an interception of an underthrown C.J. Beathard pass that was intended for Victor Bolden. It was an end-of-game situation, and Williams wisely slid to the ground to eliminate in risk of fumbling the ball back.

Injury report

Cornerbacks Richard Sherman (hamstring) and K’Waun Williams (ankle), guards Joshua Garnett (knee) and JP Flynn (knee) are out this week, with a chance to work back into practice next week.

Defensive end Arik Armstead (hamstring) is “week to week.”

Tight end Cole Wick (knee) is “day to day.”

Linebackers Fred Warner (chest), Brock Coyle and Mark Nzeocha (elbow) were limited in practice and are not expected to play Thursday night.

This ‘n’ That

Four veterans -- wide receiver Pierre Garçon, tackle Joe Staley, guard Laken Tomlinson and nose tackle Earl Mitchell -- were given days off to recovery. . . Running back Jeremy McNichols unleashed a nasty straight arm to Moseley on an outside zone run that knocked Moseley to the ground. . . Garoppolo remained after practice to work on snaps with Person and Magnuson, who are the reserve centers behind starter Weston Richburg. . . Tight end Cole Hikutini, who missed some practice time with a groin strain, had an active day with five receptions in 11-on-11 drills, including two from Garoppolo. . . . On a play-action pass during a run-based drill, Garoppolo found Goodwin for a 25-yard completion. . . Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Greg Mabin failed to hold onto what would’ve been interceptions against Garoppolo.

Old 49ers-Odell Beckham trade idea shows NFL draft was better route


Old 49ers-Odell Beckham trade idea shows NFL draft was better route

NFL draft season prompts plenty of outlandish trade scenarios to fill airtime and word counts, many of which never come to fruition.

Dallas Morning News reporter Joseph Hoyt dug up one such scenario Thursday, and it's a (hypothetical) trade the 49ers are (hypothetically) glad they didn't (hypothetically) make.

The 49ers would've had to pay a pretty penny for then-New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the proposal put forth in a "Good Morning Football" segment nearly two years ago. Beckham was months away from signing a contract extension, so San Francisco would've traded a lot of draft capital for a star entering the final year of his contract. The picks the 49ers made in those slots formed the backbone of the 2019 NFC Champions.

Beckham's arrival would've changed things, though. The 49ers would've entered the season with arguably the best receiver in football as well as George Kittle, who'd emerge as arguably the best tight end. Kittle might not have set an NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end playing alongside Beckham, but he surely would've benefitted from the extra attention opposing defenses paid the receiver rather than him.

Do they still go 4-12 that year? The 49ers were 3-5 in games decided by six points or fewer in 2018, and Jimmy Garoppolo (torn ACL) missed all but one of those games. Beckham crossed the 1,000-yard threshold in just 12 games catching passes from Eli Manning in 2018, so it's -- at the very least -- conceivable he could've moved the needle in at least one of the 49ers' close losses.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should trade down from both first-round picks]

The 49ers would've picked no higher than No. 4 overall with a 5-11 record in 2018, and any additional wins would've dropped them further down the draft order. Acquiring Beckham under the parameters "Good Morning Football" put forth likely would've prevented the Niners from selecting all of Mike McGlinchey, Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel, but not all three of them would necessarily be Giants, either.

San Francisco would've been a better team in 2018, thus pushing the 49ers out of the slots they used to draft Bosa and Samuel. That's a different opportunity cost to consider than trading all of those players straight-up for one of the game's best receivers, but it's one the 49ers probably are glad they didn't have to pay.

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers should trade down both first-round picks

2020 NFL Draft: Why 49ers should trade down both first-round picks

The 49ers had only six picks in the 2020 NFL Draft before trading Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. San Francisco owned the No. 31 pick, and no others until the fifth round.

That trade brought in the No. 13 pick, but the 49ers probably aren't done dealing. Trading down to acquire more, much-needed draft capital is the likeliest scenario.

While much of the 49ers Faithful drool over what the top wide receivers in the draft would look like in coach Kyle Shanahan’s system, it's far from a given that the team will use that first pick on a receiver. For one, the 49ers still don't own any picks in the second, third and fourth rounds. For another, receiver is one of the deepest positions in the draft and the 49ers arguably have a bigger need.

Joe Staley is under contract through the 2021 season, but the veteran left tackle was understandably emotional after the 49ers' loss in Super Bowl LIV. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey indirectly indicated that Staley’s decision to return for the 2020 season was not set in stone.

The 49ers would be best served in hedging their bet that Staley returns and using one of their first-round picks on a left tackle. Even if Staley returns, the 49ers will need a replacement for him in the not-so-distant future. 

The draft's top tackles likely will be taken before the 49ers' first pick, but there still should be quality options available in the 20s or later. The 49ers could trade down, while Houston's Josh Jones or USC's Austin Jackson is still available, and then acquire another pick.

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Let's say trading the No. 13 pick nets the 49ers a first- and early second-round pick. Dealing the No. 31 pick would also come into play.

The 49ers drafted Deebo Samuel No. 36 overall in 2019. Samuel proved to be very productive in Shanahan’s system, catching 57 of his 81 targets for 802 yards. He ranked second on the team in receiving yards only behind First Team All-Pro tight end George Kittle. 

Shanahan's staff had an advantage in getting to know Samuel while at the Senior Bowl, but they have shown that a second-round receiver can become a key contributor. 

[RELATED: Buckner's exit could influence 49ers to trade down in draft]

Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson's draft trade value chart lists the No. 31 pick as worth a mid-second-round pick and a high third-round pick or a high second-round pick and a mid-fourth-round pick, among other permutations. Trading both first-round picks could give the 49ers three additional picks in rounds where they currently have none.

The 49ers would end draft weekend with nine selections in this scenario, as opposed to their original six. They'd also have fresh, valuable talent at important positions on their roster.