49ers

49ers GM John Lynch hypes up Kyler Murray days before 2019 NFL Draft

49ers GM John Lynch hypes up Kyler Murray days before 2019 NFL Draft

John Lynch is a big fan of quarterback Kyler Murray, and believes that if the Cardinals don’t select him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, there will be a flurry of calls to the 49ers regarding the No. 2 pick.

“I would, wouldn’t you?” Lynch said Monday at his draft preview media availability when asked about Murray's draft prospects. “There seems to be a ton of interest and I understand, man. We, a couple times, just threw him up in here (the draft room) and it’s electric stuff, it really is. 

“Had some nightmares about, not me myself chasing him, but about us chasing him if it does fall that way. He’s pretty special."

Lynch said that conversations will naturally heat up this week with teams who might be interested in trading with them for the No. 2 pick. 

“My experience, it typically happens this week,” Lynch said. “My first year, some things happened at the owner’s meetings. This week, which is just this morning thus far, a couple calls but nothing of substance. 

“I’d imagine if there is interest, those things will heat up. But as of right now, like I said, we’ll listen. We also feel extremely comfortable that we could get some game-changing players there, and that’s a good feeling.” 

Lynch would obviously not tip his hand to who he and coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer, but Nick Bosa would appear to be the favorite. Lynch quipped that no matter what the Cardinals do, it will happen quickly and that they will be ready for it. 

“The one thing I know, we aren’t going to have to wait long,” Lynch said. “You know, whatever that is, 15 minutes and then we’ll know. Whether it’s them or someone else picking him [Murray] or someone else. 

“Do I want to know? Sure, just like you do. Just like everybody does, and that’s why there’s been so many different stories.” 

Lynch could very well be fanning the flames of the Murray hype with his compliments about the prospect’s abilities. While he restrains himself from too much social media exposure, he is definitely aware of the chatter on it regarding who might be the top pick. 

“I think that’s the hard thing about social media,” Lynch said. “People are talking about it all the time now. I think things in conjecture, used to start much later in the process. It starts fairly early and it’s pretty brilliant what the league does because people talk about this all the time.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. I think that what I know is that we’re in a really good position and we’re not, as I said, going to have to wait long.”  

[RELATED: 49ers could land two first-round picks trading No. 2]

No matter how the situation unravels on draft day, Lynch is certain that he and his team are well prepared to deal with it. 

“What happens there at one, will it have an effect on what we do at two? We’ll see.” 

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 20-7 win over Rams

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MATT MAIOCCO

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 20-7 win over Rams

LOS ANGELES – The 49ers served notice they are for real with their 20-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Rams have set the standard in the NFC West the past two seasons. The 49ers rose to the occasion at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with a dominating defensive performance in front of an appreciative crowd consisting of many red-clad supporters.

Here are the grades from the 49ers’ fifth consecutive victory to open the season:

Rushing offense

Playing without their starting offensive tackles and their do-everything fullback, the 49ers knew it would be impossible to continue to average 200 yards on the ground. Sure enough, the 49ers had a tough time getting anything going with their run game.

While the 49ers averaged just 2.4 yards on 41 rushing attempts, their two touchdowns came on the ground. Tevin Coleman scored on a 2-yard run, and Jimmy Garoppolo added a touchdown on a 1-yard sneak.

The 49ers picked up eight first downs rushing in the game, so it was not completely a lost cause with their run game.
Grade: B-minus

Passing offense

Garoppolo certainly has a couple of throws he would want back, including an interception in the end zone in which he threw the ball up for grabs. Marcus Peters made the pick as the 49ers let a golden scoring opportunity slip away in the second quarter.

Garoppolo completed 24 of 33 pass attempts for 243 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked twice – both by Aaron Donald – and one of those sacks resulted in a lost fumble.

Tight end George Kittle, who was questionable with a groin injury going into the game, was the game’s best offensive player with eight receptions (on eight targets) for 103 yards. Dante Pettis had a good game with three important receptions for 45 yards.

The 49ers had two dropped passes on plays. Marquise Goodwin could not handle a deep ball from Garoppolo, which was underthrown. And Coleman, who was wide open, failed to make the grab of a pass in the end zone in the third quarter.
Grade: B-minus

Rushing Defense

This did not start well for the 49ers, who surrendered 56 yards and a touchdown on the Rams’ first drive. Los Angeles ran the ball on all seven plays to take an early 7-0 lead. After that, the 49ers allowed just 3.5 yards rushing per attempt to the Rams.

When the 49ers needed the run defense to come through, that’s exactly what happened near the end of the first half. Nose tackle D.J. Jones was in the mix to stop Rams running back Malcolm Brown on third- and fourth-down plays from the 1-yard line.

That sequence proved to be a big boost for the team. Riding that momentum into the second half, Arik Armstead recovered a fumble on the first play of the second half to set the stage for the 49ers’ go-ahead score.
Grade: A

Passing Defense

It may not be possible for the 49ers’ pass defense to play better than it did Sunday. Rams quarterback Jared Goff entered the game averaging 329.8 yards passing per game.

But the 49ers allowed him to complete 13 of 24 pass attempts for just 78 yards. Dee Ford recorded 1.5 sacks. Ronald Blair and Solomon Thomas added a sack apiece, while Armstead recorded a half-sack. The Rams managed just 56 net yards passing.

The 49ers’ defense shut out the Rams on third and fourth downs. The Rams were 0-for-9 on third downs, and 0-for-4 on fourth downs. The coverage was exceptional throughout. The longest Rams pass play went for just 12 yards.

Free safety Jimmie Ward broke up back-to-back passes, including a fourth-down attempt to Cooper Kupp, to help close the door in the fourth quarter.
Grade: A-plus

Special Teams

Rams punter Johnny Hekker had a better day than Mitch Wishnowsky. Hekker’s net punting average of 46.2 yards topped Wishnowsky’s effort of 37.8 yards per attempt.

Richie James had a solid day with a 12.7 average on his three punt returns. The 49ers averted a near-disaster when a Rams penalty wiped out a potential turnover when D.J. Reed inadvertently touched a punted ball as he was blocking.

Robbie Gould made field goals of 25 and 34 yards, but he came up well short on a 55-yard attempt at the end of the first half. Wishnowsky made the tackle of JoJo Natson, who fielded the ball in the end zone.
Grade: B-minus

Overall

The 49ers played with Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill filling in for injured Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey at left tackle and right tackle. Tight ends Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo saw more action in place of fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is out for a while with a knee injury.

The 49ers were able to overcome their injuries better than the Rams, who were missing running back Todd Gurley, edge rusher Clay Matthews and cornerback Aqib Talib.

The 49ers defense was incredible after giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game. The 49ers opened some eyes on Sunday and served notice that they belong in any conversation when the topic turns to the best teams in the NFL.
Grade: A

49ers hold Rams quarterback Jared Goff to career-low 78 yards passing

49ers hold Rams quarterback Jared Goff to career-low 78 yards passing

Rams quarterback Jared Goff grew up in Novato, rooting for the 49ers. Growing up in the Bay Area, he was the team's ultimate fan. He even wears No. 16 in honor of Joe Montana. 

On Sunday, the 49ers became Goff's worst nightmare. The fourth-year pro completed just 13 of his 24 pass attempts and threw for a career-low 78 yards in a 20-7 loss to San Francisco.

He also was sacked four times.

Goff and the Rams had just one first down through the air, and failed on all their third and fourth down tries. This isn't the first time the 49ers stifled the former top draft pick, too. 

Prior to Sunday, Goff's previous career-low in passing was a 90-yard performance against, you guessed it, the 49ers. That came back in 2016 when the Rams lost to the 49ers, 22-21, in Goff's rookie year. 

For the second straight week, the 49ers' defense dominated against a former No. 1 overall draft pick. They held Browns QB Baker Mayfield to only 100 yards last week in a 31-3 win against Cleveland while intercepting him twice and recovering one fumble. 

[RELATED: Watch 49ers DC lose his mind during dominant win over Rams]

Robert Saleh's defense has allowed an eye-opening 178 yards combined the past two weeks against QBs who once were the top pick in the draft. In those games, the 49ers didn't allow a single passing touchdown while snagging two interceptions and recovered two fumbles from the quarterback.

Goff isn't alone when it comes to getting gashed by the 49ers' defense. But it certainly was a day to forget against his childhood team.