49ers

49ers have moved on from Pierre Garçon, must decide on Malcolm Smith

49ers have moved on from Pierre Garçon, must decide on Malcolm Smith

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 49ers have moved on from veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon, but they have yet to make a decision on linebacker Malcolm Smith.

“He’s still not fully healthy yet, so we are waiting to figure that out,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We need to get him in to find that out. Yeah, we do have a decision to make with Malcolm. He battled a lot of stuff last year, came into camp hurt and never healed.

“Really hoping that we can get some answers on that over the next month or so, which can help us make a better decision.” 

The two veterans were the biggest signings of the 49ers' first free agency under Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. They haven’t been the most successful. 

San Francisco did not pick up Garçon’s third-year option after he played in just 16 games in two seasons with the 49ers. He recorded 64 receptions for 786 yards and one touchdown. 

Despite Garçon's injuries and unremarkable production, Shanahan said the receiver still was an important signing for him and Lynch. 

“We didn’t have one receiver on our roster [from when] we got here to what we took into the season,” Shanahan said. “We knew we had to go get a veteran out there. P came in and did a great job for us for about the first six games or seven or whatever it was. 

“Then he hurt his neck the first year end, then had knee complications all last year. It was unfortunate for him and us how it worked out. Love the guy, respect him as much as any player I’ve ever coached. Hopefully he will be healthier this year for somewhere else, or if it didn’t work out, to possibly come back to us.”

[RELATED: Shanahan says Jimmy G ahead of schedule in ACL rehab]

Smith’s contract, on the other hand, does not have a team option until 2020, so the team will have to decide whether to cut him or not.

Smith spent all of 2017 on injured reserve after he tore his pectoral muscle during the offseason. Last year, he dealt with a nagging Achilles injury that limited him to sporadic playing time in 12 games this season. 

The team will be evaluating most positions in the draft, and an inside linebacker to play alongside Fred Warner likely will end up being a need.

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

NFL Draft 2020: Chase Young motivated by former teammate Nick Bosa

Nick Bosa might have been the best player in last year’s draft, but the top spot went to a quarterback to fill a need for the team with the No. 1 overall pick.

Things could very well go the same way this year, with the Cincinnati Bengals taking quarterback Joe Burrow with the first selection.

That would leave the consensus top player, Chase Young, for Washington at No. 2.

Again, that player is a defensive end. Again, that player is a defensive end from Ohio State.

“Nick, he's always setting the standard,” Young said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “That's just motivation for me to achieve a lot of real good things.

“It's definitely been a blessing to watch him grow into the player that he is. He's definitely helped me along this passage. He hasn't stopped. I'm just grateful to be able to see him grow.”

The 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick last year after the Arizona Cardinals went with quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

Bosa registered nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He and Young also have been in contact as Young goes through the same process Bosa experienced a year ago.

“He just told me to be myself,” Young said. “That's what I have been trying to do the whole time I've been here.”

Young, like Bosa, declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He enters the draft after compiling a more impressive college career than Bosa, who was hampered by injuries throughout his time at Ohio State.

In 34 college games, Young registered 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. Last season, he had 16.5 sacks, all of which came in the first nine games of the season. In 29 games at Ohio State, Bosa had 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss.

[RELATEDBosa intuitively drawn to sport that shaped his life, NFL draft future]

Bosa’s brother, Joey, went to Ohio State, where he was coached by defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Nick Bosa did not have much of a decision where to attend college because the family was already sold on Johnson’s ability to groom defensive linemen.

“I think the technique that ‘Coach J’ teaches in college works in the NFL as well,” Young said. “I'll continue to perfect my technique. The toolbox that I have now, I know that it'll bring me success in the NFL. That's one thing that I took from Nick and Joey.”

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

The 49ers saw firsthand how a blazing-fast receiver like Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs can change a game when Hill's deep catch on third-and-15 swung the momentum in Super Bowl LIV. Henry Ruggs, believe it or not, might be even faster. 

As San Francisco looks to upgrade its receivers for coach Kyle Shanahan's motion-heavy offense, a speedster like Ruggs could be a game-changer. The Alabama receiver said Thursday that he has met with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Ruggs put on an absolute show Thursday at the combine. After measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ruggs ran a ridiculous 4.27 40-yard dash. That is the fastest among receivers this year, and the best time thus far at the combine. His time also is tied with current 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin, who could be on his way out of San Francisco, as the fourth-fastest at the combine since 2006.

That was just the start of Ruggs' big day, too. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical leap and had a 10'11" broad jump. His athleticism simply is off the charts. 

Ruggs joins a growing list of receivers the 49ers have met with at the combine. But it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the NFC champions. The 49ers own the No. 31 pick in the draft this year, and a handful of teams ahead of them make sense as a landing spot for Ruggs. 

[RELATED: Baylor receiver Mims believes his skills match with 49ers]

Before the combine, Ruggs was selected No. 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins in our latest mock draft. It would be a big surprise to see him fall past the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 overall.

It's clear the 49ers are doing their due diligence on a loaded receiver class and could be eyeing a future star at the end of the first round. Adding Ruggs would be gold to Shanahan's offense.