49ers

49ers keep all options open with No. 2 overall pick

49ers keep all options open with No. 2 overall pick

PHOENIX -- If the Cleveland Browns’ only reasonable decision with the top overall pick consists of Myles Garrett or Myles Garrett, the 49ers have considerably more options at No. 2 overall.

After Garrett, the Texas A&M pass-rusher, there appears to be no consensus second-best prospect in the draft. So the 49ers must be open to considering almost anything.

“You got to talk about every option because you never know what will happen,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “You got to be ready for anything somebody will call you on, whether it’s a trade or not. So you got to go through those because they can happen quickly, especially when you get closer to draft day.

“Right now, it’s not necessarily in my mind the No. 2 pick. It’s taking the time to understand the whole pool of people. Who’s going to be available at two? Who’s going to be available halfway through the first round? What are the players you can get in the second and third round? That’s not something that just gets done. You have to watch a lot of tape. You got to listen to your scouts and all the homework they’ve done with the character on these guys and soak it all in for a couple of months.”

Shanahan was on hand Thursday for Stanford’s pro day, during which defensive lineman Solomon Thomas worked out. Thomas is considered a strong candidate to be the No. 2 player off the board.

But does Thomas fit with the 49ers? Under former general manager Trent Baalke, the 49ers invested their top draft picks in Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in back-to-back years. Would the 49ers consider spending their top pick on another defensive lineman?

“It really doesn’t concern me what we’ve done in the past or what we’re going to do in the future,” Shanahan said. “It’s what we have now. If we think that player can help us and improve us, then that’s what we’ll do. You want to get the best guy possible. There are lots of options open.”

As the 49ers transition to a four-man defensive line, the team is in need or a pass-rusher. Ahmad Brooks tied with Buckner for the team-lead last season with six sacks. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch tied for tops on the 49ers with 6.5 sacks.

Brooks, 33, enters his 12th NFL season. Shanahan said he believes Thomas (6 foot 3, 273 pounds) is versatile enough to be a pass-rush threat at defensive end in the 49ers’ new scheme.

“I believe so,” Shanahan said. “I believe he can probably line up anywhere he wants. (But I’m) still not done with my research, yet.”

Thomas won the 2017 Morris Trophy, as the Pac-12’s top defensive lineman, as voted on by the conference’s offensive linemen.

49ers confirm visits with top NFL draft prospects, including Nick Bosa

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49ers confirm visits with top NFL draft prospects, including Nick Bosa

PHOENIX – Four of the top defensive players are scheduled to travel to Santa Clara to meet with the 49ers before the NFL draft.

General manager John Lynch confirmed Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Michigan’s Rashan Gary will be among the team’s 30 allowed pre-draft visits.

The visits will begin next week, Lynch said on Monday at the NFL owners meeting. The 49ers have not finalized their entire list of visits.

“That’s fluid,” Lynch said. “We’re still putting that (list) together.”

When asked whether the 49ers have narrowed down their selection with the No. 2 overall pick to Bosa, Williams and Allen, Lynch said the team is still in the process of determining the draft plan.

“Those guys are really good players,” Lynch said. “I think anybody would be interested in picking high. We can’t just settle in on two or three guys and say these are our guys here.”

Lynch and 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters met last week with Williams and Bosa. The 49ers took Williams to IHOP in Tuscaloosa, at Williams’ request.

“I hadn’t been to IHOP in 10 years,” Lynch said. “The thing that stunk, I was all fired up for pigs in a blanket because that was my go-to when I used to go to IHOP as a kid. He went all healthy on me. He had a garden omelet, so I felt compelled to have a garden omelet, too.”

NFL Rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett needs Frank Gore approval to wear No. 21

NFL Rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett needs Frank Gore approval to wear No. 21

New 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has worn No. 22 his entire NFL career, but he'll have to choose a different number in 2019.

Running back Matt Breida wears the number, so Verrett reportedly wants to wear No. 21.  The 49ers told him he could under one condition, The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Monday morning. 

Gore, of course, is still an active player. He signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills at the start of free agency, and will play in his 15th NFL season. But, this seems to confirm the obvious: Gore is a lock to have his number retired by the 49ers. 

No. 21 seemingly has been in unofficial retirement since Gore signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. In each of the last four seasons, no player has worn the number.

[RELATED: Jed York says he punched a wall when Jimmy G tore his ACL]

And for good reason. Gore remains the 49ers' leading rusher (11,073 yards), and played more games (148) than all but seven players in franchise history. The 49ers toiled in mediocrity and turned into a contender during his decade in the Bay Area, and he was a consistent offensive centerpiece throughout. The Miami product rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all but two of his seasons with the 49ers. 

Gore told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce earlier this month that he wants to retire with the 49ers when he finally hangs up his cleats. It appears he won't have to wait much long after that for his number to be retired, too.