49ers

49ers' Kyle Shanahan explains offense's end-of-half plan vs. Ravens

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USATSI

49ers' Kyle Shanahan explains offense's end-of-half plan vs. Ravens

BALTIMORE -- Kyle Shanahan had two goals Sunday when the 49ers took over at their own 23-yard line with 1:58 remaining in the first half.

“When we get that ball at the end of the second quarter, our No. 1 goal is to finish with the ball in our hands,” the coach said after his 49ers' 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. “We’d love to score, and we also want to work that clock.”

Actually, the 49ers failed twice. They did not score, and a Ravens player touched the ball last when Marlon Humphrey, a starting cornerback, got his hand on Robbie Gould’s 51-yard field-goal attempt as time expired at the end of the first half.

"I think it got a little tipped from what I saw," Shanahan said. "We were short on the field goal. I wish we had gotten closer so we're not short on the field goal."

Trailing 17-14 late in the first half, the 49ers moved the ball 42 yards on seven plays with five pass plays and two called runs. Raheem Mostert had a 19-yard run on the first play after the 49ers took possession. The 49ers huddled up and did not snap the ball again until there was 1:20 left in the half.

Then, the 49ers had a first-and-20 from their own 34 after receiver Emmanuel Sanders was called for an illegal block above the waist. After a short gain on a pass play with 1:13 left in the half, the 49ers did not run another play until there were 32 seconds remaining.

“We were pretty far back there,” Shanahan said. “We wanted to eat up the clock, and once we got to a minute, push it a little bit. And that’s what we did.

"We didn't get enough chunk plays at the end. I wish we had made it [the field goal]."

Mostert ran the ball on a second-and-12 play and picked up 16 yards. In the final 26 seconds, the 49ers picked up 5 yards on a penalty, then attempted three passes before settling for Gould’s field-goal attempt.

[RELATED: Where 49ers stand in NFC playoff race after loss vs. Ravens]

With 10 seconds left in the half, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hit Mostert on a 3-yard pass on third-and-4 to leave Gould with the long kick. Gould was in his first game back after missing three games because of a right quadriceps injury.

“It’s difficult,” Garoppolo said. “It’s very difficult just dealing with the timeouts and how much time is left. You obviously don’t want to give them another opportunity, so I thought we did a good job with that. We could’ve gotten Robbie a little closer and helped him out.”

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

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AP

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.