49ers

49ers Mailbag: Is Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams pick at No. 2?

49ers Mailbag: Is Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams pick at No. 2?

Most of the questions have been answered through the first couple weeks of the new league year.

What are the 49ers going to do about a stack linebacker? Kwon Alexander.

What are they going to do about the defensive backfield? Jimmie Ward and Jason Verrett.

What are the 49ers going to do about an edge rusher? Dee Ford + draft.

What are they going to do at wide receiver? Jordan Matthews + draft.

And that’s a good jumping-off point for this edition of 49ers Mailbag with questions that were submitted via Facebook.

So far there is no No.1 WR on our team. Do you see a signing? (Manoj Chopra)
How likely are the 49ers to go after the top WR in the draft? (Brian Lampson)
Free agency is probably the least-effective route to get route-runners. Coach Kyle Shanahan seems to like Matthews, whom the 49ers signed to a one-year contract.

One thing that's been proven is that teams do not need a No. 1 wide receiver to win championships. The 49ers have a darn-good tight end. George Kittle is the 49ers' No. 1 receiver. They just need a good balance on the outside to enable Shanahan to run his offense.

The 49ers had no interest in Antonio Brown. They wanted Odell Beckham. If they can get a receiver, such as A.J. Green, they would certainly pursue that option. A "No. 1 receiver" is not necessary for success, but an upgrade is an offseason goal for the 49ers.

Matthews joins a receiving corps that includes Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James.

The 49ers traded the Nos. 59 and 74 picks last year to move up 15 slots to select Pettis. He should be a starter. All the other spots are wide open. The 49ers could use the No. 36 pick on a wideout.

Some team will over-draft D.K. Metcalf. That’s probably just fine with the 49ers. There should be plenty of options available when the 49ers pick in the second round. A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel are legitimate options.

Do you think the Niners will keep both CJ and Mullens? If not what are realistic trade value and landing spots for them? (Jason Massey)
Although the 49ers have reason to like both Beathard and Mullens, it is difficult to believe that either has significant trade value around the NFL.

The 49ers’ roster is better. The depth is better. So, although it makes sense to keep both quarterbacks on the 53-man roster behind Jimmy Garoppolo, it becomes more difficult to retain a third QB at the expense of a player at another position.

That said, I think the 49ers will find a way to keep those three QBs in the building this season. Of course, they hope that Garoppolo remains healthy and they never again need to see Beathard or Mullens on the field.

What record would the Niners need to have to consider Lynch and Shanahan safe? (John Sheffer)
There is no answer to that question. Coaches and GMs are rarely fired only because of their records. There are many other factors.

Coaches are fired when people lose faith in them. They are fired when things get bad in the locker room and throughout the organization. That's when ownership determines a change is needed to get the organization rolling in the right direction.

It’s not the record. It’s how the team got to the record. Did the team underachieve? Were there coaching reasons why the team did not win an extra couple of games? For instance, the 49ers won four games last season. If I had told you before the season that the 49ers would win only four games, you would have thought one thing about the coaching staff. But if you then learned about the injuries, then you would realize that the record was, by and large, unavoidable.

Does Joe Staley retire after this season? Are the 49ers actively looking for a replacement? (Eduardo Sanhueza)
My guess is Staley plays two or three more seasons. The replacement at left tackle might already be on the roster. His name is Mike McGlinchey. As far as the next in line to then take over at right tackle, that would be Shon Coleman. The 49ers could add help for the offensive line, but that would likely be a Day 3 pick in the draft.

What is Kyle thinking about carrying 4 RBs into the season? (Leighton Pahukula)
It’s all about depth.

Running backs take a pounding, so a team can never have too much depth – as the 49ers found out last season.

If Jerick McKinnon, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert remain healthy, then Breida would likely be the odd-man out. Despite how well he played last season, Breida will have a difficult time breaking into that top three during the regular season. Of course, there is no guarantee that McKinnon will be the same player Shanahan envisioned in his offense before his ACL injury a year ago.

[RELATED: John Lynch reveals details of Odell Beckham Jr. trade talks]

Mostert will suit up for every game because he is one of the best special-teams players in the league. The No. 3 running back must contribute on special teams, and that’s Mostert’s forte.

Breida is a great insurance policy.

If they keep the pick is it Bosa or Williams? (Christian DeMeglio)
Nick Bosa.

There.

That was easy.

Jimmy Garoppolo says competition in 49ers' QBs room 'makes us all better'

Jimmy Garoppolo says competition in 49ers' QBs room 'makes us all better'

SANTA CLARA – Unlike a year ago, there is competition inside the 49ers’ quarterbacks meeting room.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s spot is set as the starter, but Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are competing for the backup job. Wilton Speight joined the three returners when he signed as an undrafted rookie from UCLA.

“It’s a good group,” Garoppolo said. “We all help each other out, especially in-between reps. You come to the sideline and coach might be busy looking at whoever’s in there, and you can talk to each other about it, just what they saw and if you mess something up, how you can fix it, things like that.”

Mullens finished last season on an impressive eight-game run. He completed 64.2 percent of his pass attempts with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a passer rating of 90.9.

His 2,277 yards passing are the fourth most in NFL history for a quarterback in his first eight starts, ranking behind only Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton.

As well as Mullens played, his spot is not assured this year.

The 49ers still have a high opinion of C.J. Beathard, a third-round pick in 2017 who took over after Garoppolo’s injury last season. Beathard entered both of his first two seasons in the NFL as the team's unquestioned No. 2.

Beathard completed 60.4 percent of his passes last season with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions and an 81.8 passer rating. Beathard started five games – all 49ers losses – and his confidence appeared to take a beating as he absorbed one hit after and other and was sacked 18 times in 187 dropbacks.

On a short week, coach Kyle Shanahan went with Mullens against the Raiders in Week 9. Mullens had a near-perfect game and never gave Shanahan a reason to make a change back to Beathard.

[RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo braces for full practice at start of 49ers training camp]

Mullens and Beathard are expected to split the 11-on-11 practice snaps during the offseason program while Garoppolo is relegated to just 7-on-7 drills. The competition for the backup role will intensify in training camp.

“It’s a good group of guys and a very competitive group of guys, which makes us all better,” Garoppolo said.

Mike McGlicnhey explains what makes Dee Ford special to 49ers' defense

Mike McGlicnhey explains what makes Dee Ford special to 49ers' defense

SANTA CLARA —Dee Ford’s first step off the line of scrimmage has been called one of the fastest in the NFL, and after only two days of practice across from him, 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey has confirmed that to be true. 

"Dee is everything he's advertised as,” McGlinchey said. “He's in the elite class in his get-off and the ability to get into people and taking control of blocks. I felt that for the first time in the run game today -- how different he is in the timing and the fit on the edge there.”  

McGlinchey explained how much that makes a tackle have to stay on their toes. A split second too late and Ford will be making his way past the them. 

“He’s just quicker, and he’s strong as well,” McGlinchey said. “So if the timing is off, if normally I’m hitting on the second step, just a little bit later, I’m still in control of the block. With Dee, you got to be as fast as humanly possible because he’s that good at getting into you.” 

It will provide a challenge for McGlinchey and the other tackles on the offensive line to practice opposite of Ford. The challenge, however, will only make all of them that much more prepared. 

“Excited to get to work with him,” McGlinchey said. “It’s only going to make me better, the rest of our tackles better. He’s going to be special for us this year and we are certainly glad he’s on our side now.”  

McGlinchey sees how Ford will also open up things for the rest of the defensive line including DeForest Buckner, who had a career best season in 2018. When McGlinchey attended the 49ers Community’s Golden Getaway fundraiser, he had time to sit in on Robert Saleh’s coaching seminar where the defensive coordinator explained the impact that Ford would have. 

“One of his highlights was how Dee is just going to create space for people,” McGlinchey said. “I think a huge example of that was last year in Kansas City they had Chris Jones. He came away with 13 or 14 sacks last year and I think a lot of that has to do with who he was paired with on the outside.”  

[RELATED: Why 49ers' Sherman finally is feeling like his former self]
 
Jones actually finished 2018 with 15.5 sacks and has a similar build to Buckner who stands an inch taller at 6-foot-7 and 10 pounds lighter at 300.

“DeForest is as special as it gets when it comes to playing defensive line in the league,” McGlinchey said. “And now that he has someone that takes away double or triple teams, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch those two work and rest of the D-line for sure.”