49ers

49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky reacts to huge hit on Broncos return man

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AP

49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky reacts to huge hit on Broncos return man

DENVER – Mitch Wishnowsky demonstrated to a national-U.S. television audience he still has the skills from his Australia Rules Football background.

But Wishnowsky said he does not necessarily expect himself to run down the field every time as one of the 11 tacklers on his own punts or kickoffs for the 49ers.

“I like my tackling ability, but the other 10 blokes on the field are just freak athletes,” Wishnowsky said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “So I’m more of just a last line of defense.”

He was more than a last line of defense on Monday night in the 49ers’ 24-15 victory over the Denver Broncos in a preseason game.

Wishnowsky provided the big hit of the evening with a left shoulder-to-left shoulder form tackle that drove Broncos rookie return man Devontae Jackson into the turf.

He said he typically sits back and acts as a safety, but Wishnowsky said he saw a gap between Broncos blockers and 49ers cover men to make the tackle the jarring tackle at the 22-yard line. Each of Wishnowsky’s other kickoffs went for touchbacks.

“I just saw it kind of open up and it was more, I thought I’d just plug a hole,” Wishnowsky said. “I was almost expecting to get side-stepped, but it didn’t happen.

“I reckon that’s about as good as I’ve got.”

[RELATED: Watch 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky unleash big hit]

Wishnowsky is an Australian native who was a fourth-round draft pick from Utah, where he was a three-time finalist for the Ray Guy Award as the best punter in college football. He won the award in 2016.

Wishnowsky averaged 48.0 yards on six punts on Monday night with a 39.3 net average after two punts into the end zone.

NFL rumors: Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round pick

NFL rumors: Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round pick

The Los Angeles Rams' rebuild continues.

After releasing former All-Pros Todd Gurley and Clay Matthews during free agency, the Rams continued their roster overhaul by reportedly agreeing to send wideout Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans in exchange for several draft picks, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday citing a source.

LA has been dealing with salary cap issues, trying to find money to pay franchise quarterback Jared Goff, all-world defensive lineman Aaron Donald, defensive back Jalen Ramsey and the other 49 players needed to fill out an NFL roster.

The team still ends up taking a dead cap hit on Cooks in 2020, but at least removes the remaining four years of his deal from the books.

With the departure of offensive weapons Gurley and Cooks along with Matthews’ defensive presence, it will be a very different LA attack the next time the team takes on the 49ers.

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After four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Cooks struggled through injuries and inconsistency on his way to just 583 receiving yards in 14 games during the 2019 season.

ProFootballTalk reported Thursday that the team already took a financial hit by holding onto Cooks this far into his contract.

With the 49ers aiming to defend their title as NFC champions, the Seattle Seahawks remaining strong and the Arizona Cardinals fleecing Bill O’Brien and those head-scratching Texans for DeAndre Hopkins earlier this spring, there’s a clear new team at the bottom of the NFC West.

If we end up getting an NFL season in 2020, expect the division’s doormat to be in Tinseltown.

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

The NFL draft demonstrates to fans just how bold their team’s general managers can be.

Those willing to take a risk and try to move up in the first round sacrifice significant draft capital in exchange for a chance at a home run.

The 49ers happen to be one of those select few teams possessing multiple first-round picks in this year’s draft, giving GM John Lynch an opportunity to make a big splash.

One potential way Lynch could extend San Francisco’s championship window is by fortifying the secondary with Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah, writes Bleacher Report’s Marcus Mosher.

In this trade, the 49ers make the bold jump up to secure the former Ohio State Buckeye. But with the 49ers lacking in trade capital this year, they could send picks No. 13, No. 31 and another 2021 third-round selection. 

The 49ers have a win-now roster and could use a stud cover man to pair with Richard Sherman. Okudah is one of the best players in the draft and would give the team another versatile corner who could be used in both man and zone coverage. 

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Okudah is the consensus top defensive back in this year’s draft, combining length to disrupt the passing game with top-line speed, putting up a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Niners came up just short of hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February, despite holding dynamic gunslinger Patrick Mahomes to just 286 yards passing and the lowest postseason quarterback rating of his career.

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Okudah could provide an immediate impact in the secondary on the other side of Richard Sherman, but should the team sacrifice both of its first-round draft picks to fortify a position that is lower on the list of needs for Lynch’s roster?

Many fans likely rather would see the team grab one of this year's seemingly endless crop of talented wide receivers at No. 13 and then waiting and nabbing a cornerback later like TCU product Jeff Gladney at No. 31 overall.

We’ll find out just how bold this 49ers' front office wants to be in exactly two week’s time.