49ers

49ers will coach these seven wide receiver prospects at Senior Bowl

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USATSI

49ers will coach these seven wide receiver prospects at Senior Bowl

The 49ers enter the offseason with a need to upgrade their receiving corps, and they will get a close look at a wide range of playing styles at the Senior Bowl later this month.

The 49ers will coach the South team, and seven wide receivers were assigned to their team, the Senior Bowl announced.

Here is a look at the wide receivers who will be under the tutelage of the 49ers’ coaching staff for a week, concluding with the game in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, Jan. 26 (the remaining players will be assigned to the South and North rosters in the coming day):

David Sills V, West Virginia, 6-4, 210
The 49ers could certainly use a red-zone target, and that is what Sills provides with his length and strength. In his final two seasons, he caught 125 passes for 1,966 yards and 33 touchdowns. Coach Kyle Shanahan will want to see if Sills can create separation at all spots of the field.
Projected: Early rounds

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina, 6-0, 210
Samuels had a combined 121 catches for 1,665 yards in his sophomore and senior seasons, between an injury-plagued 2017. He also has value on kickoff returns, where he accounted for four touchdowns on 41 returns over this final three seasons.
Projected: Early rounds

Jaylen Smith, Louisville, 6-4, 223
Smith has good size and strength. The one-on-one drills will be crucial for Smith, as he must show speed and route-running ability. He put together a solid four-year career with 152 receptions for 2,505 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Projected: Mid-rounds

Tyre Brady, Marshall, 6-3, 206
Brady is a strong blocker who could be an asset to the 49ers in the run game, too. Like all of the bigger receivers, his ability to create separation will determine how high the 49ers place him on their draft board. In his final two years of college, he caught 133 passes for 1,944 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Projected: Mid-rounds

Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion, 6-3, 215
He has the frame and potential to build on what he did in college, as he must refine his route-running. He caught a career-best 63 passes for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior.
Projected: Late rounds

Jalen Hurd, Baylor, 6-4, 229
Hurd has the kind of versatility that might inspire Shanahan to devise special packages for him. He rushed for 2,100 yards and 17 touchdowns over his first two seasons as a running back at Tennessee. He completed his college eligibility at Baylor as a wide receiver, where he caught 69 passes for 946 yards and four TDs as a senior.
Projected: Late rounds

Hunter Renfrow, Clemson, 5-10, 180
The 49ers already have Trent Taylor and Richie James. Renfrow is a reliable slot receiver. He was a steady performer during his four-year career, catching 186 passes for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. His best season was as a junior, when he caught 60 passes for 602 yards.
Projected: Late rounds

49ers' Deebo Samuel praised by 'Friday' character he shares name with

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AP/USATSI

49ers' Deebo Samuel praised by 'Friday' character he shares name with

It must be an honor to have someone name their child after you.

Deebo Samuel's dad nicknamed his son after a character from "Friday," and the actor who portrays "Deebo" likes what he's seeing from the young 49ers wide receiver.

"I'm a big fan of what they're doing up there man," Tom Lister said in an interview with TMZ Sports. "And Deebo, yeah I heard ESPN is trying to set something up with me and Deebo."

Lister said he's very open to collaborating with Samuel. Perhaps a movie with "Little Deebo and Big Deebo."

This movie could be the latest "Friday" installment that will be starting soon. Lister said he's hearing around December.

Oh, and a message to the 49ers, Lister wants to come to a game and hang out on the sidelines. 

Somewhere, Samuel is probably pretty excited about the shoutout from Lister.

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49ers have NFL's second-best defense, NBC analyst Josh Norris believes

49ers have NFL's second-best defense, NBC analyst Josh Norris believes

The 49ers defense has made a name for itself through the first five games of the season, and people around the country are taking notice.

"I only care about two to three to four defenses in the NFL," NBC Sports fantasy analyst Josh Norris said. "Those are the ones that really matter when you're playing offensive players on your roster and I think this 49ers' defense is the second-best in the NFL, just behind the New England Patriots."

The Week 7 fantasy football rankings on ESPN have San Francisco's defense ranked in the third spot in their matchup against Washington on Sunday. 

"It makes sense, right, and this is kind of predictable heading into the season because of how many first-round picks the 49ers have spent along that front, with how talented they are at linebacker, and then the veteran presence they have in the back half," Norris said. "This week, the player I would play against them most likely would be Terry McLaurin. But the 49ers have allowed opposing teams to convert just one of 21 third downs in the past two weeks."

McLaurin is second only to former 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss for the most fantasy points in the first five games of his career. He would be the only guy the 49ers' defense has to worry about. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the 49ers remain just as successful -- even without a true No. 1 receiver.

"It's huge," Norris explained. "I really think it makes Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida both startable in fantasy football. Tevin Coleman is like a Running Back 2, Matt Breida is your Running Back 3 in the flex spot."

[RELATED: Kittle highlights 49ers to watch in Week 7]

Norris details more about the offense in the video above.

Oh ... and he says it's not too early to consider the 49ers as Super Bowl contenders.