49ers

Joe Staley played with absurd number of 49ers QBs in great NFL career

Joe Staley played with absurd number of 49ers QBs in great NFL career

Joe Staley called it a career after 13 seasons and 14 quarterbacks with the 49ers.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The All-Decade left tackle saw it all with San Francisco, playing for six different head coaches in two different stadiums. Nothing epitomizes the up-and-down nature of the 49ers this century than the sheer number of QBs he protected. Staley was consistently great, but his quarterbacks were not.

The full list of quarterbacks who played in the same game as Staley isn't a "who's who" as much as it is a "who's that" of 49ers history.

  • Alex Smith
  • Trent Dilfer
  • Chris Weinke
  • Shaun Hill
  • J.T. O'Sullivan
  • David Carr
  • Troy Smith
  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Colt McCoy
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Brian Hoyer
  • C.J. Beathard
  • Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Nick Mullens

While Carr and McCoy never started and only played in relief, the list includes three "franchise" QBs (Alex Smith, Kaepernick and Garoppolo). The rest took the reigns due to those three's injuries and/or ineffectiveness, acquitting themselves to ... varying degrees as San Francisco's signal-caller.

Staley's career perfectly dovetailed with their search for a star quarterback after passing on Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft. That search, as much as anything, was about finding someone as good as the man tasked with protecting his blind side.

[RELATED: 49ers acquire star tackle Williams as Staley's replacement]

Despite playing with more than a baker's dozen of QBs, Staley thrived with San Francisco. All told, Staley earned six Pro Bowl nods, including five straight from 2011 through 2015. He was an easy choice for the NFL's All-Decade team earlier this month, starring for 49ers teams that were good, bad and everything in between during the 2010s.

What if the 49ers enjoyed a level of success at quarterback approaching Staley's at left tackle? That's a question the Faithful will ask themselves for years to come.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Javon Kinlaw isn't afraid of a few deadly weapons.

The 49ers rookie showed off a seemingly dangerous drill on social media Friday in a video posted by defensive line trainer Cam Spence.

You're correct, those are in fact a pair of knives being wielded and sent in Kinlaw's direction as he bats them away. We've seen a similar drill from two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman calls out report on 2020 NFL season negotiations]

Kinlaw was the 49ers' first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, going No. 14 overall. The South Carolina product plugged up the middle for the Gamecocks' defense, picking up six sacks and recovering two fumbles. He likely will have an immediate chance to contribute, as All-Pro DeForest Buckner's departure to Indianapolis leaves a void in the 49ers' defensive line.

The rookie, along with a few returning players looking to earn a contract, will be imperative to make sure that void is filled in order for the 49ers to replicate the dominance the team enjoyed in 2019.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

The Brandon Aiyuk hype among 49ers fans has grown exponentially ever since he was drafted 25th overall in April.

The sixth receiver to come off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk is expected to make an immediate impact with his elite breakaway speed, which he showcased numerous times during his two seasons at Arizona State.

But based on the just-released Madden 21 ratings, Aiyuk isn't even among the fastest wide receivers in his rookie class. In fact, he's just the sixth-best rookie wideout according to the video game's new ratings, checking in at 72 overall.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The rookie receivers' overall ratings were almost identical to their draft positions, with the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy and the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb swapping places being the only alteration.

When it comes to speed, however, Aiyuk checks in as the 10th-fastest rookie wide receiver, behind a handful of players drafted well behind him.

[RELATED: George Kittle 'really proud' of team's offseason work, effort]

Aiyuk's 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn't exactly elite (4.54 seconds), but during his senior season, he was tracked with a top in-game speed of 21.97 mph -- a mark bested by just three NFL players in 2019.

Game speed is different than track speed, and Aiyuk brings game speed in spades every time he takes the field.

Guessing those ratings might be adjusted once Aiyuk actually sees some on-field action in a 49ers uniform.