49ers

Mock Draft: 49ers select CB with second overall pick

marshon-lattimore-ohio-state.jpg
USATSI

Mock Draft: 49ers select CB with second overall pick

The experts at Rotoworld.com have put out their third mock draft...

1. Cleveland Browns - EDGE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M - Likely viewed as the draft’s top prospect. Reportedly dealt with a high ankle injury this season. NFL teams have to rush the passer, and drafting players like Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib don’t prevent you from adding Garrett. Expect Garrett to be one of the top EDGE athletes when he finishes the agility drills.

2. San Francisco 49ers - CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - In full disclosure, I am terrible at projecting where corners are drafted. We saw Eli Apple and Artie Burns selected early, which was a total surprise for me. Obviously the second pick could be a major trade target if a team wants to pick a quarterback, especially with Robert Klemko not expecting the 49ers to select one in the first.

3. Chicago Bears - EDGE/DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford - Thomas is a really, really, really good football player. He can rush from the edge or possibly work inside. The Bears’ older pass rushers are nearing the end of their contracts, or at least the guarantees. I would not be shocked to see a tackle, although many would scream against the value. Piling resources into the offensive line for a new quarterback can work.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Leonard Fournette, LSU - The Jaguars took care of so many needs in free agency. Perhaps they want to add a rangy free safety, or another offensive lineman, or a tight end, but signs and actions point to a powerful running back who can help build the identity of the offense.

5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR) - FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State - Some might render football down to turnovers and big plays. Hooker can create big plays and turnovers thanks to his extreme range from his safety spot. I know the Titans have added safeties in recent offseasons, but Hooker projects as a different breed.

6. New York Jets - LB Reuben Foster, Alabama - Yes, back to back linebackers in the first round for the Jets. But this allows the Jets to have both types of backers as Foster is an aggressive missile. The Jets have done nothing in free agency. I would listen to an argument saying the roster is worse than last season.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - EDGE Takk McKinley, UCLA - The second edge rusher off the board will be interesting. I could see a debate between five or six names. Melvin Ingram is on a franchise tag, and the team might want to hedge at the position in case a long-term contract can’t be reached.

8. Carolina Panthers - WR Corey Davis, WMU - Do I think the Panthers make this pick? Not really. Should they? Yes. The receiver room plateaued last season and then took a step back in free agency with the loss of Ted Ginn. Corey Davis has the skills for defenses to gameplan for. As of now, the same cannot be said for Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - WR John Ross, Washington - Ross is a really fun player, and would offer a much-needed element to the Bengals offense that went down the drain without two playmakers for much of the 2016 season. Andy Dalton is the type of quarterback that needs talent placed around him in order for the Bengals to make a playoff run.

10. Buffalo Bills - RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee - Surprise. The NFL likes Kamara more than those of us on the outside. The running game will be critical for the Bills success, as it was last season. I love LeSean McCoy. Love. But some have suggested he is an awkward fit in the new running scheme.

11. New Orleans Saints - QB Mitchell Trubisky, UNC - If you think previous years included conflicting quarterback opinions, just wait on this year. Trubisky was a starter for one season. It is vital to evaluate his play when pressured and forced outside of structure, since so much of UNC’s offense is about rhythm. A passer could certainly be off the board earlier, but the Saints need to plan for a post-Brees world. Finding a quarterback successor in the early rounds might be a new trend.
 
12. Cleveland Browns (via PHI) - QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson - I doubt the Browns can wait at No. 12 and get their quarterback of choice, so maybe a move up is possible. Watson has the sample size the Browns’ analytics group will like, but the question is if he is Hue’s preferred passer. I love how the Browns invested in the offensive line.

13.  Arizona Cardinals - S Jamal Adams, LSU - The Cardinals used multiple safeties who left in free agency (D.J. Swearinger and Tony Jefferson. Adams obviously fits the LSU theme and the aggressive mentality the Cardinals seem to love.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN) - CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State - If Sidney Jones was healthy, I would have projected him here. Conley is a name drawing more buzz as the process goes along.

15. Indianapolis Colts - CB Kevin King, Washington - I don’t think the edge rushing group is as great as we made it out to be. New GM Chris Ballard comes from the Chiefs, and many of the Chiefs selections seemed to have an athletic spin to it. T.J. Watt is possible, but corner seems to be a position with less depth on the roster. King is the most athletic player in the entire class.

16. Baltimore Ravens - EDGE Derek Barnett, Tennessee - Ozzie Newsome builds from the inside out. The Ravens edge rushers under contract are old or they are not dynamic.

READ MORE AT Rotoworld.com

49ers snap count: Solomon Thomas improves with less playing time

thomassolomon49erslions.jpg
USATI

49ers snap count: Solomon Thomas improves with less playing time

SANTA CLARA -- Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas played the fifth-most snaps of any 49ers’ defensive lineman on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. But Thomas turned in a solid performance, providing some pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“I thought he showed up a lot (Sunday),” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. “I thought he was playing hard in pursuit, and I thought he showed up at the quarterback a couple of times.

“I thought he had a better game than he did a week before, and I expect that to continue throughout the year.”

Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft, played 37 snaps and accounted for four quarterback hurries on his 22 plays as a pass-rusher, according to Pro Football Focus. He played 47 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps after playing 35 snaps or 49 percent of the plays in the opener at Minnesota.

Again, DeForest Buckner led the way for the 49ers’ defense with one sack, one quarterback hit and three hurries. Buckner played 64 snaps, which is more than defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said last week he hopes any 49ers’ defensive lineman plays in a game this season.

The 49ers did not generate consistent pressure on Stafford, and he picked apart the San Francisco secondary with 347 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was hobbled with an ankle injury, and the Lions took advantage. Witherspoon allowed eight catches on 12 targets for 99 yards and two touchdowns, according to PFF. Witherspoon was taken off the field late in the game, as he played 64 of team’s 74 defensive plays.

On the other side, Detroit avoided challenging Richard Sherman. According to PFF, Sherman saw one pass thrown his way. It was incomplete. He has allowed only one reception in 99 downs in pass coverage through two games, being targeted once every 24.75 coverage snaps leads all qualifying NFL cornerbacks, according to PFF. His 0.18 yards allowed per coverage snaps ranks second behind Arizona’s Patrick Peterson.

Here are the total numbers of snaps of every 49ers player who saw action on Sunday in the team’s 30-27 win over the Lions:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 64
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 64
Running back – Kyle Juszczyk 40, Alfred Morris 31, Matt Breida 26
Wide receiver – Dante Pettis 56, Pierre Garçon 48, Trent Taylor 16, Kendrick Bourne 10, Richie James 7
Tight end – George Kittle 50, Garrett Celek 30, Cole Wick 6
Offensive line – Joe Staley 64, Mike McGlinchey 64, Laken Tomlinson 64, Weston Richburg 64, Mike Person 64

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 77
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 64, Cassius Marsh 54, Arik Armstead 54, Ronald Blair 40, Solomon Thomas 37, Earl Mitchell 25, Sheldon Day 20, D.J. Jones 13
Linebacker – Fred Warner 77, Elijah Lee 72, Mark Nzeocha 16
Defensive back – Adrian Colbert 77, Richard Sherman 77, Jaquiski Tartt 71, Ahkello Witherspoon 64, K’Waun Williams 61, Jimmie Ward 19, Antone Exum 6

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 34
Tarvarius Moore 25, Nzeocha 25, Raheem Mostert 20, Exum 20, Bradley Pinion 18, D.J. Reed 16, Celek 16, Greg Mabin 15, Terence Garvin 15, Wick 15, Marsh 15, Ward 15, Warner 14, Buckner 14, Lee 13, Witherspoon 12, Kyle Nelson 11, Tartt 9, Jones 8, Robbie Gould 6, Garry Gilliam 6, Staley 6, Richburg 6, Tomlinson 6, McGlinchey 6, Mitchell 6, Breida 5, Juszczyk 5, Colbert 5, Thomas 5, Sherman 4, Taylor 4, Armstead 3, Williams 3, Pettis 2

Fantasy football waiver wire: Target Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3

fitzmagicap.jpg
AP

Fantasy football waiver wire: Target Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3

Week 3 is the last week of the fantasy football season, aside from the playoffs, where every team in the league is in action. Starting in Week 4, at least two NFL teams will have the week off over the ensuing two months. 

As a result, it's not too early to start thinking about the players you'll want on your bench during that time, as well as who can give you a boost beforehand. With that in mind, here are four players to target on waivers this week in your fantasy football league, each of whom is owned in fewer than 45 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.

We start with, perhaps, the hottest player in football...

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB (Owned in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues, 31.4 percent of ESPN leagues)

It's time to hop aboard the Fitzmagic Carpet if you haven't already. A week after the Harvard product lit up a top-half fantasy defense against quarterbacks from a year ago, Fitzpatrick torched the defending Super Bowl champions to the tune of 402 passing yards and four touchdowns. 

Fitzpatrick wasn't perfect, as he threw a first-quarter interception and was not as involved in the running game. Those are minor quibbles, though, as Fitzpatrick leads the NFL in passing yards and is second only to Patrick Mahomes in passing touchdowns. Even if Fitzpatrick doesn't keep the job beyond the end of Jameis Winston's three-game suspension, he's worthy of a claim ahead of going against the Steelers defense that's been on the receiving end of top-six fantasy QB performances in each of the season's first two weeks.

Austen Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers RB (44 percent of Yahoo leagues, 42.9 percent of ESPN)

Lead back Melvin Gordon left Sunday's win against the Bills early, and Gordon owners should already have Ekeler has a cuff.  There's plenty of upside whether or not you need insurance for the Chargers running back, however.

Ekeler's posted back-to-back, double-digit fantasy weeks in PPR formats, and nearly hit it in standard formats, too, after accumulating 98 total yards against the Bills in Week 2. The Rams will offer up a stout rushing defense in Week 3, but the Raiders and Cardinals don't exactly boast dynamic rushing attacks. Don't be deterred by the matchup, or by Gordon's potential return to health, if you're hurting for flex options on your bench.

John Brown, Baltimore Ravens WR (25 percent of Yahoo leagues, 24 percent of ESPN) 

Brown surely benefitted from the Ravens' early struggles, as quarterback Joe Flacco tried to pass Baltimore out of a three-touchdown deficit. Still, he hauled in four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown on Thursday, including a 45-yard reception.

The receiver is tied for second on the Ravens in targets through two weeks of the season, and has four catches of 15-plus yards. Brown's emerging as a deep threat for Joe Flacco, and has a favorable matchup against a Broncos defense that's allowed the 12th-most passing yards this season. 

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns WR (7 percent of Yahoo leagues, 3.7 percent of ESPN)

Callaway stepped up in Cleveland's first game without wide receiver Josh Gordon. He caught three passes (on four targets) for 81 yards and a touchdown, including a 47-yard reception. 

The rookie still finished behind fellow receivers Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins, as well as tight end David N'joku, in terms of targets. Gordon's departure is going to create opportunities in the Browns offense, though, and Callaway's big-play ability puts him in position to reap the rewards.