49ers

NFL draft 2019: Ex-49ers GM warns against picking Kyler Murray No. 1

NFL draft 2019: Ex-49ers GM warns against picking Kyler Murray No. 1

The Arizona Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s 2019 NFL Draft, and there’s plenty of speculation they'll select reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

Back in 2005, the 49ers were in the same position, holding the first overall pick, with an obvious need for a quarterback. San Francisco's general manager at the time, Scot McCloughan, decided to use the selection on Alex Smith, and he has an opinion on the Cardinals' current situation.

In speaking to Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko, McCloughan had major concerns with making Murray the top pick in the 2019 draft, because of what he sees as a critical character flaw.

"To be a legit NFL quarterback, you’ve got to have leadership qualities,” McCloughan said. “Watching Kyler do an interview, it’s like, C’mon, guy, what do you got? Give me something. I’m sure they’re trying to train him up, but ... he’s just not a go-getter. Doesn’t mean he can’t be a good QB. Just means he’s not gonna be the guy in the locker room."

[RELATED: Kyler's football-over-baseball decision gives NFL what it needs]

McCloughan assisted the Browns in the lead-up to their selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, and that seems to have worked out nicely for Cleveland.

Of course, McCloughan also was the man who opted to select Smith with the first overall pick instead of eventual Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, so maybe he should keep his quarterback evaluations to himself.

49ers' Ben Garland details hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro after Super Bowl loss

49ers' Ben Garland details hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro after Super Bowl loss

It’s a 20,000-foot hike to the top, but Mt. Kilimanjaro has been a place for climbers to knock an adventure off their bucket list since the first record of such a feat occurred in 1889. For 49ers offensive lineman Ben Garland, he not only made the trek, but made history in the process.

Back in February, Garland became the first active NFL player and military reservist to reach the peak in Africa.

He also did it for a good cause and detailed his trip in a diary. 

Working with the Waterboys was originated by the Chris Long Foundation which brings clean water to communities in need, ESPN’s Nick Wagoner wrote. It raised more than $205,000 which went toward the trip itself and putting two clean water wells in Tanzania with a population of about 57 million not having access to clean water. 

[RELATED: Jed York explains why 49ers are donating $1M to social change organizations]

The group that included NFL defensive end Lamarr Houston, water advocates, ESPN radio host Mike Golic Jr. and military veterans, all began their trip in the Serengeti where they saw plenty of African wildlife and got to experience an authentic well ceremony and school visit.

Garland called it a life-changing experience and would be happy to return to Africa to hit his ultimate goal of providing more than 1 million people with clean water.

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

Trent Williams explains why 49ers were his ideal trade destination

Trent Williams explains why 49ers were his ideal trade destination

Seven-time Pro Bowl selection Trent Williams had a lengthy feud with his former team in Washington for how they handled treatment of what ended up being a cancerous growth on Williams’ head. He refused to report to the team in training camp and demanded a trade in March before eventually finding his way to the 49ers in a deal made on the final day of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Williams now says the 49ers always were high on his list of potential trade destinations, as he was made aware during the season that longtime Niners left tackle Joe Staley might be hanging up his cleats after the 2019 season.

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

“I knew there was a possibility, but it was just kinda on the back burner until that situation kind of played out,” Williams told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. “I kinda just kept close tabs on it, because obviously that was my No. 1 destination.

“That’s where I wanted to be, so once it started to play out and the rumblings started to grow that he might not return, that’s when all the focus started to shift back to the 49ers."

Staley announced his retirement on Day 3 of the draft, with the Niners acquiring Williams for a pair of draft picks from Washington just hours later.

[RELATED: How Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne enhanced 49ers' offense last season]

Williams easily can slide in and take Staley’s spot at left tackle, with young right tackle Mike McGlinchey now entering his third season in the NFL on the other side.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo likely had some concern about losing Staley’s leadership and expertise at the tackle spot, but the Niners might have gotten him an even better left tackle if Williams can return to his previous form.

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