49ers

Shanahan liked Trubisky but 49ers needed 'as many players as possible'

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AP

Shanahan liked Trubisky but 49ers needed 'as many players as possible'

In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, the 49ers considered one quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

Indeed, that quarterback was selected with the second pick – one slot behind No. 1 overall selection Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns. But a blockbuster draft-day trade enabled the 49ers to move back just one spot and secure additional young talent.

The 49ers still got the player, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, they would have chosen with the second pick. And the Chicago Bears took no chances to get their quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky.

Trubisky will make his eighth consecutive start as a rookie Sunday when the 49ers face the Bears at Soldier Field.

“He was definitely on the radar,” 49ers coach Kyle Shahanan said of Trubisky on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area. “I really liked Mitchell. He was really the only guy I flew out and saw. I spent some time with Mitchell and got to work him out. I spent a few hours watching tape with him.

“But that wasn’t something we were going to do with our pick. We felt like we had to go a lot of other different directions. Our goal was to add picks and get as many players as possible, and we are happy with what we did.”

The 49ers were able to use one of those picks from the Bears to trade up into the first round and select linebacker Reuben Foster with the No. 31 overall selection. The 49ers have an additional 2018 second-round pick as a result of the Bears trade, too.

The 49ers were going to select Thomas over Trubisky, if there were no trade between the organizations. Shanahan said he did not believe the 49ers – having already signed veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on the first day of free agency – were in a position to select a quarterback so high in the draft.

“I don’t look at it as taking him (Thomas) over Mitchell,” Shanahan said. “I didn’t think our answer was to just pick a quarterback right now. I thought we needed a number of picks. We wanted to get as much as possible.

“We added some other picks later that enabled us to maneuver around. We got us a second-round pick for next year, where I felt that it gave us a chance to really build our organization the right way and not only help us this year but give us some ammo for the future.”

The Bears are 2-5 in games in which Trubisky has started since taking over for Mike Glennon in Week 5. In Chicago’s two wins against Baltimore and Carolina, Trubisky was little more than a bystander. He completed a combined 12 of 23 pass attempts in those two games for 220 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

“He’s a talented guy and he’s going to be a very good quarterback. He’s shown signs of that throughout this year,” Shanahan said of Trubisky. “I think something that’s been valuable for him is all the time he’s been given to play.

“It didn’t surprise me at all that Chicago took him. I thought it was a smart pick for them. I think it’ll end up paying off for them in the future.”

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Veteran tight end Jordan Reed seemingly is taking a huge risk with designs on a return to football after sustaining a seventh documented concussion a year ago.

But it is a risk that could pay off big for Reed and the 49ers this season, his first NFL coach said on Monday.

Kyle Shanahan was in his final season as Washington’s offensive coordinator during Reed’s first season after entering the league as a second-round draft pick. Now, Shanahan and Reed are back together after Reed agreed to a one-year contract on Monday.

“I know he hasn’t been on the field for a little bit. I know he’s very hungry to get back out there,” Shanahan said.

“When you have a talented guy who’s hungry to play football, it works out if they can stay healthy. And Jordan has had some bad luck over the years. I know he’s ready to go. I hope he has some good luck here. And if he does, I think it’s going to be a hell of a deal for the Niners and a really good deal for him, also.”

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

Reed, 30, has appeared in just 65 games over the past seven seasons with Washington. He has 329 career receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns. His best season came in 2015, when he saw action in 14 games and caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He did not play last season after sustaining a concussion in a preseason game. The Washington Football Team released him in February.

“Everyone is aware of Jordan’s ability,” Shanahan said. “When he’s been healthy, he’s played at an extremely high level. And he’s been one of the first third-down tight ends in the league when he’s been healthy.”

[RELATEDShanahan optimistic 49ers, Kittle will get contract done]

Shanahan said he typically likes to bring six tight ends to training camp. It was a little more difficult this summer because teams have to trim to 80 players instead of the usual 90-man limits. But the 49ers found a way to add Reed, who figures to join a competition to become George Kittle’s backup.

Reed will compete with Ross Dwelley, Daniel Helm and sixth-round draft pick Charlie Woerner for the backup job.

“It's well-documented that he’s had multiple concussions prior,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So in situations like this, there’s a reason that a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? There is some risk-reward. We got to a point where we felt the risk that we’re taking on was worth it with the potential reward.”

Trent Williams thrilled 49ers signed former teammate Jordan Reed

Trent Williams thrilled 49ers signed former teammate Jordan Reed

Trent Williams isn't the only former Washington Football Team player joining the 49ers this offseason.

San Francisco signed free agent tight end Jordan Reed to an incentive-laden one-year contract on Monday, hoping to put a steady backup behind All-Pro George Kittle. Formerly a third-round draft pick by Washington in 2013, Reed was a teammate of Williams in the nation's capital for each of the past six seasons. Williams expressed his excitement for Reed on his Instagram story Monday afternoon.

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

A Pro Bowl selection in 2016, Reed missed all of the 2019 season after getting a concussion in the third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Like Williams, Reed finished the 2019 season on injured reserve. Washington released Reed in February.

Reed could see his role increased significantly early on with the 49ers if Kittle's contract negotiations continue to stall, as general manager John Lynch didn't give much of an update Monday on the conversations.

[RELATED: 49ers rule D.J. Reed out for year after surgery on torn pec]

“We’re working diligently to come to a resolution,” Lynch told reporters over Zoom on Monday afternoon.

Reed's concerning history with concussions wasn't lost on Lynch, but the 49ers clearly see the upside in a tight end with four 50+ catch seasons out of his six healthy NFL seasons.

“It's well-documented that he’s had multiple concussions prior,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So in situations like this, there’s a reason that a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? There is some risk-reward. We got to a point where we felt the risk that we’re taking on was worth it with the potential reward.”