49ers

Source: 49ers visit with safety projected to be an early-round pick

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AP

Source: 49ers visit with safety projected to be an early-round pick

West Virginia safety Kyzir White, a projected second- or third-round draft pick, took part in an official visit to the 49ers in Santa Clara on Monday, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

White (6-foot-2, 218 pounds) played a hybrid safety/linebacker position in college, which would likely make him a fit at strong safety in the 49ers’ defensive scheme. Jaquiski Tartt, who is scheduled to enter the final year of his contract, is expected to start in that position this season.

White and his brother, Ka’Raun, are draft-eligible players who were invited to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Ka’Raun had 1,000 yards receiving as a senior and could be a late-round draft pick.

Older brother, Kevin, a wide receiver, was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 2015. He has appeared in just five games in three years since entering the NFL due to injuries.

Kyzir White, like both of his brothers, attended Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before transferring to West Virginia. As a senior, Kyzir White recorded 94 tackles, including 7.5 for losses, forced two fumbles and intercepted three passes.

 

49ers' Nick Mullens, Kyle Shanahan explain kneel-down gaffe vs. Broncos

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AP

49ers' Nick Mullens, Kyle Shanahan explain kneel-down gaffe vs. Broncos

SANTA CLARA — 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens made an error in the final seconds of Sunday's game against the Broncos that could have been costly. Thankfully for San Francisco, he learned his lesson without a tragic ending. 

The 49ers should have been able to run out the clock after having the lead and a first down at the two minute warning. A miscalculation, however, left four seconds on the game clock once the fourth kneel down had been completed. 

Denver then had a chance to steal the victory after trailing by 20 points earlier in the game. Case Keenum completed a short pass to Tim Patrick and the Broncos offense attempted a few lateral passes before the ball was finally fumbled out of bounds. 

Coach Kyle Shanahan explained how the miscalculation unfolded. 

“We thought it was dead even and then it was off one second,” Shanahan said. “The play clock and the game clock were off one second. So, when you get to fourth down you have to have what we call a slow clock, where the quarterback comes back, pause just one second before he takes a knee. 

Shanahan added that Mulllens knew that was the plan. 

“Nick was very ready for and very ready to do, but he just snapped it with six seconds left on the play clock and took a slow knee. But, it stops on fourth down, so it was a good rookie mistake and rookie rep. 

“That was good, because he’ll learn it forever and it won’t happen again and it didn’t cost us the game.” 

[RELATED: 49ers dedicate win over Broncos to Tony York, two days after his death]
 
When asked about the botched kneel downs, Mullens appeared very relieved that it didn’t end in a loss. 

“Yeah, we don’t really have to talk about that,” Mullens said with a little chuckle. “I’ll go back and watch it, see how the time played out or whatever. But, I’m pretty mad at myself, yeah.”

Will it ever happen again? 

“I shouldn’t have done it in the first place,” Mullens said. “Are you kidding me?”
 
Outside of that mishap, Mullens had a respectable performance. He completed 20 of his 30 attempts for 332 yards and two touchdowns and a rating of 102.1. His statistics were assisted by George Kittle’s yards after catch on his record-breaking day

“I thought he played well,” Shanahan said of Mullens. “He did some real good things and was one of the reasons we won.”

Again, Mullens didn’t do anything to make Shanahan consider a quarterback switch heading into the 49ers second matchup with the Seahawks in Week 15. He has simply stated that Jimmy Garoppolo is the quarterback of the team and Mullens and C.J. Beathard are in a heated competition for who will be his backup once he returns. 
 

49ers report card: Grades for offense, defense in win over Broncos

49ers report card: Grades for offense, defense in win over Broncos

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers entered Sunday in position for the No. 1 overall draft pick.

The 49ers then rode the efforts of a lot of young players to earn a hard-fought, 20-14 upset win over the Denver Broncos. And there was absolutely no downside to the victory.

The win also was coupled with a Raiders victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 49ers (3-10) remain in the No. 1 draft slot — and the favorites to land projected top pick Nick Bosa, an edge rusher — with three games remaining in the season.

The report card looks a lot better than it has since the 49ers’ Week 9 victory over the Raiders:

Rushing Offense

Undrafted rookie Jeff Wilson gained a career-high 90 yards in his first NFL start. He continued to run hard, even when there wasn’t a lot of room against the Broncos’ defense.

Wilson averaged 3.9 yards prr carry. Alfred Morris got just two carries and gained 4 yards.

Grade: B

Passing Offense

Quarterback Nick Mullens continues to play solid football. He completed 20 of 33 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. His one interception was a pass that deflected off wide receiver Trent Taylor’s hands.

George Kittle had a monster first half, catching seven passes for 210 yards. Oddly, he did not catch a pass in the second half. Taylor and fellow wideout Dante Pettis rebounded from bad plays earlier in the fourth quarter to have big third-down receptions that helped the 49ers eat up the clock in the final minutes.

Grade: A-minus

Rushing Defense

The 49ers’ defense did a very good job against Phillip Lindsay, one of the hottest running backs in the league. One week after rushing for 157 yards and two touchdowns against Cincinnati, Lindsay managed just 30 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers.

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead had a good game, and defensive backs D.J. Reed and Marcell Harris combined for five tackles for loss.

Grade: A

Passing Defense

Cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman had good games in coverage. Reed and defensive tackle Ronald Blair recorded sacks.

Although the 49ers did not intercept any passes, they limited Denver quarterback Case Keenum to 24-of-42 passing for 186 yards and one touchdown for a lowly passer rating of 76.1.

Grade: A

Special Teams

Robbie Gould made field goals of 40 and 29 yards. Bradley Pinion averaged a below-average net of 34.0 yards on five punts.

Richie James muffed another punt, but Taylor replaced him and had 26 yards on two returns. Special teams really did not impact this game one way or the other.

Grade: B-minus

Overall

The Broncos entered the game with a chance to pull into a five-way tie for the final wild-card spot in the AFC playoffs. The 49ers played the role of spoilers.

The coaching staff decided to go young, and those players responded with a spirited performance. The offense started out well but ran out of gas in the second half. The defense held on for dear life.

The 49ers should enjoy this one, which came at the end of a difficult weekend with the passing of Tony York, son of owners John York and Denise DeBartolo York, and younger brother of CEO Jed York.

Grade: A