Source: 49ers, Washington NFL draft prospects meet via video interviews

Source: 49ers, Washington NFL draft prospects meet via video interviews

The 49ers recently had video interviews with two University of Washington prospects, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 49ers had recent interactions with tight end Hunter Bryant and running back Salvon Ahmed over FaceTime, the source said.

Bryant (6-foot-2, 248 pounds) caught 52 passes for 825 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games last season as a junior before declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. He projects as a second- or third-day draft pick.

Ahmed (5-11, 197) also declared for the draft after his junior season. He rushed for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns on 188 carries. He also caught 16 passes for 84 yards.

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Ahmed likely is a late-round draft pick or undrafted free agent.

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1. First round: No. 13; overall No. 13 (from Indianapolis)
2. First round: No. 31; overall No. 31
3. Fifth round: No. 11; overall No. 156 (from Denver)
4. Fifth round: No. 31; overall No. 176
5. Sixth round: No. 31; overall No. 210
6. Seventh round: No. 3; overall No. 217 (from Detroit)
7. Seventh round: No. 31; overall 245

-The 49ers acquired Indianapolis pick in the first round, in exchange for defensive lineman DeForest Buckner;
-The 49ers acquired Denver's pick in the fifth round, along with Emmanuel Sanders, in exchange for their own piakc in the third and fourth rounds;
-The 49ers traded second-round pick to Kansas City for DE Dee Ford;
-The 49ers acquired Detroit's seventh-round pick in trade that sent Eli Harold to the Lions.

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers at No. 4 before 2020 season, Peter King says

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers at No. 4 before 2020 season, Peter King says

The 49ers were the best team in the NFC last season, and they had a pretty good offseason.

So they should be No. 1 or No. 2 in any preseason NFL power rankings, right?

Not quite, according to NBC Sports NFL analyst Peter King.

In King's latest Football Morning in America column, he ranked the 49ers at No. 4 behind the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 1), Baltimore Ravens (No. 2) and New Orleans Saints (No. 3).

King loved what 49ers general manager John Lynch was able to do this offseason.

"There isn’t a team that responded to its problems better than the Niners this offseason," King wrote. "San Francisco needed a left tackle after Joe Staley’s April retirement; GM John Lynch went out and got Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, cheap. Knowing that he couldn’t pay all his top defensive frontmen, Lynch dealt DeForest Buckner for the 13th pick in the draft—and used that pick on South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw. And needing a long-term receiver threat, the Niners traded up in the first round for Arizona State wideout Brandon Aiyuk."

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

While it's perfectly reasonable to put the Chiefs and Ravens ahead of the 49ers, ranking the Saints in front of them is a point of contention.

But King highlighted two areas that could be issues for the 49ers.

"The one long-term position Lynch needs to attack is the secondary—and not because of the late collapse against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl," King said. "Richard Sherman is 32, and greatness for a corner at 32 cannot be assumed. But a deep defensive front will help any issues defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has in the back end."

Despite a 21-5 record as a starter in the NFL and helping guide the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been criticized quite a bit this offseason. Whether or not it's deserved is a debate for another day. But King believes Garoppolo is the main reason the 49ers are behind the Saints on his ranking.

"The 49ers have an excellent chance to stay atop the tough NFC West, though a Lombardi Trophy will come only with more consistency from Jimmy Garoppolo," King wrote. "His 75.9 rating in the playoffs, while not coming out of nowhere, was more noticeable because of how coach Kyle Shanahan play-called in January after Garoppolo threw an ugly interception against the Vikings. In the Niners’ last six quarters before the Super Bowl, Garoppolo threw 14 passes and the Niners ran it 72 times. That might have happened in the Bob Griese Miami days, but man, was it noticeable in today’s football.

"The 49ers belittled the media for making a big deal of it, and every Niner player has pit-bulled questions about Garoppolo since, but come on. His two picks and missed deep ball to Emmanuel Sanders in the fourth quarter only exacerbated the issue. The only one who can do anything about this is cool Jimmy G, and I think all the badgering will push him to be better. But we haven’t seen it yet. That’s why the Saints are 3 and Niners 4 in this totally scientific rating of the teams."

[RELATED: Could Kittle's extension cost 49ers Ford?]

Yes, the Saints are good, and they signed Emmanuel Sanders away from the 49ers, but that talented team has come up short in the playoffs the last few years (a couple questionable calls didn't help). Shanahan's crew is now battle tested, and they will be hungry to avenge the bitter Super Bowl defeat.

The 49ers and Saints will meet again in New Orleans on Nov. 15. That Week 10 matchup should go a long way to determining which team is the best in the NFC, and possibly even the NFL.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Joe Staley, 49ers give virtual graduation ceremony to class of 2020

Joe Staley, 49ers give virtual graduation ceremony to class of 2020

Joe Staley retired this offseason after 13 years with the 49ers, but on Saturday, he gave The Faithful of all ages a special parting gift. 

The 49ers held a 38-minute virtual graduation ceremony for those of all ages in the class of 2020. Whether you're a young fan moving up to junior high, you graduated high school or even college, the Niners had a message for you. 

No message was greater than Staley's. Decked in a cap and gown, the former Pro Bowl left tackle gave the official commencement speech

“Good evening students, faculty, friends, family, and 49ers Faithful," Staley started his speech. "I’m Joe Staley, proud student of Rockford High School and Central Michigan University. Oh, and former offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers.

"I am here tonight to extend my congratulations to the class of 2020. You did it!"

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

The 35-year-old went on to send a great message regarding his retirement and how it relates to graduates. 

"Just a few weeks ago, after playing in 192 NFL games, I decided to hang up my cleats. So, I know first-hand how hard it is to close a chapter and open a new one during this chaotic and uncertain time," Staley said. "But I also know we will get through this and come out stronger. Being able to move forward and graduate despite the hurdles that this pandemic has thrown your way, speaks to your resilience.

"Whether you’re leaving elementary, middle, high school, college, or vocational school -- hold your head high, be proud, and know that you are ready for this. You’ve prepared hard and now it’s time to get out there and make your dreams come true." 

In addition to Staley, coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and many others gave inspiring messages. Jerry Rice and Steve Young even stopped by to celebrate. 

[RELATED: York, 49ers commit $1M to organizations for social change]

This year's graduating class, no matter what age or school, dealt with extremely tough circumstances. Watching Staley address so many with such a positive outlook is just another glimpse of what he meant to the 49ers' locker room. 

Staley made strong, lifelong impressions on countless teammates. The same can be said for what he did for 49ers fans as well.