49ers

Source: Fournette scheduled to visit 49ers

Source: Fournette scheduled to visit 49ers

The 49ers are scheduled to meet this week with LSU running back Leonard Fournette, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Fournette is scheduled to be one of the 30 out-of-the-area draft-eligible players allowed to visit the 49ers’ Santa Clara headquarters. The final day for teams to wrap up their pre-draft visits is Wednesday. The first round of the NFL Draft is scheduled for Thursday, April 27.

Fournette is expected to be a top-five pick in next week’s NFL Draft. The 49ers own the No. 2 overall selection, but general manager John Lynch said the team is “open for business” to trade out of that position.

Fournette, the expected top running back available in the draft, measured 6 foot ½ inch, 240 pounds at the NFL scouting combine. He clocked an official time of 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

He missed five games last season due to a left ankle injury, which also kept him out of LSU’s appearance in the Citrus Bowl against Louisville. In seven games, Fournette rushed for 843 yards and eight touchdowns before turning pro.

As a sophomore in 2015, Fournette rushed for a career-best 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 253 yards.

49ers Dante Pettis learned a few rookie lessons Sunday vs. Broncos

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USATSI

49ers Dante Pettis learned a few rookie lessons Sunday vs. Broncos

SANTA CLARA -- Talented rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis definitely looked like a talented rookie on Sunday in the 49ers’ 20-14 victory over the Denver Broncos.

Pettis messed up, redeemed himself, then messed up again in a critical four-minute span in which the 49ers were just trying to hold on against the Broncos at Levi’s Stadium.

It’s all part of the learning curve for Pettis. He remained as the starter in front of veteran Marquise Goodwin, who returned to action after missing the two previous games to deal with a serious family matter.

Pettis caught three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown, and the 49ers did not hesitate to go to him on a couple of crucial third-down plays late in the game.

[RELATED: Week 14 win over Broncos]

With seven minutes remaining and the 49ers leading 20-7, quarterback Nick Mullens threw to Pettis on a crossing pattern on a third-and-2 play. Pettis had the first down and plenty of room to run, but he dropped the waist-high pass.

“I just tried to run before I caught the ball,” Pettis said. “I knew I was going to be wide open. The ball, honestly, I did not see Nick. I just saw the ball come out of nowhere, so it surprised me a little bit and I just tried to turn up the field and run with it before grabbing it. Just one of those things. You just drop it sometimes.”

The 49ers were forced to punt, and Denver responded with a 14-play, 69-yard touchdown drive to cut the deficit to just six points with four minutes to play.

In similar situations, this season, the 49ers’ offense had been unable to close out victories. Faced with a huge third-and-7 play from their own 23, Mullens again looked for Pettis. This time, Pettis secured the catch after Mullens dropped it behind running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and two Broncos defenders.

“I was like, ‘OK, this is coming to me. I know I have to make up for this,’ ” Pettis said.

Pettis gained 31 yards on the play, but he made a miscalculation as he neared the sideline. The Broncos had just one timeout remaining, and Pettis had a lapse in judgment as he ran out of bounds with 3:32 remaining to stop the clock.

Pettis said he thought he could outrun Broncos safety Dymonte Thomas to the end zone. He said he realized he made a critical error as he was about to make contact with Thomas at the sideline. Pettis said he considered going down in the field of play several yards before that.

“I thought about it at first, probably around 25 yards, ‘I should get down,’” Pettis said. “But then I was like, ‘Screw it, I’m scoring.’ I tried to get around him and it didn’t work out.”

Despite his obvious mistakes, Pettis has worked out since entering the starting lineup against Tampa Bay in Week 12. After being plagued by a knee injury and other ailments earlier in the season, Pettis has 363 yards receiving (second on the team behind tight end George Kittle) with team-highs of five touchdowns and a 19.1 average yards per catch.

[RELATED: George Kittle gets compliments from Broncos]

“Just being able to play more and get more comfortable in there helps a lot,” said Pettis, who played 61 of the 49ers’ 72 offensive snaps on Sunday against the Broncos. “Obviously, when you score and you’re able to get open and all that stuff, it helps a lot, too.”

Despite losing to 49ers, Broncos sing praise of George Kittle

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USATSI

Despite losing to 49ers, Broncos sing praise of George Kittle

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers tight end George Kittle had a record-setting day in the team’s 20-14 win over the Broncos. After gaining 210 yards on seven receptions in the first half, the Broncos their defensive scheme and effectively shut down Kittle.

What Kittle did in the first half still left a strong impression on the Broncos players and head coach. Several of them spoke after the game about his performance. 

Coach Vance Joseph explained that there were missed assignments on one of Kittle’s bigger plays. He also confirmed that they had game planned for him. 

[RELATED: 49ers 20-14 win over the Broncos]

“Well, we had one blown coverage, and we had a couple where we just didn’t cover him," Joseph said. "He beat us one-on-one. He’s a great player. We knew coming into the game that he’s the guy we had to stop and we didn’t get it done.”

Outside linebacker Von Miller was very complimentary of Kittle’s playmaking abilities. He took note of his ability to extend plays, which he did more than once. Kittle was able to rack up 115 yards after a catch in just his two longest receptions combined. 

“85 is a hell of a player,” Miller said. “George Kittle’s a hell of a player and he took some 10-yard plays the distance today. There's not too many tight ends in the league that can do that."

“We knew coming into the game that he was going to be talented. We knew coming into the game he was going to make plays, but the plays that he made today, he just killed us on top of the penalties, and on top of my penalties that increased the situation. He just killed us.”

Nose tackle Shelby Harris appreciated the way Kittle played the game, but obviously noted the defense’s inability to stop him in the first half. 

“He had a good game,” Harris said. “He went out there and played football the way it is supposed to be played. That’s what you are supposed to do. That’s the goal. We have to go out there and do everything better. There is no excuse.”

Safety Justin Simmons complimented Shanahan’s game planning when asked about Kittle’s first half. 

“They did some things schematically offensively,” Simmons said. “They found different ways to get him the football. We came in at halftime and made those corrections to fix those big plays we were giving up. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. We just need to get a couple more turnovers to truly get us back into it.”

[RELATED: Kittle not worried about NFL record]

Safety Darian Stewart complemented Kittle as well as Shanahan’s ability to use him schematically. 

“They had some stuff for him,” Stewart said. “He’s a great talent. We saw it on film too. They found a way to get him the ball. He’s a solid player. He’s going to be good for a long time.”

The 49ers have a week to prepare for their second face off with the Seahawks, who held the team to 16 points just two weeks ago.