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Why 49ers draft pick Dre Greenlaw's biggest fan is man he's never met

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Why 49ers draft pick Dre Greenlaw's biggest fan is man he's never met

It’s a call no parent ever hopes to receive. It's the one that wakes them up in the wee hours, telling them one of their children is in the hospital.

It’s the call Gerry Daly and his wife received four years ago when their daughter was a freshman at the University of Arkansas.

“I’m an early to bed, early to rise-kind of person,” Daly said. “It’s the worst call you can get on a Friday night."

Daly’s daughter had been taken to the emergency room, incapacitated and under the influence of what was believed to be alcohol. Tests, however, showed she had been drinking at the party she had attended, but she wasn't drunk.

“She couldn’t walk, and when she tried to talk, it sounded like 'tsk .., tsk,' " Daly said. "She wasn’t in any danger, so we took her home to monitor her."

It took a few days for the Dalys to piece together what had happened to their daughter via text messages from her friends. All she could remember was talking with a guy at the party, and then waking up in the hospital with a few of her girlfriends around her. Eventually, the family came to the conclusion that the male had slipped something into her drink, causing her incapacitation.

Daly also discovered that the man tried to take his daughter from the party, but he was thwarted by a Razorbacks football player and his friend. If not for them, there's no telling what might happened.

That football player was Dre Greenlaw, whom the 49ers selected Saturday in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Greenlaw was familiar with Daly's daughter, as they attended the same high school. She was a cheerleader, and he was a member of the football team. Greenlaw was unfamiliar with the man who tried to leave the party with Daly's daughter, which likely motivated him to confront the man by saying, "She's not going anywhere," according to Daly.

Daly has wanted to thank Greenlaw, even reaching out through social media to no avail. Until the linebacker was drafted by the 49ers, Daly resisted publicly thanking Greenlaw for fear of what the repercussions might be for the young athlete.

"He was an underage athlete, attending a party where there was alcohol, even though he was not drinking," Daly said. "He was a college football player in the SEC."

That could be seen as a violation by Greenlaw, and Daly didn't want to risk that for a player who appeared to risk much for his daughter. If the confrontation at the party had escalated into a fight, Greenlaw could have been suspended or even kicked off the team.

[RELATED: How Lynch, Shanahan arrived at 49ers' picks in 2019 NFL Draft]

But Daly figured Greenlaw wasn't at risk if he publicly told the story now. So, he detailed what happened in a Twitter thread that received quite a bit of attention, including from Greenlaw, who retweeted two of Daly's posts. The 49ers themselves weren't aware of the story until Daly went public with it.

Daly just wanted Greenlaw to know how much he appreciated what he did for his daughter.

“Thank God someone was looking out for her,” Daly said. “Thank God that there are good people in this world like Dre. Please tell him thank you."

Daly is only conflicted about one thing regarding Greenlaw's future -- his new team.

"I was hoping he would become a Giant," Daly said with a chuckle. "That's my team, and they need a guy like him on and off the field.

"But I'd root for him wherever he landed. Now I’ll cheer for the 49ers."

Kyle Shanahan is 'doppelganger' of Bill Belichick, Colin Cowherd says

Kyle Shanahan is 'doppelganger' of Bill Belichick, Colin Cowherd says

There are a litany of great head coaches in the NFL today, but few are both as universally beloved by colleagues and as overlooked by fans and media members as 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. The former Falcons offensive coordinator has fought an uphill battle since taking over prior to the 2017 season -- and has a 10-22 record to show for it. 

Colin Cowherd was recently discussing the NFL.com head coach rankings that were released yesterday, and he strongly disagreed with one particular selection.

"Shanahan, has a doppelganger in this league, it's called Belichick," Cowherd said. Bill Belichick is easily the most well-renowned head coach in the NFL and just came off of his sixth Super Bowl victory in February.

"Kyle Shanahan has an incredible career as a coordinator," the host of The Herd on FS1 explained. "Everywhere he's gone, He made Matt Schaub a pro bowler, he made Matt Ryan an MVP. Then he leaves, the teams aren't the same and the quarterbacks aren't the same. "

Cowherd pointed out some data on just how much better the 49ers have been with Jimmy Garoppolo on the field than when he's been off, but closed out his analysis with a strong take.

[RELATED: DeForest Buckner has big expectations for himself, 49ers in 2019 season]

"In two years, he will be a top-six coach."

With Shanahan and general manager John Lynch each having four years remaining on their contracts, 49ers fans can rest easy knowing they've got a very highly regarded head coach pacing the sidelines each week. The regular season opens Sept. 8 when San Francisco travels to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. 

49ers, Raiders picked to be among most improved teams by NFL analyst

49ers, Raiders picked to be among most improved teams by NFL analyst

The 2018 NFL season was one every Bay Area fan would like to forget. Both the 49ers and Raiders ended the season with 4-12 records, as they each secured a top-five pick in the NFL draft.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah shared his predictions for the most improved organizations in 2019 and both the 49ers and Raiders made the cut.

The 49ers top Jeremiah's board with the promise of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo being healthy for training camp and an offseason that saw them shore up an already strong defensive line group, signing Dee Ford to a long-term deal and drafting former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa No. 2 overall in April's draft.

The Raiders, meanwhile, sit third in Jeremiah's rankings after making some of their own splashy moves over the NFL offseason. Oakland acquired All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Steelers and also signed Vontaze Burfict, who was a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro with the Bengals in 2013.

[RELATED: 49ers' Kyle Shanahan ranked as 23rd-best veteran head coach by NFL.com]

It's hard to go anywhere but up for the Bay Area's NFL teams in 2019, but if Jeremiah's picks are accurate, there could be a lot more winning football coming to Northern California in the coming months.