49ers

Why 49ers' Nick Bosa believes Cardinals made right call with Kyler Murray

Why 49ers' Nick Bosa believes Cardinals made right call with Kyler Murray

SANTA CLARA -- The Arizona Cardinals did not tip their hand to Nick Bosa.

He met with team officials, including coach Kliff Kingsbury, on multiple occasions leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft and thought there was a slim chance he would be the No. 1 overall pick.

Bosa figured quarterback Kyler Murray was the likely No. 1 selection for Arizona. But he was not sure until he heard Murray’s family erupt in cheers in the green room at the draft in Nashville when the Cardinals made it official.

The 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick. He is having a fine rookie season for the 49ers with seven sacks for a club that has the NFC’s best record at 9-1.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals fell to 3-7-1 with a 36-26 loss to the 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Still, Bosa said it is obvious to him Arizona is moving in the right direction with the right person at quarterback. The Cardinals were 3-13 last season and were granted the No. 1 pick as the NFL's worst team.

“I’m impressed with how they’ve turned things around over there,” Bosa said of the Cardinals. “In the draft process, they sold me. I definitely saw the vision they had and how they were going to do it. I think they’re doing a really good job.

"And Kyler is a really good player, so they picked a good one.”

Bosa had Murray’s grass-stained jersey hanging in his locker after the game, as the top two picks in the draft met afterward to exchange uniforms.

Bosa registered three tackles, including one for a loss, and a quarterback hit on Sunday. In two games against the Cardinals, Bosa did not record a sack. Arizona’s offense exposed some issues in the 49ers’ run defense. Murray ran for 67 yards on eight attempts in Sunday's game.

The 49ers came up with the plays necessary on offense and defense to avoid back-to-back losses after opening the season on an eight-game win streak.

“I definitely think that was a big must-win for us, a division game,” Bosa said. “(We) just came off a loss, you don’t want to drop two in a row, that’s for sure.”

[RELATED: Grading 49ers' offense, defense in win over Cardinals]

The Cardinals appear to be a team on the rise, and the 49ers enter the final six games of this season with a one-game lead in the NFC West over the Seattle Seahawks. The stage could be set for a lot more epic 49ers-Cardinals games in the future with Bosa and Murray leading their respective units.

“The running game, we just have to figure out how to stop that,” Bosa said. “But we’ll wait ‘til next year for that.”

Why Kendrick Bourne is thrilled 49ers put second-round tender on him

Why Kendrick Bourne is thrilled 49ers put second-round tender on him

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has become a staple of the 49ers' offense, and the team is looking to keep him around.

Back on March 17, the 49ers placed second-round tenders on Bourne and running back Matt Breida.

Appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco last week, Bourne was asked for his thoughts on the 49ers' decision.

"Definitely thrilled," Bourne said from his parents' home in Portland, Oregon. "Just kind of relieved a little bit, just feeling the respect coming around a little bit on my name, respect from the league and all that, the whole nine yards. Especially going to the Super Bowl, my team being a great team, us making it that far helps everybody, period, on the team. So just thrilled and thankful for the Niners for still believing in me after three years, believing for Year Four and just ready to attack it.

"It just sucks that our OTAs have been postponed. Really excited to get back and get to work, be around the guys again, but just a little more time to work and get a little more polished before OTAs, so I guess that's cool now."

As a restricted free agent, Bourne is allowed to negotiate a contract with another team. If he signs an offer sheet and the 49ers choose not to match, the team would get a second-round draft as compensation.

[RELATED: Impact Sanders had on 49ers' receivers]

Undrafted out of Eastern Washington, Bourne signed with the 49ers in 2017. This past season, he caught 30 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns.

NFL Draft 2020: Agents share how coronavirus changes impact prospects

NFL Draft 2020: Agents share how coronavirus changes impact prospects

The 2020 NFL Draft might favor players who were able to able to attend the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, because of pro days and in-person meetings being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But some agents believe teams have all the information they need to proceed on schedule.

Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott, from Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area about how their preparation for the draft has been consistent to what they’ve done in the past. Their agency represents Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, among other draft hopefuls.

Both longtime agents believe players who attended an All-Star event or the combine have an advantage, but that always has been the case. As in every draft, there will be players who exceed expectations and those who don’t live up to them.

“When I first started in the industry in 1975 with Steve Bartkowski, there were no pro days, no team meetings, no combine,” Steinberg said. “If you look at statistics from players then, to those selected in 2005, the players in 1975 were more successful and productive. 

“Teams obviously believe that the more information they have, the better, but at some point, it’s enough. I believe they have enough information to make educated and prudent choices.”

Brett Tessler, who represents 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, believes players who weren’t able to attend or weren’t invited to the combine are at a disadvantage across the board. An off-the-radar player won’t have the chance to catch a scout or coach’s eye at a local pro day and jump up a team’s draft board.

“For most non-combine guys, it's going to put everybody at an equal disadvantage,” Tessler told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Teams will rely more on the spring testing numbers that they got prior to this season.

“But, the biggest disadvantage for non-combine guys trying to get drafted is the lack of being brought in for pre-draft visits, where the medical staffs can do all the background work on these guys that they need to do.”

Just like everyone across the nation, players, agents and teams are taking advantage of video conferencing technology such as Zoom and Skype for their 30 one-on-one pre-draft visits. This actually might be the one advantage for players who have grown up with video calls as the norm.

[RELATED: Why Kentucky's Bowden is intriguing for Shanahan, 49ers]

As in the past, teams still have the ability to ask players schematic questions using a virtual chalkboard, and go over game film during video conferencing sessions. Cabott also believes one resource could be more important than in previous pre-draft research.

“Trainers,” Cabott said. “Those guys who were working with players, getting them ready for pro days will have information that will be important for teams. They can give projections, send videos of testing and have insight to a player’s work ethic.”