2019 NFL Draft

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray calls Nick Bosa 'a freak' before 49ers game

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray calls Nick Bosa 'a freak' before 49ers game

For the first time in their young NFL careers, the Nos. 1 and 2 overall picks from the 2019 draft will square up against each other when the 49ers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals on Thursday night. 

When Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray -- the top pick in the draft -- scans the field Thursday, he will have his eyes on 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who was selected one spot behind him. The former Heisman Trophy winner certainly took notice of Bosa's ridiculous interception off Panthers QB Kyle Allen on Sunday. 

"He's a freak," Murray said to Cardinals reporters on Monday. "He's a good player, for sure. I'll have to keep my head on a swivel for sure on Thursday." 

Murray could be in for a long day against the 49ers' daunting defensive line. He has been sacked 26 times this season, which ranks third-most in the NFL. The 49ers as a team rank fourth in the league with 27 sacks. 

To no surprise, however, the electrifying QB has plenty of trust in his team. 

"They're obviously a great defense," Murray said. "But again, we feel like if we execute, we'll be fine." 

Through his first eight games as a pro, Murray has 1,988 passing yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 63.7 percent of his passes. He also has rushed for 279 yards and scored another two touchdowns on the ground. 

[RELATED: Bosa on pace to snap NFL single-season rookie sacks record]

On the other side of the ball, Bosa is tied for fourth in the entire league with seven sacks in seven games. He leads the NFL with 11 tackles for loss and has 13 QB hits. 

The debate is far from over as far as whether Murray or Bosa should have been the first pick in the draft. For now, fans can sit back and enjoy the show. Thursday night should be a treat.

Derek Carr praises Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock for Raiders' rookie class

Derek Carr praises Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock for Raiders' rookie class

One week after the Raiders announced Mike Mayock as their general manager, the former longtime NFL draft analyst found his first assignment: The College Football Playoff National Championship. 

Clearly, he liked what he saw at Levi's Stadium. The Raiders selected four players -- defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and receiver Hunter Renfrow -- from the national championship. These players came from winning college programs in Clemson and Alabama, and it showing on and off the field.

Quarterback Derek Carr has taken notice to the maturity of the Raiders' rookie class, giving a round of applause to Mayock and coach Jon Gruden.

"They already understand what it means to be a top-level pro, and their effort and determination is there. The only thing that's gonna stop them is circumstance. These guys are completely understanding of what it means to be a professional at this league, and you have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Mayock and coach Gruden," Carr said on the Raider Cody Podcast.

"They sought these guys out. They interviewed them. They obviously went through that rigorous process with the draft and things like that." 

Mayock and Gruden's draft picks are panning out so far for the 3-2 Raiders.

Jacobs looks like a future star and already has 430 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. He also has added another 77 yards receiving. Renfrow ranks third on the team in receptions (12) and receiving yards (101). Ferrell missed last game with a concussion. He has 10 tackles, one sack and three tackles for a loss. 

Even late-round draft picks like defensive end Maxx Crosby and tight end Foster Moreau look like contributors for years to come. 

[RELATED: Raiders mailbag: Crosby is high among standout rookies]

Carr and the Raiders are enjoying their bye week after a big Week 5 win over the Bears in London. The QB is staying in shape, though, and had tight end Derek Carrier over for a home workout this week. One of the first subjects they brought up was the team's rookies. 

"They're all professionals. You don't look at these guys as rookies, they're just pros," Carr said. "They get it. They're able to contribute, they know their weaknesses, they know their flaws, they're OK admitting their flaws." 

Through the early portion of the season, the Raiders have surprised many with a winning record after an offseason full of drama and headaches. And their rookies are a big reason why.

Former 49ers sixth-round NFL draft pick Kaden Smith claimed by Giants

Former 49ers sixth-round NFL draft pick Kaden Smith claimed by Giants

The New York Giants on Monday claimed former 49ers tight end Kaden Smith off waivers.

The 49ers waived Smith on Saturday to promote running back Jeff Wilson from the practice squad to help compensate for the loss of Tevin Coleman to a high-ankle sprain.

The move paid immediate dividends for the 49ers, as Wilson was active for the game and scored his first two career touchdowns on runs of 2 and 4 yards. He gained 34 yards on 10 rushing attempts.

[RELATED: Why Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Skule]

The 49ers planned to re-sign Smith to the practice squad if he cleared waivers. Smith was a 2019 sixth-round draft pick from Stanford. He made the 49ers’ initial 53-man roster as the team’s fourth tight end behind George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo.

Smith caught four passes for 44 yards during the preseason.