New York Giants

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.

Colin Kaepernick, Odell Beckham Jr. sync up on practice field in video

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AP

Colin Kaepernick, Odell Beckham Jr. sync up on practice field in video

The 2019 NFL regular season officially begins tomorrow, and Colin Kaepernick is not on a team. It'll mark the third consecutive year that's been the case, but all the while, the former 49ers quarterback has been staying ready should an opportunity come his way.

On the last day before the 'real' games begin, Kaepernick issued a reminder of that fact, posting a workout video on Twitter from the 917th day since he was "denied work".

And, based on his workout partner, safe to say Kaepernick is still preparing with and against legitimate NFL speed and talent. His primary receiver in the video was none other than new Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Kaepernick and Beckham Jr. connect for several acrobatic catches throughout the video. They appear to be enjoying each other's company, and who wouldn't on the gorgeous UCLA campus.

While Kaepernick previously played for San Francisco, Beckham Jr. reportedly came close to being a 49er, as well. San Francisco pursued a trade for the dynamic receiver for months, but the New York Giants' asking price proved prohibitive. Consequently, Beckham Jr. ended up in Cleveland, despite the fact that the 49ers reportedly would have topped the Browns' offer.

[RELATED: Jay-Z puts credibility on the line with NFL partnership]

While the Browns, Giants and 49ers have added the likes of Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo over the last couple of seasons, it's not as if those franchises have experienced steady quarterback play over the span in which Kaepernick has been out of the NFL. Perhaps in a parallel universe, the Kaepernick-Beckham Jr. connection flourished within an actual NFL game, and not just on a practice field.

2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville

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USATSI

2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville

After an offseason of hype, the 2019 NFL Draft is over. 

The Arizona Cardinals removed the "presumptive" tag from No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, allowing the 49ers to draft edge rusher Nick Bosa at No. 2. The Raiders entered the draft with more first-round picks than anyone else, and still managed to turn heads with their first selection. 

But now that the dust has settled, which teams had a weekend to remember in Nashville? And who, like plenty of bachelor-and-bachelorette party-goers in the city, had one they wanted to forget? 

Here are the winners and losers from this year's draft. 

Loser: New York Giants

Forgive us for repeating ourselves. If you squint closely, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones does kind of look like Eli Manning. Plus, he learned under David Cutcliffe, who recruited Eli to Ole Miss and groomed Peyton Manning at Tennessee.

But even if Jones wouldn't have been there when the G-Men picked in the spot acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, they almost surely could have traded back a little farther, considering Dwayne Haskins slipped to NFC East rival Washington at No. 15.

The draft is all about maximizing value, and although Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was able to trade back into the first round, the full-scale rebuild he's undergoing probably could have used some extra picks for moving back or the alternative to Jones at No. 6.

Winner: Washington

Washington drafted the better quarterback prospect than its division rival, and didn't have to move up to do it. That'd be a win no matter how the rest of the draft looked, but Washington also reportedly scooped the Raiders by trading up to select Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat to bolster its pass rush. 

Couple those first-rounders with strong value in Stanford running back Bryce Love (No. 112 overall) and bringing in one of Haskins' favorite targets, Terry McLaurin, and you have the makings of a strong draft.

Were the last three days in Nashville considered "Opposite Weekend," or are we seeing a changing of fortunes in the NFC East? 

Loser: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are Going For It, but having just five picks in the draft -- and not owning a first-rounder for the first time since 2012 -- could sting down the line if QB Drew Brees can't continue to fend off Father Time into his 40s.

There's also the matter of losing in the most heartbreaking way possible in January's NFC Championship game. New Orleans remains loaded and in position to make another run at a Super Bowl, but if there ever was a time to show off a shiny new first-round pick, wouldn't getting the taste of a missed pass-interference call out of its mouths qualify? 

[RELATED: How writers graded 49ers' eight picks in 2019 NFL Draft]

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Surprises forced their hand a bit at the top of the draft, but in a good way. Jones' selection at No. 6 and the Raiders picking Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 allowed the Jaguars to scoop up Kentucky star Josh Allen at No. 7 overall. 

Jacksonville also was able to snag Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round at No. 35 overall, despite projections he could be a first-round pick. Drafting Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew in the sixth round was another example of the Jaguars letting the draft board fall to them, rather than trying to dictate it themselves. 

Loser: Quarterbacks

Lately, it seems QB-needy NFL teams can talk themselves into any draft class into being good enough. That wasn't exactly the case this year. 

Murray, Jones and Haskins were the only quarterbacks selected in the first round. As ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted, this was just the second time since 2004 that no team made a first-round trade to draft a QB. 

Some of that surely has to do with Haskins sliding, as Washington didn't feel the need to trade up. Still, given all the talk about teams Taking For Tua [Tagovailoa] or having a Losing Season For [Washington QB Jacob] Eason, it's clear that the teams picking felt the same away about this crop of signal-callers that many pundits did.