Could 49ers’ entire draft class make roster?

It may be years before we know whether Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are the Pro Bowl linemen the 49ers hope they are, or whether S Taylor Mays and LB NaVorro Bowman can be long-term NFL starters.
By one measure, though, the 49ers’ 2010 draft is shaping up to be a success: It’s looking highly likely that all eight picks will make the 53-man roster.

September 1, 2010

Mays: ‘I should be the best right now’

Taylor Mays finally had that conversation with Pete Carroll.
Their father/son relationship seemed to go south on draft day, when the new Seahawks coach drafted another safety, Texas’ Earl Thomas, instead of his star from USC. Mays went to the 49ers in Round 2 and immediately complained that Carroll had misled him about what he needed to do to become a first-round pick. It was great theater, probably more memorable to writers than to the central characters.
Last month, the two finally spoke by phone.

August 12, 2010

49ers’ new game: Where’s Kentwan?

Where’s Kentwan?
DL Kentwan Balmer was nowhere to be seen for the 49ers’ afternoon practice. In fact, none of the writers were sure Balmer had been there for the a.m. practice. It’s a statement on Balmer’s lack of development that you can watch two hours of field action and not remember if you saw No. 96 or not.
“He and I have to talk, and kind of figure some things out,” Singletary said after the p.m. practice. “And I don’t want to go any further than that right now.”

August 9, 2010

Davis, Iupati looking like starters

It didn’t come with a press release or a proclamation. In fact, because no one with authority on the subject has addressed the media since Thursday, when head coach Mike Singletary spoke at Cal State Monterey Bay, it hasn’t even been officially confirmed.
But to the naked eye, it looks a lot like rookie offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati have joined the starters.

August 9, 2010

How Taylor Mays became a film buff

With a sizable chip on his shoulder (at least if you judge by the barbs aimed at Pete Carroll on draft day), a new style to learn and a lot to prove in the NFL, it made sense that Taylor Mays would be an early signing. He was neither early nor late, putting pen to paper this morning, a couple hours before he was scheduled to sit in his first meeting of training camp.
Now we know why Mays didn’t sign earlier: He had to wait for the player slotted directly in front of him, former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

July 30, 2010

49ers sign all their draft choices

The 49ers had a busy and encouraging Friday morning, signing all four of their top draft choices to contracts by 10:30 a.m.
Tackle Anthony Davis, the No. 13 overall pick, signed a five-year deal worth as much as $26.5 million, with nearly $16 million of it guaranteed (as first reported by ESPN). Guard Mike Iupati, taken four picks later, bagged a five-year deal of his own that will bring a maximum of $18.25 million, with $10.8 million guaranteed (first reported by NFL Network).
Safety Taylor Mays (second round) and linebacker NaVorro Bowman (third) each signed a four-year contract. Money figures were not immediately available.

July 30, 2010

Mays, Bowman stealing spotlight from first-rounders

Tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati were the objects of Niners’ fans obsession as offseason practices got underway. How big were these guys? Could they move? How were they looking in action? Were they ready to start? How about now? And now??
With the 49ers working without pads throughout OTAs, rookie camp and mini-camp, all of the questions regarding the first-round offensive linemen were answered with definite maybes.
Meanwhile, second-round pick Taylor Mays and third-rounder Navorro Bowman were stealing the show.

June 23, 2010

Byham thinks he’s right where he needs to be

When Nate Byham showed up for his rookie camp with the 49ers, he quickly learned which play would be the team’s bread and butter: 60/70 Power, a basic handoff that defines coordinator Jimmy Raye’s power offense.
The first few days of offseason practices can be a ball of confusion for NFL rookies. But this particular task didn’t trouble Byham at all.
“We called it 16/17 Power (at Pittsburgh),” the tight end said last week. “Pretty much the same thing. All our rules and all our blocking assignments are exactly the same, so it’s easy for me to translate on plays like that.”

June 22, 2010

Davis, Iupati get first-team reps

Tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati reached a milestone today. Each took reps with the 49ers’ first-team offense, Davis on the right side and Iupati on the left.
That marked the first time the first-round draft choices had taken on the look of starters in 2010. But they weren’t limited to those reps. Davis and Iupati both got time with the second team as well, making for a very busy day for the No. 11 and No. 17 overall picks, respectively, in this year’s draft.

June 7, 2010

Ready to bring out ‘the best linebacker that’s in Navorro’

Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes form one of the savviest and most physical sets of inside linebackers in the NFL. But Spikes is 33 years old, heading into his 13th NFL season out of Auburn. The 49ers need to groom a replacement. Maybe Matt Wilhelm or Scott McKillop will emerge as the third man. Or maybe it will be Navorro Bowman. Here’s a Q&A with the third-round pick out of Penn State.

May 3, 2010

Rookies’ first task: watch and learn

Interesting sight at the 49ers’ voluntary OTA this morning: the team’s new rookies, both drafted and undrafted, sitting around in T-shirts and shorts, watching the veterans practice. Mike Singletary wanted the young cats to see how an NFL practice is conducted – which explains why the team changed the original schedule and set up a veteran OTA on the same day as a rookie minicamp.

April 30, 2010

Baalke Film Festival: the reviews

My eyes are bloodshot. My skin is sallow. I can see visions of Navorro Bowman when the lights dim. Yes, I just got out of the inaugural Trent Baalke Film Festival, 80 minutes of nonstop football action, rewind, nonstop football action, rewind, nonstop football action. Here’s the rundown.

April 29, 2010

Did 49ers say they were drafting Bulaga?

Did the 49ers tell Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga they were going to draft him before they traded up to snag another offensive tackle, Anthony Davis? That’s what it says in this Green Bay Press Gazette story. The assertion is unattributed, but you’d have to figure it came from Bulaga. Oh, and one other nugget from the article: Bulaga doesn’t like San Francisco. Enjoy your cheese curds.

April 29, 2010

Baalke meeting; bring ya popcorn

Director of player personnel Trent Baalke will offer a guided film session for the media tomorrow afternoon in Santa Clara. He’ll be dimming the lights and breaking down the 49ers’ draft picks, showing us what convinced the team to take these guys in the first place. Can’t wait. We should get to meet with some of the new guys later that day.

April 28, 2010