49ers turn focus to offense on Day 2 of NFL draft

South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel (1) breaks away for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers had the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL last season.

Their leading receiver, Kendrick Bourne, gained just 487 receiving yards. The 49ers were the only team in the NFL that didn’t have at least one receiver gain at least 500 receiving yards in 2018. And on Feb. 14, 2019, they parted ways with their most experienced receiver, Pierre Garcon.

To fix their wide receiver problem, the 49ers drafted not one but two receivers Thursday night. They took South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel with the fourth pick in Round 2, and Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd with the third pick in Round 3.

“We obviously don’t know how things are going to fall (in the draft), but these are two guys we felt very good about,” general manager John Lynch said in the 49ers auditorium Thursday evening. “There were other players we felt very good about as well, but these were the targets.”

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This article has 55 Comments

    1. I seriously doubt anyone is telling Shanahan who to draft at wide receiver given that’s the position he played and knows best.
      Btw Seb, Shanahan isnt refusing to use an OC. Paraag runs a statistical analysis of all the most successful plays to run in that situation and tells him what to run.

      1. This has Paraag’s fingerprints all over this. Only analytics could have convinced KS to reach at 67, a 313th ranked player.
        .
        Quit trollin’ me. Paraag may give the stats, but I saw innovative plays, that KS devised, and if they were so successful previously, why did they not work just as successfully? Maybe because the other team has the exact same analytics formula, so being inscrutable and unpredictable is the best strategy. KS is calling the plays, and no one is dictating what play to run. That is why KS does not think he needs an OC, he calls his own plays.
        .
        Paraag as OC? Nice one. Being an OC is way more involved than just play calling. Paraag is not preparing the offense. They would laugh at him. Paraag wants to sit with his buddy, Jed. OCs have to work during the game.

        1. You have the 49ers rankings or is there a Universal ranking for the draft prospects available :/

          Of course, I was making fun of you. You lay the blame of everything that goes wrong personnel related at the feet of Paraag. Insinuating that Lynch, Shanahan and the scouts have less control over the draft. I am really glad his analytics found Kittle when everyone else passed on him then. However I think he needs to check his number-crunching machine because Butler and Boykins both have better height/weight/speed numbers at a similar size.

          1. I thought it was hilarious when they mentioned getting back from their press conference so they could pry Paraag’s hands away from the phone.
            .
            Actually, I think it was CJB who helped find Kittle. Kinda like how Dwight Clark was discovered.
            .
            They do not stare at numbers all day to derive their draft board. The Coaches found Deebo by watching the Senior bowl practices, and the scouts helped a lot, I assume.
            .
            Of course I knew you were trying to get my goat, but glad you were not obnoxious doing it.

  1. 49ers offense needed some talent at WR. I expected the team to draft two WRs by the end of the 4th round. Big fan of Samuel, I think he’s going to be a great fit at z.

    Hurd was definitely a surprise this high, but he’s very talented. Would have been a high pick as a RB. Offers a lot of upside and versatility. Seen a few people on here suggest a Delanie Walker type role and I could definitely see that. But tbh I think he’ll spend more time split wide or in the slot than Walker did, and he’ll get some carries, while I doubt he will be used as a blocker much.

  2. No idea how Hurd will do as a Receiver (H-Back, Tight End, Tailback) for the 49ers, but its a treat watching him abuse defenders as running back for Tennessee. Great change of direction for (at the time) a 240 pound player.

    1. I think they should have nabbed Greedy or Grants CB the Pats nabbed in the 2nd and Hakeem Butler in 3rd but hey whatever.
      I guess they feel corner is covered so… we’ll see.

      1. Fly Johnson – Yes, Grant did hit BIG on some of his Gems.

        Tytus Howard OT from Alabama went at #23 over several more highly touted O-linemen.

        Joejuan Williams of Vandy, another of Grant’s Gems, actually went before Greedy Williams who was touted as a first rounder by some of the draft experts. Great pick by Belichick, who knows something about defense and winning Super Bowls.

        Jamel Dean of Auburn, another of Grant’s Gems, went to the Bucs in round 3 at #94.

        Also, Grant hit on the trade of Josh Rosen to the Dolphins.

  3. Hurd has TE written all over him.
    My guess when they picked him and obviously studied his versatility. They saw TE to match Kittle.

    So for those whining about CB.
    Nobody else was in meetings with any of the CB they’ve talked with. We have no clue on how they felt about them.
    And by the time they had their second and third pick nobody was a lock to even make the team.
    They have to be thinking the pass rush will help the secondary this season, they’re putting some stick into their FA addition and his health. They have capable back ups already. CB was a need, but so was receiver, and I’ll go back to Hurd who I don’t think they believe is a receiver, more of a slash guy who can play TE. And if they picked him for the redzone problems I wouldn’t be mad at that either. None of the CB stood out to me in this draft.
    Let’s see how the front 7 do before making judgments already.
    Very difficult to throw to one side of the field when you got Sherman on one side and a barrage of potential sacks coming in on every down. On most plays the 49ers should make other teams play short yardage football.

    If the secondary can’t handle that then you draft cb next year first.
    They wasn’t going to fix every hole. They went all out on defense this offseason.
    When Kittles is doubled all game most will be saying why didn’t they address WR.
    It’s a no win for JL and KS for some on here.
    Remember you’re sitting at home typing on this blog for a reason.
    That’s all I have to say about this.
    Draft so far is an A- for me so far.

    1. Here’s hoping Lynch knows a lot about current DBs that was not easy to see last year.

      The zero pass rush and lack of coordination in backfield made it almost impossible to assess any one new DB;
      but it seemed that some of them looked to have superior skills than others that are higher on depth chart.

    2. Very good points, ninermd……….

      one additional thought-their secondary coach last year with those rooks did nothing for their fundamental development. Coach Wood will do so.

  4. C Gardner-Johnson, Hakeem Butler, Deionte Johnson, Mack Wilson, Amani Oruwariye, Kelven Harmon, Joe Jackson, Vosean Joseph, Michael Jordan, Emmanuel Hall, Riley Ridley, Yodny Cajuste, Amani Hooker, Renell Wren are all in the top 100 of the Draftek big board.

    I hope they select Amani Oruwariye CB.

  5. So far I am not loving this draft with the exception of Bosa.
    Deebo is a good player and I like him but I’m just not sure he had great value there, he certainly wasnt the BPA in my mind.
    Hurd is the only prediction I got right with this draft (the 49ers will make at least one head-scratching pick in the first 3 rounds). I just dont love him as a player and believe he could have been had a round later.

    With all that said Shanahan clearly has traits he wants in a wr and has a plan for how he will use them. It is the position he knows best given its the one he played in college and all of these guys can run after the catch. I just think he over valued these ones.

  6. I’LL ADD THIS HERE:

    Funny; on Grant’s blog post about his appearance on Larry Krueger’s radio show, I wrote a long screed about positions the Niners would be concentrating on, and some players they could consider. For receiver, my dark horse candidate was Jalen Hurds (I did think he would not go until the 6th round).

    However, the reason I had Hurds listed as a dark horse was because there is something there with him. Gives 100% every time out. Athletic ability, starting as a running back and then becoming a receiver (and actually, was a really good and explosive running back at Tennessee). Knew he was new to the receiver position, so would be rough in regard to route running ability. But man, has the grit and talent to definitely show in the NFL. Has great size, can shield off defenders with his body, and knows what to do with the ball after the catch based on his running back experience. Definitely could see him as a Big Slot for the Niners, or split wide in the red zone for jump balls for touchdowns.

    The thing we should have all picked up is what I commented on leading up to the draft: the Niners did not meet or have private workouts with a lot of defensive backs that had 1st or 2nd round grades (only a couple; the Niners did meet with a lot of defensive backs with 6th, 7th, and undrafted free agent grades), but did spend a lot of time with a lot of different receivers. In other words, receiver was going to be a point of emphasis, and the FO and coaches were content enough with their defensive backfield depth chart to believe they only need bodies to fill out the roster and possibly hit at the back of the draft.

    BTW, WAY TO GO SHARKS. 2ND ROW ON THE ICE; NOTHING LIKE PLAYOFF HOCKEY.

    1. Last year, they were content with their pass rush too. See how that turned out!

      With only six picks and so many holes to fill…

      1. Sour Yeast: I understand the trepidation. You will note I liked Hurd as a dark horse, but somewhere along the 6th round. So, while I am intrigued and knew the Niners were interested, I also agree the pick was high.

        I too am not as secure in the defensive backfield as the Niners appear to be (my comment about Ward, Exum, Colbert, and Reed being a handful of pennies). I preferred A.J. Brown over Samuel, but not so significantly as to think Samuel was a bad pick.

        Instead of Hurd, if they wanted an offensive skill position, I would have gone with Jace Sternberger at Tight End. I note that Nate Davis, a guard from UNC Charlotte, went off the board at pick 82 (I had listed him as a guard to look at if the Niners waited until later rounds to address the position). Chase Winovich was a steal for the Patriots, though I guess another edge rusher would have been a luxury.

    2. That was a good call, 420. It’s clear Hurd can do a lot of things well and, since he’s just recently turned WR and is known for his work ethic, can be expected to improve at WR. This appears to be a low floor, high ceiling pick with unusual versatility and possibilities, including improving our odds in the red zone. He won’t start ahead of Matthews but I don’t think he’ll ride the bench either, especially at the goal line.

  7. I still think there will be trading of some players for draft picks. Armstead and Goodwin come to mind. I just can’t c them just sitting on the 3 picks and doing nothing else. Db’s and o-line should b priorities. and maybe a TE so we can move on from Celek. Of course with Hurd on the game day roster, I can see the team going with just 2 active. And remember that DJ Reed, Marcell Harris, George Kittle, Trent Taylor, and DJ Jones were all 5th and 6th round picks. So there is still work to do on Saturday.

    1. You make a good point that there still are good opportunities to come. I like Kittle, Taylor and Jones. I think Reed and Harris only played because of injuries and lack of talent.

  8. I hate drafting two receivers one after another but for the love of God use a third round pick on a third round prospect. Hurd is just a mess technically and is going to be a long term project who might after a few seasons turn into a good receiving tight end. Might. Probably wont.

    Not a player you use a third round pick on. Far, far better choices left in the wide receiver department not to mention addressing a bigger need in the defensive secondary.

    1. Yup, 49ers could have had Safety or CB help and still picked up Hurd in the 4th round. The kid is years away from having the skill set necessary to be a productive NFL WR or TE. Plus he quit on his college team. 49ers preach that they want solid character guys who are good in the locker room. Yet they draft guys who commit the worst locker room crime imaginable- quitting. I wouldn’t have a problem with Hurd transferring bc UT refused to allow a position switch. But Hurd left with games still to be played on the schedule. Many kids are pissed about playing time or not playing the position they want but those kids stick it out and finish the year. I have absolutely Zero respect for Jalen Hurd. The Hurd pick officially has cast me off the Lynch train. The 49ers need a strong, experienced GM to save Shanahan from his worst, “I’m smarter than everyone else” impulses.

            1. lol………..

              Sebs, your reaching for the Kaopectate with one hand and a fresh roll of terlit paper with the other!!!!
              One thing cannot be honestly denied–he knows a hell of a lot more about football than any of the people on this blog–and so does his father. Rumor has it that he bounces ideas off his fathers little bit of experience………
              Remember I said this, Sebs, and no sun zoo pivot tricks—they’ll go anywhere from a hard luck 6-10 to 9-7.

      1. Was thinking last night the 49ers have conducted coach driven drafts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems the 49ers over-target.

        The last three off-seasons the 49ers seem to grab 5 over paid/over drafted players for every 1 that’s a bargain.

        I’m not one of those guys that always screams “reach.” If a GM likes that player best, grab him even if he’s mocked lower.

        But a pattern is developing. What Shanny wants, Shanny gets.

        I once heard a GM say it’s best to target one, maybe two players every draft tops. By “target” I mean trading up or standing pat even if you think he will be there later. Target all the time and you miss out on value.

  9. Seems the team thinks fixing the pass rush also solves the secondary issues. They also seem to think the WR group is the weakest position on the team. Hurd feels like another reach for Lynch when he would probably been around later. Despite Seb claiming Lynch hasn’t made any mistakes this seems to be another reach, it’s an easy out to blame Paraag and not see the pattern here.

    I like the picks for the first 2 rounds. They will help the team. Maybe Lynch will trade Thomas or Armstead for a player of need?

    1. Maybe they believe they have better value in the upcoming rounds for our secondary Wilson.
      For sure they have a plan and a certain philosophy with taking 2 WR in a row.
      Paraag can have his opinion but the final call is for Lynch and Shanahan.

      1. Robber, they do have a plan for sure and they don’t take advice from anyone on this blog.

        In this particular area I agree with Grant. You rarely find high quality DB’s in the later rounds. Sherman is the exception. Witherspoon and Verrett are high picks but so many of our other DB’s are not. If either one of those guys pans out with an improved pass rush things will be golden. Ward and Tartt are high picks but don’t play to their draft positions. I am interested in what they do next. The rest of our DB’s are backups.

  10. I thought rounds 2-3 would be a window into how the 49ers self scouted.

    Much of the fan base (including myself) thought defensive backfield was the more pressing need. Yesterday was a chance to accelerate the rebuild by filling two premium defensive positions, edge and corner, in a single draft.

    Lynch and Shanahan thought otherwise. Looks like they want to give T. Moore and and Witherspoon a chance to develop.

    1. Be interesting to know how Saleh figures in the picks. Specifically who is it that feels that our current secondary is better off than our receiving corps. Does he agree that a better pass rush is going to improve total incompetence in our secondary? (The record speaks for itself there) The thing that strikes me is all the positive things that have been said about our previous moves with respect to our receivers’ potential to develop. It’s clear to me that we never get more than total nonsense from the FO regarding our talent. Shoup predicted that one of our first three picks would have people scratching their heads. He sure nailed it IMO (although I count two for me).

      1. Yes. Another factor is the “Jimmy Ward effect.”

        Ward is a smart, engaging film study fanatic. Coaches fall in love with him. I wonder how many times his roster presence stopped a GM from taking a defensive back?

      2. Maybe it was simply a case that the 49ers chose players based primarily on talent and not need. Remember that all those the draft analysis that the rest of us have access to online and the ranking of talent isn’t the same as each team’s ranking of talent. The internet’s ranking of draft prospect talent isn’t gospel for NFL teams. It’s simply a good frame work for the rest of us.

  11. Deionte Thompson and CGJ have to be at the top of the list, followed by Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston, David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin.

  12. Fourth Round Preferences:

    1. Amani Oruwariye, CB Penn State. Has requisite length and above-average top end speed. Great ball skills, given he has seven interceptions over the last two years.
    2. Dru Samia, G Oklahoma. A leader on their impressive offensive line, has the light feet and loose limbs that fit better in outside zone running scheme (able to move better from an athletic point of view) than Michael Jordan, G/C Ohio State, even though Jordan ranks higher on the board. I just really want to replace Person and Tomlinson.
    3. Isaiah Johnson, CB Houston. Great height/weight/speed matrix, needs more experience at cornerback and better tackling skills (having been a receiver).
    4. D’Andrew Walker, OLB Georgia. Can play SAM in base defense. Can provide pass rush also
    5. Trade Back to pick up 5th round pick.

    Not a Chauncey Gardner-Thompson fan as a free safety (I think he projects better as a slot corner). I don’t know if Lukas Denis will be available when we pick in the 6th round, but he’s worth a look with his ball skills (former wide receiver) and athleticism (needs to work on tackling).

  13. Our D-line should make our O-line better during training camp. I can read it now – Bosa taking it too McGlinchey, its not that Bosa is good its how bad McGlinchey is or it will read Bosa cant penetrate McGlinchey its not that McGlinchey is good its that Bosa is that bad. Its a no win situation for Bosa and McGlinchey during training camp.

    I didn’t do any due diligence with the draft this year so I can not make any judgements concerning any individual players. I wanted to see Edge, CB, WR, OL, out of this draft.

    I am really intrigued with the Hurd pick.

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