I focused mostly on Joe Staley’s retirement in today’s draft wrap. We’ll use up miles of bandwidth talking about Trent Williams over the next few weeks.
Right now, let’s get to some of the ancillary players the 49ers welcomed today. Here are portions of the official John Lynch / Kyle Shanahan transcript for this afternoon’s Zoom. Because the draft didn’t end after the third round.
Shanahan on the backup plan at offensive tackle:
“One thing that was really cool was if the Washington deal didn’t go through, one of our Plan Bs was to try to draft Colton [McKivitz] there in the fourth round, and then we made that risk to move that to go up and get the receiver we wanted. Then we did end up getting Trent and to still be able to get him [McKivitz] in the fifth round was a hell of a deal. We felt really excited about how today went.
Shanahan on whether prospect evaluation changed because of the uncertain summer:
“No, it doesn’t change it. I mean, you bring it up and you talk about it, but you can’t bank everything on the first five weeks of the year. So, it’s just kind of unfortunate. What was different there, at least, we could talk with the rookies and stuff. Once you drafted them, you could actually do things with those guys a little bit, but you couldn’t get them in for OTAs and things like that and they were a little behind and it took them longer. 2011, it was so tough because you couldn’t work with anyone, but now we’re able to talk with everyone, be able to do stuff. It’ll be a challenge, but I think it’ll end up working out the same.”
Lynch on trading up to get McKivitz:
“The Dolphins called about Matt Breida during the process and he’s another guy, both Breida and Marquise [Goodwin] I should speak about, too. Both those guys have been with us from the start. Breida, an undrafted free agent, has given to this organization in an unbelievable fashion. He’s been really good for us and a really valuable member, both with his play and his makeup. We wish him the best. We did feel, though, that we had an opportunity to add to the offensive line for the long term. The cool thing about the McKivitz, we feel like he’s got some ability to play tackle but also has some ability to slide down and play some guard. He’s a guy, during the process, the more we watched – that happens with a lot of guys – but the more you watch, the more you like. We just felt at that point, that was a good move for us to make.”
Shanahan on the 49ers’ offensive line depth:
“We also think if it didn’t work out in the draft or with Trent, we think Shon Coleman, we think [Daniel] Brunskill, we think [Justin] Skule. We have candidates and Colton’s another one. So, you add guys who can be possibilities to get to the position as an NFL player, and he’s one of them. We’re excited about him. We also like that if we don’t need him there or wherever we need him best, we do think he has the ability to play the other four positions too. That’s what we liked about him.”
Shanahan on TE Charlie Woerner’s ability as a receiver:
“Yeah. We always see some potential. I don’t know how many third down, double moves and stuff we’re going to design for him or jet sweeps like some of stuff Kittle gets and things like that. We brought him in here to take the role that we’ve always had someone have, whether it’s [Garrett] Celek, whether it’s Levine [Toilolo], whether it’s Logan Paulsen. We’ve lost some of those guys. We got [Daniel] Helm on the roster and he’s done a hell of a job on the practice squad this year. We brought him up, I think the last three games of the year and after that we had three guys on the roster. To bring in a new tight end was important to us. We see him competing with Helm right there, trying to take on that Celek role, that Levine role, Logan Paulsen, which is a very important role for us. It majors around blocking, that’s what you do best, but if that’s all you do, is block then we’ll just get an O-Lineman to play your position instead. He’s got to have some pass skill and we definitely see that and we’re excited about him.”
Shanahan on WR Jauan Jennings:
“Jennings was a guy that we knew he’d be right there at the end. He didn’t have the best combine grade outs. When you do that, sometimes you’re always guessing, is it going to be anywhere from the fifth round to a free agent? When you watch this tape, you know a lot of people in this league are going to love him. He was one of our most favorite guys to watch. He’s a bulldog. He usually plays in the slot. I feel like he could probably play linebacker if he wants. He’s willing to fight everybody out there. He fights for yards. He makes plays and there’s a mindset to that guy that you don’t have to talk to him to hear about. You can watch it on the silent tape and you know what type of football player he is. When you have guys like that, they usually end up being pretty special. Now, he has some reasons why we got him here and where we did. That’s why he’s going to have to come in and prove himself to make this team because we’ve got a good group of receivers. With the way he plays, the attitude he plays with out there with, the physicality, he’s going to get himself a chance to make this team. I know he’s going to push these other guys pretty hard.”
Lynch on WR Jalen Hurd’s rehab:
“He’s doing really well. One of the benefits is that the rehab players have been able to be around the facility. They’ve been granted permission by the League. We take great precaution with all those things but Jalen is doing really well. He is cleared. We’re ramping him up. We are very optimistic. I don’t want to be overly optimistic because last year we saw some progress and then we had some setbacks. So, I’ll let that thing continue to take its place. He’s out, he’s running. He’s doing really well and we’re excited by that. Jalen’s 14 days that we’ve seen him were lights out. The problem is we’ve only seen him for 14 days. Jalen knows full well that he needs to work his tail off, so that he can get back and be a contributor and try to earn opportunities to be a contributor for our team moving forward. We love his skill set. We love his mindset. Now it’s time to put it all to work.”