49ers 2017 draft class struggles in second year in NFL
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — As Eli Manning drove the New York Giants down the field for the game-winning touchdown in the latest loss for San Francisco, two players expected to be foundation pieces for the 49ers defense were only spectators.
Reuben Foster missed his 10th game in two seasons because of injuries and suspension and fellow 2017 first-round pick Solomon Thomas remained on the sideline because he's not good enough to be on the field at crunch time.
49ers TE Kittle, RB Breida out for rest of preseason
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and backup running back Matt Breida both separated their shoulders in the exhibition opener and will miss the rest of the preseason.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday that he expects both players to be ready to return in time for the season opener Sept. 9 at Minnesota.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Solomon Thomas knows the pain of having a loved one take her own life after his older sister killed herself this offseason.
Thomas and his family now want to use the anguish from Ella Thomas' death on Jan. 23 for a good cause by raising awareness about the dangers of depression and trying to prevent other suicides.
49ers optimistic about rookie Thomas despite sack total
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Early in his rookie season, Solomon Thomas felt the pressure of being the No. 3 overall pick, knowing 49ers fans were expecting the defensive lineman to post big numbers for a team needing to upgrade its pass rush.
But as Thomas' first season winds down, with the 49ers' finale coming Sunday against the Rams, he's encouraged by his development, even if he has just three sacks.
"I just calmed down and focused on playing football and having fun," Thomas said.
49ers to develop 4 rookie starters on defense
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — When the 49ers take the field Sunday against the Giants, they could have three defensive rookies starting who began the season as backups.
That's just the way their 0-9 season has gone.
The youth movement in Kyle Shanahan's first season as coach began on offense, with rookie C.J. Beathard taking over under center from Brian Hoyer.
Banged-up 49ers will place S Ward, T Gilliam on IR
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — About the only thing piling up faster than the losses for the winless San Francisco 49ers is the injuries.
Coach Kyle Shanahan opened his Monday news conference by updating the health status of nine players. The most notable of those were starting safety Jimmie Ward heading to injured reserve with a broken arm and backup right tackle Garry Gilliam going to IR with a knee injury.
49ers DL Arik Armstead to have surgery on broken hand
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Defensive lineman Arik Armstead broke his hand during the 49ers' loss in Washington and will need surgery, coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday.
Armstead, a first-round pick in 2015, will miss significant time for a second straight season after having shoulder surgery that cost him the final eight games of 2016. He may go on injured reserve, where he would join fellow defensive ends Tank Carradine (ankle) and Ronald Blair (wrist).
When a player is drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, many fans believe that he is supposed to have an instant impact.
No nostalgia for Goff as he leads Rams back to Bay Area
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Jared Goff knows what to expect Thursday.
The Los Angeles Rams quarterback played at Levi's Stadium in college against future San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. Goff also faced fellow first-round picks Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas during his college career. And the former California star isn't caught up in his return to the Bay Area and another chance to play in front of familiar faces.
Stanford roomies ready to meet up when Panthers face 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Solomon Thomas shared a suite with Christian McCaffrey in college at Stanford, played heated games against him in Connect Four, and they helped lead the Cardinal to great success on the field as future top 10 picks in the NFL draft.
With both players set to make their pro debut Sunday when McCaffrey and Carolina visit Thomas and San Francisco, the 49ers rookie defensive lineman will get the opportunity to do something he always wanted at practice in college.
49ers Preview Capsule
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-14)
New faces: Coach Kyle Shanahan, QB Brian Hoyer, WR Pierre Garcon, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Aldrick Robinson, DE Elvis Dumervil, DT Earl Mitchell, RB Kyle Juszczyk, OL Laken Tomlinson, K Robbie Gould, DC Robert Saleh; rookies DL Solomon Thomas, LB Reuben Foster, QB C.J. Beathard, TE George Kittle.
No. 14 Stanford opens against Rice in Sydney, Australia
No. 14 Stanford (10-3) vs. Rice (3-9) at Sydney, Australia, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Stanford minus 31.
Series: Rice leads 3-2.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Stanford begins life without running back Christian McCaffrey, who was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers. Big favorites against Rice, things get tougher for Stanford after a week off, playing Pac-12 favorite Southern California on Sept. 9. Rice gave up a home game in Houston to travel Down Under for the College Football Sydney Cup.
US college football returns Down Under for 2nd year in a row
Despite losing two of its top players to the NFL as top 10 draft picks, Stanford will be favored against Rice when U.S. college football returns Down Under for the second year in a row on Aug. 27 in Sydney.
49ers rookies shine in exhibition opener
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco's rookie class made a positive first impression.
Led by first-round defensive standouts Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster, the 49ers had to be pleased with what they saw from a strong draft class and a few undrafted free agents in a 27-17 exhibition opener victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night.
Stanford seeks to replace top 10 picks McCaffrey, Thomas
STANORD, Calif. (AP) — Few teams have to deal with losing as much top-end talent as Stanford.
With record-setting running back Christian McCaffrey and disruptive defensive end Solomon Thomas off in the NFL as top 10 draft picks, the Cardinal have major holes to fill if they want to improve on last season's 10-3 mark and get back to the Pac-12 title game.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Solomon Thomas signed his contract, rushed to the locker room to throw on a jersey and cleats, and ran out to the field to join the rest of his San Francisco 49ers teammates at the first training camp practice under coach Kyle Shanahan.
"It was amazing to get out here and be here Day 1 with my team," Thomas said Friday. "I'm just very glad we got this done as quickly as possible."
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas and now have all 10 of the team's 2017 draft picks under contract.
San Francisco general manager John Lynch had been encouraged the deal could get done ahead of the team's first training camp practice Friday.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Reuben Foster has been cleared to go for the San Francisco 49ers after missing the offseason program rehabilitating his injured right shoulder. The status of San Francisco's other first-round pick remains in doubt on the eve of the first training camp practice.
San Francisco 49ers training camp capsule
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-14)
OPEN CAMP: July 28, SAP Performance Facility, Santa Clara, California
49ers sign first-round pick Reuben Foster
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed first-round pick Reuben Foster to a four-year deal.
The deal announced Friday gives San Francisco eight of its 10 draft picks under contract. No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas and quarterback C.J. Beathard, their third-round selection, remain unsigned.
Three-time Super Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey's only previous trip to Australia came as a member of the Denver Broncos in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers in 1999.
McCaffrey was back Down Under on Thursday to run an American football combine for media and personalities to help promote the Sydney Cup between his alma mater, Stanford University, and Rice, on Aug. 27. The game is set for the 45,500-seat Sydney Football Stadium, just minutes from downtown.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have signed third-round draft pick Ahkello Witherspoon to a four-year deal.
With the deal announced on Friday, San Francisco now has seven of its 10 draft picks under contract.
I feel like a hypocrite.
For weeks, and all day Thursday, I told anyone who would listen — most people aren't interested in listening to me, but I digress — that the Bears needed to take the quarterback. In fact, when writing it, I was super dramatic about it.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Having used his first two picks to shore up the front end of San Francisco's defense a day earlier, John Lynch turned his attention to the secondary while continuing to bolster his growing reputation as the busiest general manager in the draft.
The 49ers drafted Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on Friday with the 66th overall pick then made two more trades, the last of which they used to move back into the third round to grab Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — John Lynch came out of his first draft as an NFL general manager with two of the top three players on San Francisco's board and a couple of extra picks to boot.
The rookie general manager would have had a hard time scripting the day any better. He traded down one spot to No. 3 to get Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and then packaged one of the extra picks from that deal with his own second-rounder to get Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster at 31.
In New England, the first round of the draft has been boring recently — with the Patriots stripped of last year’s pick and having dealt this year’s for Brandin Cooks. There is still a bit of intrigue, however, if they decide to trade Malcolm Butler, Jimmy Garoppolo or some other asset to jump back in.
NFL draft prospects thumbnail scouting reports
Scouting some of the top prospects available in the NFL draft that will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia ((asterisk)-denotes early entrant):
(asterisk)Myles Garrett, 6-4, 272, Texas A&M
Notable: All-American last season and one of the best pass rushers in the country, despite some nagging injuries.
Sum-it-up-in-a-sentence scouting report: Elite speed, quickness and strength add up to a potentially dominant pass rusher with only the need to stay on the field more.
Stanford DL Solomon Thomas declares for NFL draft
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas will leave school early to enter the NFL draft.
Thomas said Wednesday that he will bypass his final two seasons of eligibility to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. Thomas is projected by some experts as a first-round pick.