49ers WR Jalen Hurd has been medically cleared from the stress fracture in his back that cost him his entire rookie season. "We're ramping him up. We are very optimistic,” GM John Lynch said. "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.” Hurd scored twice in last year's preseason opener before being sidelined with that back injury. The 6'4, 230-pound former RB remains an intriguing prospect -- and San Francisco's WR depth chart remains wide open behind Deebo Samuel and 1st-round rookie Brandon Aiyuk.
The 49ers added Tennessee WR Jauan Jennings in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 6’3, 215-pounder is a beast after the catch. He led all draft-eligible WRs with 30 missed tackles forced last year, per Pro Football Focus, and averaged a strong 8.0 yards after the catch. Jennings actually arrived at Tennessee as a dual-threat QB before moving to WR as a freshman. He didn’t break out until his 2019 senior campaign but did post big market shares — 30% receptions, 34% receiving yards, 42% receiving scores — and ranked 6th in yards per route run among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects. Jennings bombed at the Combine, posting an 8th percentile SPARQ score, but he looks more athletic on tape. The ‘Niners have built their passing game around run-after-catch guys — and Jennings fits the mold.
The 49ers traded up to select Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk with the 25th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Aiyuk is coming off a big 2019 campaign: 65 catches for 1,192 yards and 8 TDs. He ranked 15th in the country in receiving yards and 13th among players with 40+ grabs with 18.3 yards per catch. Aiyuk’s 3.04 yards per route run was good for 7th among 30 of this year’s top WR prospects. The concern is that 2019 qualified as his breakout season — and it came as a 21-year-old senior. Aiyuk spent his first 2 college seasons in JUCO and caught just 33 balls playing behind N’Keal Harry in 2018. Aiyuk did help his cause by earning an 89th percentile SPARQ score at 6’0, 205 pounds at the Combine. Quickness, burst and speed shows up on tape — especially after the catch, where Aiyuk averaged 10.9 yards last year. “He has ranginess to him, yet he’s compact enough where his change of direction is great,” an anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He’s really explosive on tape.” With Deebo Samuel the only locked-in WR in San Francisco, Aiyuk will have every opportunity to capture a big rookie-year role.
After moving down a spot in a trade with the Buccaneers, the 49ers spent the 14th pick of the NFL Draft on South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw. The former Gamecock totaled 10 sacks over the past 2 years but never reached 10 tackles for loss in a college season. Analysts cited inconsistent game tape. He lands in 1 of the league's best defenses, which should help hide deficiencies. We're not excited about Kinlaw's IDP upside, though.
NBC Sports' Matt Maiocco believes Jerick McKinnon is in line to be the 49ers' passing-down back in 2020. "McKinnon gives the 49ers something they previously lacked: A legitimate route-runner and third-down option out of the backfield," Maiocco writes. "If he’s healthy, McKinnon will have a spot on the team." Injuries have prevented McKinnon from playing a single game for the 49ers since they signed him ahead of the 2018 campaign. But San Francisco restructured his deal this offseason and evidently still has plans for him. McKinnon caught 94 balls over his final 2 seasons in Minnesota. Maiocco adds that Matt Breida is the 49ers RB most likely to be off the roster come Week 1.
The 49ers have inked WR Travis Benjamin to a 1-year deal. Injuries limited the 30-year-old to just 5 appearances for the Chargers last season. But Benjamin averaged over 14 yards per catch in each of his first 7 NFL campaigns. He'll provide a field-stretching threat for QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the 'Niners -- but Benjamin is a long shot to hold real fantasy value in 2020.
The 49ers on Monday announced a 5-year, $85 million extension for DE Arik Armstead, keeping him from hitting free agency. Armstead started his career a bit slowly, including missing 18 games across 2016-17. But he broke out with 10 sacks and 18 QB hits in his 5th season and won't turn 27 until mid-November. Expect Armstead to land in DL2 territory in our 2020 IDP rankings.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the 49ers have agreed to a 3-year, $28.5 million deal with S Jimmie Ward. The 28-year-old -- until mid-July -- is coming off the healthiest and strongest season among his 1st 6 in the league. In addition to staying on the field, Ward also settled in to a higher percentage of safety snaps than he played in 2018. Ward combines that role with some valuable slot-corner exposure to present IDP upside beyond last year's mediocre production.
49ers WR Jalen Hurd is expected to be ready for OTAs, according to The Athletic's Matt Barrows. Hurd missed his entire rookie season with a back injury. The 6’5, 226-pound RB-turned-WR flashed, though, with a 3-31-2 receiving line in the preseason opener. He remains an intriguing prospect, especially with WR Emmanuel Sanders set to hit free agency. We're not ready to spend a pick on Hurd in early best-ball drafts, but he's certainly worth monitoring this offseason.
49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) isn't listed on the final Super Bowl injury report after putting in a full practice on Friday. Raheem Mostert figures to get the 1st crack at lead duties after his massive NFC Championship, but this has been a hot-hand backfield for most of the season.
49ers RB Tevin Coleman (shoulder) got in a limited practice on Wednesday. He was knocked out of the NFC Championship with a dislocated shoulder but seemingly has a shot to play in Sunday's Super Bowl. We'll update his status again tomorrow.
49ers RB Tevin Coleman was knocked out in the 1st quarter of Sunday' NFC Championship with a shoulder injury. We don't have any further details at this point, but HC Kyle Shanahan believes Coleman has a shot to be ready for the Super Bowl. "I’m hoping he’ll be all right next week," Shanny said. "I don’t totally know yet. I know he’s not ruled out or anything. I think there will be a good chance (for him to go)." We won't get any official practice updates from the 'Niners until next week. The backfield has been the ultimate hot-hand situation this postseason, with Coleman controlling in the Divisional Round and Raheem Mostert exploding for a 29-220-4 rushing line in the win over the Packers.
Update: Shanahan said Monday afternoon that Coleman dislocated his shoulder and reiterated that Coleman has a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
49ers TE George Kittle (ankle) returned to a full practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. It's confirmation that he'll be ready for his usual role in this weekend's NFC Championship against the Packers.
49ers TE George Kittle was held out of Wednesday's practice with what's been reported as a sore ankle. This doesn't sound like something that'll impact his availability for this weekend's NFC Championship game vs. the Packers, but we'll continue to keep an eye on the situation.
49ers RB Raheem Mostert said he battled calf cramps in Saturday's Divisional Round game after being sick during the week. That might explain Tevin Coleman operating as San Francisco's lead back in the win over the Vikings -- although it seemed like Coleman was a big part of the game plan right from the get-go. He'll be the best fantasy bet in this backfield in the NFC Championship.
The 49ers on Friday activated LB Kwon Alexander (pectoral) from IR. He is expected to play today against the Vikings. NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Alexander's fill-in, rookie Dre Greenlaw, will continue to play a key role. It's not yet clear which guy will start and how much each will play. Fred Warner looks like the only San Francisco ILB who should be in your IDP lineups if you're setting those today. With Alexander back and DE Dee Ford potentially back (he's questionable after missing basically the past 6 games), the Niners' defense on whole could be at its strongest in weeks.
A Monday MRI revealed a Grade 2 strain to the right hamstring of 49ers CB Richard Sherman, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. That puts Sherman in doubt for Sunday's game against the Falcons and perhaps beyond. We'll see how he progresses, but make sure you have another option for the CB slot in your IDP lineup.
49ers K Robbie Gould (quad) put in a full week of practice and isn’t listed on the final injury report. He’ll return for Sunday’s game in Baltimore but isn’t a recommended fantasy play in that matchup.
49ers K Robbie Gould (quad) is inactive for tonight’s game against the Packers. Chase McLaughlin kicks again for San Francisco.
49ers TE George Kittle (knee) is officially active for tonight’s game against the Packers. On top of the knee issue, he’ll reportedly be playing through a broken bone in his ankle that still hasn’t fully healed. We’ll see how he holds up.
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