Jalen Hurd Jersey

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The San Francisco 49ers have doubled down on wide receiver. They selected Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd with the No. 67 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. I can’t say many of us saw this coming, but Hurd is a much different receiver than Deebo Samuel. Hurd is primarily a slot wide receiver, despite his 6-foot-5, 226 pound frame. He was also a former running back at the University of Tennessee.

A senior out of Baylor, Hurd stands 6 feet, four inches, and weighs 229 pounds. He has experience playing running back before wide receiver and that experience has some nice video of shrugging tackles like he just came through the offensive line. His time in the position does pose questions about the conversion to wide receiver but that seems to be a moot point. Knowing Kyle Shanahan, that running back experience may make Hurd be plugged in at the position for some mismatches as well.

The thing with Hurd is his ceiling. He has all the physical tools necessary to be an elite wide receiver in this league. He has long arms, good hands, and a daredevil mentality at catching balls when in a circus. At the same time, he does need development. Hurd’s route running is what will need work, and in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, success in that trait is paramount. Despite him also being a running back at one point, Hurd’s blocking will need significant work as well if he’s going to be on the field for stretches at at time.

The 49ers are going to have some decisions to make at wide receiver. They have Trent Taylor coming back from a back injury as well as Marquise Goodwin’s inconsistent health issues. They drafted Richie James and Dante Pettis in 2018 and signed Kendrick Bourne as an undrafted free agent in 2017. There’s also the recent acquisition of Jordan Matthews. They have Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd from 2019. That’s A LOT of people to feed and some tough cuts are going to be coming during training camp as the 49ers figure out what to do with this wide receiver unit going forward.

Deebo Samuel Jersey

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SANTA CLARA — The 49ers had their choice of all but two wide receivers in the NFL Draft when their turn came in Friday’s second round. Their selection: South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, whose yards-after-the-catch flair could make him a favorite for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Of his 882 yards last season as a fifth-year senior, Samuel (6-foot, 210 pounds) tallied 592 yards after the catch, according to ProFootballFocus.com. That “YAC” propensity, along with a physical style, is what the 49ers need from a potential flanker to replace Pierre Garçon.

“You’ve got to have that dog in you. Having that mindset, not one person is going to bring you down, and you’re going to make every catch that’s thrown your way,” Samuel said on a conference call with Bay Area media.

Only two wide receivers went in Thursday’s first round — Marquise Brown (Baltimore Ravens) and N’Keal Harry (New England Patriots).

It’s the second straight year the 49ers have drafted a wide receiver in the second round, having taken Dante Pettis at No. 44 overall last year.

Samuel became familiar with the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan and his staff at the Senior Bowl, where Samuel recalled chatting with the third-year coach and “how to go about my business.”

When Samuel later made a pre-draft visit to Santa Clara to meet new wide receivers coach Wes Welker, he was told what he needed to improve. Samuel (6-foot, 210 pounds) was also told how he’d fit in an offense that has a glaring need at flanker but also for more play makers Garoppolo can target.

“Being able to move all over the place is going to help me a lot and also playing special teams,” Samuel said.

Samuel earned All-SEC honors with 11 touchdowns among his 62 receptions, and he added 570 yards and a touchdown on 23 kickoff returns.

A moment of silence was held in honor of late 49ers scout Reggie Cobb at the draft festivities in Nashville, and Cobb’s son, DeMarcus, then announced the 49ers’ selection of Samuel.

Before the 49ers’ selection, Friday’s second round opened with cornerback Byron Murphy going to the Arizona Cardinals, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to the Indianapolis Colts and offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor to the Jacksonville Jaguars after a trade with the Raiders.

Check back for more on this developing story.

Nick Bosa Jersey

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Nick Bosa stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2019 NFL Draft. (Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a hell of a ride for the San Francisco 49ers. Two and a half years ago, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem, raising awareness about racist police violence and enduring an avalanche of death threats casually lobbed by bigoted trolls, as well as a cavalcade of hateful anonymous quotes from NFL executives. On Thursday, the 49ers drafted linebacker Nick Bosa with the number two overall pick. Bosa is a Trump lover who had to scrub his social media before the draft because of his affection for white nationalist twitter accounts.

For NFL franchise owners, who gave millions of dollars to Trump, Bosa’s social media predilections weren’t a major concern. Even in San Francisco, which has a fan base that largely supported Kaepernick and is represents a community that stands as allegedly one of the more progressive in the country, his flirtations with white nationalism did not cause team General Manager John Lynch or owner Jed York a moment’s hesitation—even though 49ers players gave Kaepernick their courage award after 2016 season.

As for Bosa, he has attempted to explain his—now scrubbed—social media habits away, saying, “I love the Bay Area, and I’m excited to play there. I was a little insensitive in some of the things I said (on social media). I’ve learned a lot in the past few months. And I’m just ready to move forward in that, put it in the past and bring the Faithful some wins.”

The obvious double standards at play here are outrageous. ESPN’s resident draft expert Todd McShay said before the draft that “I don’t think it’s going to affect his draft stock. I can’t imagine—and I’ve talked to some teams—a team saying we’re gonna pass on this guy because he’s left or right wing.”

This is willful political blindness. The evidence shows that a black player who expresses anti-racist ideals will find themselves blackballed from the league, like Colin Kaepernick, or harassed and drug tested repeatedly, like Eric Reid. White players, like quarterback Josh Rosen, who have expressed anti-Trump views find their draft stock diminished and their character called into question. But being not only pro-Trump but also expressing affection for the ugliest parts of Trump’s white nationalist base is a non-issue. In Bosa’s place, it may have even been seen as a plus in the eyes of Republican General Manager John Lynch. Either way it certainly wasn’t viewed as a deficit.

As longtime NFL writer Doug Farrar wrote for Touchdown Wire:

In the end, that’s why this really matters. It’s not to exclude or ban Nick Bosa from any opportunity because of his political beliefs, no matter how you may feel about them. It’s more that in the modern NFL, there seems to be a benefit of the doubt given to athletes on one side of the political, ideological, and racial spectrum that is not shared equally throughout the whole picture. And no amount of social media scrubbing can change that.

Now we’ll sit back and gauge the reaction of Bosa’s future teammates, including cornerback Richard Sherman, who has spoken out repeatedly against racism in the past, and players who are still sympathetic towards Kaepernick. Players feel more truly free in the post-Kaepernick era. That may mean feeling free to tell this rookie what they think of his political leanings. Let’s hope that Nick Bosa actually listens.