Tim Harris Jersey

We did this last week with the San Francisco 49ers first-round pick Nick Bosa. Today, it’s time to learn more about rookie CB Tim Harris. Caroline Darney of Streaking the Lawn is here to help fill us in on the athletic cornerback from Virginia.
1) If Harris didn’t have his injury history, where would he have been drafted?

Caroline: This is an outstanding question, and I’m not entirely sure! Harris came to Virginia as a local guy from Richmond (Varina HS) and was a four-star ESPN/Rivals.com prospect. He improved year over year until the back-to-back injury issues in 2016 and 2017, but I’m not sure he improves as much as he does if not for the adversity faced in the injury. Harris worked so incredibly hard after those two seasons he had cut short, and that hard work paid off. I think he performed better in his final season than the sixth round pick indicates, but hesitation around injury history will do that. Just on performance, I’d put him closer to the late-third to mid-fourth range (that could be the total UVA homer in me, though)? Virginia’s secondary as a whole — especially Juan Thornhill and Bryce Hall — was outstanding last season. Harris was a huge part of that.
2) What is your most fond memory of Harris?

It may seem weird, but my favorite Tim Harris moment came in the final game of his career at Virginia as the Hoos dominated South Carolina, 28-0, in the Belk Bowl. Harris not only had a pick in the game, but had a perfect pass break up in the end zone to keep the shutout alive (21 second mark of this video). Harris had some struggles early in his career getting beat off the line and giving up plays exactly like this, so I just love it as a way to cap off his tumultuous and trying career. It may not seem like a huge play, but just what it meant as a fan who had followed his career…it was a heartwarming moment for me.
3) What’s something UVA fans might know about Harris that us 49ers fans wouldn’t know?

Tim Harris has a really strong network of good DBs in the league! He played alongside Maurice Canady (who is now a cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens) in high school and college, and is close friends with Ant Harris (safety with the Minnesota Vikings) from their time at Virginia. Additionally, he met Richard Sherman (who I think you’re familiar with…haha) at a youth football camp in Richmond.
4) What’s one area Harris needs to improve the most if he wants to see the field for the Niners?

I’d love to see his speed and quickness off the line improve. At 6’1”, 205, he’s not the tallest out there, but he’s strong and physical. He posted a vertical jump of 39” at the UVA Pro Day, so not too shabby.
5) What’s it say about his character to be able to fight through what he has and still get drafted?

This kid just does not quit. It’s tough enough after one season-ending injury, but to get your waiver, come back, and play not even ONE full game before suffering ANOTHER season-ending injury? That’s brutal. Not only did he not give up, but he came back stronger and better than he was at the end of his junior season. His final year in Charlottesville (with a new coaching staff, mind you) was his best of his career as he hit career-highs in tackles and interceptions.
6) Harris will contribute for the 49ers because he _?

Will never stop working hard. That sounds so cheesy, yes, but he has the drive to keep working until he gets the job done. He’s the type of player that will use the resources available to him, including learning from current players and working hard with trainers and coaches. Couldn’t be happier for Tim, and I hope he crushes it for you guys.

Justin Skule Jersey

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The 49ers are hoping to add depth to their offensive line with Vanderbilt’s Justin Skule, a tackle selected with pick No. 183 overall in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Skule (6-foor-4, 317 pounds) was a starter for more than three seasons along the Commodores’ offensive line, finishing his college career by making 40 consecutive starts. He moved to left tackle as a junior after starting his career on the right side.

Skule should compete with Shon Coleman to be the team’s primary backup “swing” tackle behind starters Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey. The team earlier this offseason parted with veteran reserve Garry Gilliam, who served as the backup tackle for 2017 and 2018 under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

Staley, who turns 35 in August, is unsigned beyond 2019, which could force the 49ers to find his eventual replacement soon. Skule was San Francisco’s fourth pick of the day, coming after punter Mitch Wishnowsky (Round 4), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Round 5) and tight end Kaden Smith (Round 6).

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article229765879.html#storylink=cpy

Kaden Smith Jersey

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The Green Bay Packers had room to sign two tryout players from this weekend’s rookie minicamp. They have signed one: North Dakota State wide receiver Darrius Shepherd.

Playing for the FCS powerhouse Bison, Shepherd caught 62 passes for 1,065 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior and finished his career with 188 grabs for 2,841 yards and 20 touchdowns. He doubled as a punt returner, with a career average of 13.1 yards per opportunity and a 15.6-yard average with a long of 69 yards as a senior.

Shepherd was not invited to the Scouting Combine. At his pro day, he measured 5-foot-10 1/2 and 186 pounds. He ran his 40 in 4.61 seconds and posted a 35.5-inch vertical leap.

The Packers didn’t draft a receiver and had a void in the slot with the free-agent departure of Randall Cobb. The slot was Shepherd’s niche with the Bison. In the entire draft class, Shepherd ranked fourth with 3.73 yards per slot route, according to Pro Football Focus. He caught 50 passes from the slot, turning those into 816 yards and eight touchdowns.

He was MVP of the FCS national championship victory over Eastern Washington with five receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

“Carson Wentz is a great example of what the program is all about, and it’s not a surprise to see his success at the next level,” Shepherd said before pro day. “The physicality we play with is just part of what it means to be a Bison. You play for your brother next to you, and that shows every Saturday when we strap up the pads. It’s a special place for sure, on the field and off the field, and you leave that place a better person.”

Shepherd is one of 11 receivers on the roster. Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison and the second-round group of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, J’Mon Moore and Jake Kumerow hold six of those spots. The others are receiver/returner Trevor Davis, first-year players Allen Lazard and Teo Redding, and undrafted rookie Matthew Eaton.

“I’m really content with the three guys we drafted last year,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said after the draft. “I think they have huge upsides; I thought they took really good steps last year. Obviously, Geronimo coming back, he’s kind of a veteran guy stepping into that role, and I do like some of our guys that are kind of competing for some spots there as well. It’s not like we wouldn’t add one if we thought the right guy was there, but I like that group.”

His father, Louis, played football for Missouri. A grandfather played basketball for Missouri State and the Los Angeles Lakers. He graduated in May with a degree in university studies.

Louis Shepherd died in July at age 44.

“I’m trying to keep his memory alive,” Shepherd said. “My dad was my rock. My guy. He played football and we always talked football. I’m really going to miss him, but the lessons I learned from him I’m going to continue to use to be a better man and help others around me.”

Dre Greenlaw Jersey

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A University of Arkansas football player who was recently drafted to the NFL is being praised for intervening and “risking everything” to prevent a young woman from potentially being raped in college.

On Saturday, Dre Greenlaw was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

That same day, Gerry Dales spoke out on Twitter about a past incident involving his daughter and Greenlaw, who he says stepped in at a college party after an unknown man slipped something into his daughter’s drink and attempted to get her to leave with him.

In the thread of tweets, Dales said he would “always owe” the 21-year-old linebacker for heroically “risking everything” in his collegiate career to save his daughter from the dangerous situation.

The incident happened when Greenlaw and Dales’ daughter were both underage freshman at the University of Arkansas. Dales said the pair knew each other before college from attending the same high school together.

RELATED: Tennessee Football Star Dies Shielding Teen Girls from Bullets During Knoxville Gang Shooting

“My daughter went to a college party when she was freshman,” Dales wrote. “She knew very few people at the party, and also didn’t have a ton of experience drinking. Someone slipped something into her drink when she wasn’t paying attention”

“Dre was also a freshman. And he knew my daughter from high school,” he continued. “And he did not know the guy who was all over her.”

When the unknown man attempted to get his daughter to leave the party with him, Dales said Greenlaw “stopped the guy and said, ‘she’s not going anywhere.’” Ultimately, it was enough to make the man leave and never show up to another party again.”

Mitch Wishnowsky Jersey

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Mitch Wishnowsky is the latest Australian to enter the NFL, and much like last year’s rookie sensation Michael Dickson, has landed in the perfect place.

It should come as no surprise that a league run by old, white men is largely scared of change.

Of the 32 NFL franchises, you could probably count on one hand the amount of head coaches willing to allow their punter the freedom to do something different.

One is Pete Carroll at the Seattle Seahawks, and we saw how that helped Dickson establish himself as one of the elite legs, and special teams difference makers in the league.

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Kyle Shanahan and co. were paying attention to their NFC West rival, because the San Francisco 49ers wasted no time taking Wishnowsky, out of Utah, with a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Wishnowsky going with the 110th overall pick — the highest a punter had gone in seven years — was a statement of intent from an organisation who are looking to be proactive in dealing with a position that deserves more attention than many teams are willing to give it.

“We thought Mitch Wishnowsky was a big-time prospect,” general manager John Lynch told reporters. “Kyle (Shanahan) and I studied punters this year more than we ever will. Hopefully, he’s the long-term answer. We’re talking like a 10-year guy. … we felt like had we not taken him there, he would have been taken.”

Lynch added: “People saw last year with Dickson up there in Seattle — it really benefited their team. And we felt like this guy was that type of prospect.”

Wishnowsky is 6-foot-2, 218-pounds and ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February. He’s a serious athlete; the kind that unlocks the playbook for an aggressive, creative shot caller who is open to fake punts, or kicks on the move.

“You can be as progressive as a coach allows you to be,” Nathan Chapman of Prokick Australia told foxsports.com.au.

Prokick took Wishnowsky in after he gave up on footy due to injuries, and knew immediately he had everything he needed to succeed.

“You get someone who is talented, set them on the right path, and then they work hard; opportunities will flow after that. He always wanted to get better,” Chapman said.

In Chapman’s eyes, Aussie punters can revolutionise the league if given the chance.

“What he [Wishnowsky] was given from Coach Whit [Kyle Whittingham] at Utah was, ‘Hey, this is where we want the ball, now you tell us how you’re going to get it there,’” Chapman explained.

Not all coaches are willing to give their punters that green light, though.

“They [Aussie punters] can all do it. It’s the system you go into,” Chapman said.

“Dicko [Dickson] last year was just allowed to express himself and Coach Carroll gave him the freedom to do so. And what happens? It allows him to get the best out of himself.

“The 49ers played Dicko twice in a year, so they’re going, ‘Well, let’s get us one of those.’”

Dickson figured out how to make punting exciting in his first season in Seattle, and even steal the limelight from his superstar quarterback at times. With Wishnowsky, the 49ers could have their game-changing Aussie for years to come.

And a NFC West rivalry between the two Aussies could open the door for more change.

“Teams now have a visual of what can be done because … of what we saw from Dicko,” Chapman explained.

The casual fan might be upset at their organisation reaching into the fourth round for a punter, but according to Chapman, the 27-year-old was worth it.

“My thoughts were that he was worth getting late in the third,” Chapman said.

Wishnowsky was a star in Utah, averaging 45.7 yards on 175 punts in his college career.

The first 2019 pick to put pen to paper on an NFL contract, Wishnowsky — tied down for the next four years — will replace Bradley Pinion in San Francisco.

“It’s now [on] him,” Chapman said.

“He’ll be given everything he needs, they love him, so now it’s up to him to start the new journey and set out to still become better.”