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.
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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.”

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.