San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, and he offered up some interesting tidbits about the squad.
The San Francisco 49ers are slated to pick at No. 2 overall in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, and what happens at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis will have a pretty big influence on what the Niners do with that pick, and their remaining five selections afterwards.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t offer too much about what the team’s plans would be with that first pick. Although speculation would lead one to believe the 49ers will grab either Ohio State EDGE Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky EDGE/SAM linebacker Josh Allen.
It’s likely the Niners will want to add a wide receiver, too, particularly after none of their receivers reached 500 receiving yards in 2018. One of the names thrown around has been disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl wideout, Antonio Brown, whose courtship with San Francisco isn’t much of a secret.
Yet Shanahan indicated the 49ers were not one of the three teams rumored to have reached out to Pittsburgh regarding a trade:
It’s possible the 49ers have reached out, of course, and Shanahan is merely keeping any discussions close to the vest. But for now, any Brown-to-Niners transaction looks like a no-go.
Updates to 49ers Coaching Staff
The Niners also finalized roles for their updated 2019 coaching staff, which NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco compiled here:
Shane Day takes over for Rich Scangarello as quarterbacks coach; the latter leaving for the Denver Broncos’ vacancy at offensive coordinator under first-year head coach Vic Fangio.
“Wes [Welker], I’ve known just from hanging out with him (and) meeting him over the years,” Shanahan told reporters of his new wide receivers coach. “I’ve never worked with him or anything. He was one of my favorite players of all time just watching him from afar and what he did. I used to play against him in college when he was at (Texas) Tech, and just watching how he made it, and the way he made it. That’s a guy that not only was really talented but made it because of what was upstairs also and how he developed. …He’s a talented guy, a good person, and I feel fortunate to have him on the staff.”
Roster News and Notes
Yet Shanahan indicated the goal would be to negotiate a new deal with the NFL’s league leader in field-goal percentage from last season.
Gould is guaranteed to return, barring a trade, and the Niners will have until July 15 to negotiate a new deal. If both sides aren’t able to reach an agreement, Gould will play the 2019 season on a one-year, fully guaranteed contract.
But Shanahan also indicated he would like to see veteran offensive lineman Mike Person back this upcoming year, too. Person, whom San Francisco inked to a one-year deal, is a pending free agent after locking down the starting right guard spot last year — a position at which he started all 16 games, earning a respectable 67.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
The 49ers will have between now and March 13, when free agency begins, to negotiate a new deal before Person hits the open market.
One person (no pun intended, of course) who won’t be hitting the open market this offseason is fifth-year pro defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who’ll play 2019 on his fifth-year option given to first-round NFL Draft selections. Armstead enjoyed his best season at the pro level last year, largely because he stayed healthy. Shanahan also indicated the team’s defensive changes could help Armstead’s role this year, too:
"We’re not into losing good players, and he has played very well for us. I think he can take it to a whole other level and I hope to see him do that this year. If he does, that will be very good for the Niners and very good for him because he’s got the ability to do it.He’s already done some very good things for us in these two years. Hopefully, this year he can stay healthier. Hopefully, the addition of changing our style a little on the D-line will help him. And I expect him to get better."
Armstead’s 2019 contract will pay him north of $9 million, which is a lot for a defensive lineman known more for his run-stopping abilities than quarterback sacks. That said, the NFC West has a few talented runners the 49ers will face twice a year, so perhaps it’s not a bad move after all.
Besides, San Francisco isn’t hurting for cap space this offseason much anyway.
NFL Scouting Combine workouts officially begin on March 1 from Lucas Oil Stadium.