NFC Notes: 49ers, Eagles, Saints

     

49ers

  • Michael Silver reports that the 49ers were targeting Alabama QB Mac Jones when they made the decision to trade up to the third overall pick.
  • Silver adds that once they made the trade, HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch continued to look into Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. Silver still expects Shanahan will stick to drafting his original pick of Jones, over Fields and Lance.
  • Silver says the 49ers believe Jones has strong pocket skills, especially out of the shotgun formation, and next-level footwork stemming from his background in tennis. He also has exceptional football knowledge and good throwing motion.

Eagles

The Eagles don’t feel like they will be forced to draft a lineman, as they’ve had some success in developing talent such as G Isaac Seumalo, whom GM Howie Roseman says gives the team flexibility as a potential starting center.

“Isaac gives us tremendous flexibility to take the best player at either of those two spots because he does have the ability to be a good starting center,” Roseman said, via Mike Kaye of NJ.com. “Obviously, we’ve seen him play guard. So, having a guy like that allows us to not force either of those two positions.”

Saints

Former Saints QB Drew Brees said his health wasn’t great during the 2020 season, to the point where he only felt good for one game.

“I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I only felt really good in one game (Week 4 at Detroit), from the perspective I had all the tools in my toolbox,” Brees said, via Jeff Duncan. “I had a lot of limitations throughout the season as to what I could and couldn’t do. And I recognized that. And that’s really hard for a competitor. It’s really hard to know what you should be able to do, and yet you can’t, because of various injuries or things that are taking place with your body. Some of those things are just kind of freak things. You tear a plantar fascia. You get damage in your shoulder. You get broken ribs, right? A punctured lung.

“I had this abdominal thing that I was dealing with [for] pretty much most of the season. As a QB everything you do is rotation. And when you can’t rotate the way that you want, you all of a sudden begin to accommodate. Everything for you kind of narrows. I can’t make that throw. I can’t make that throw. I can’t make that throw. So what’s now in my toolbox? It’s harder to play the game that way. It is. And yet you’ve got to find a way to still get it done. And I felt like we did that. But it was difficult.”

As for Brees’ former team, Saints HC Sean Payton mentioned that the team doesn’t feel it needs to take a quarterback in this year’s draft.

“We’re mindful of our depth at each position,” Payton said, via Saints.com. “We’re currently in our final (draft) board readings on the defensive side of the ball.

“I think relative to that position (QB), it still stays the same in traits that we’re looking for. (But) I don’t think it’s a ‘must’ position. We feel like we’ve got real good players in the building.”

Payton mentioned that Saints QB Jameis Winston will benefit this year from being with the team last season, and he’s confident in both Winston and QB Taysom Hill.

“I think that year was important for him, but I also think it was important for him to see our program, so both sides benefited from that year,” Payton said. “He came in and picked things up, he’s someone that picks it up quickly. And Taysom has been with us for awhile now. Both those guys, you don’t have to worry about their approach and how they work.”

However, Payton does think the Saints need to add to the cornerback room before the season begins.

“Corner is an area that we have to address here between now and the start of the season, and I think we’ll be able to find that,” Payton said. “But we lost some good players that we knew we might have to, to get our numbers below (the salary cap). I think that’s part of operating in the salary cap era.”

  • Brees said that he went into last season planning on it being his last one, and the injuries only reinforced it. (Mike Triplett)

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