NFC Notes: Kyler Murray, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows notes 49ers WR Danny Gray won’t have as much leash as last year when San Francisco took him in the third round understanding he’d be a developmental player, but his speed is still a valued commodity and will help his case for a roster spot. 
  • Barrows writes if the 49ers follow past precedent, there are two receiver spots on the active roster up for grabs between Gray, Ray-Ray McCloud and seventh-round rookie Ronnie Bell, who’s had a good spring so far. Bell will also be competing with McCloud for punt return duties. 
  • Though it’s still early and running backs don’t get a true chance to shine until training camp, Barrows mentions RB Tyrion Davis-Price still looks like he’s behind RB Jordan Mason.


Cardinals HC Jonathan Gannon is pleased with QB Kyler Murray‘s progress this offseason and said that he’s been taking mental reps during OTA’s.

Kyler, obviously he’s going through the rehab process,” Gannon said, via PFT. “He wants to be out there [participating]; I know that. He’s fully engaged with everything we’re doing. I saw him making the reads out there behind the offense. When the guys see your trigger guy out there, it matters, so he’s done everything and more that we’ve wanted him to do. Excited for him where he’s at.

Cardinals WR Zach Pascal added that Murray’s presence even though he can’t physically participate shows that he’s engaged and committed to the team.

‘“It shows that he cares, cares about us getting better as a team, learning the offense and the mental reps he gets as well, even though he can’t physically be a part of it,” Pascal said. “But he can get those mental reps, and that trickles down throughout the whole team.


  • The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue writes the expectation is Rams second-round G Steve Avila is a Week 1 starter but it’s still up to him to prove he’s ready. 
  • She adds veteran RT Rob Havenstein is the only locked-in starter for the team, with steep competition for the other four spots that will really kick into gear once the pads come on in training camp. 
  • At left tackle, the primary competitors are Alaric Jackson and Joseph Noteboom, the latter of whom the team is still working back into the mix cautiously as he comes off a torn Achilles. Either could play left guard as well if Avila isn’t ready, per Rodrigue. 
  • Los Angeles extended Noteboom as the heir apparent at left tackle following Andrew Whitworth‘s retirement last year but Jackson stepped in for a few games after his injury and was a better pass blocker before landing on injured reserve as well with blood clots: “I love playing left side, honestly. Tackle is my thing, for the most part. I understand that they paid Joe, so I get that whole part. But whatever I can do for the team, I’ll do for the team.”
  • At center, Rodrigue says Coleman Shelton and Brian Allen will compete to start. She points out with all the cost-cutting the Rams did this offseason, it’s notable they extended Shelton and kept Allen, albeit on a pay cut for the latter. 
  • At right guard, Rodrigue lists Tremayne Anchrum, Logan Bruss and Shelton as the primary contenders. Bruss was a third-round pick last year who tore his ACL during the preseason, while Anchrum went down after just a handful of snaps as well. 
  • Rodrigue adds Rams fifth-round OL Warren McClendon will compete as a backup at either guard or tackle most likely. 
  • Rodrigue mentions Whitworth has also been a consistent presence at the team facility this offseason though it’s not clear if it’s in any formal consulting or coaching role. 

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