Jordan Willis

49ers Re-Sign DL Jordan Willis

Jordan Willis is off to San Francisco. The defensive end has signed with the 49ers, reports Matt Barrows of the The Athletic (via Twitter). It’s a one-year deal for the 25-year-old.

The former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year was a third-round pick of the Bengals in 2017. He spent a pair of seasons with Cincinnati before moving on to the Jets in 2019, where he spent a year-plus. Last October, he was acquired by the 49ers (along with a seventh-rounder) in for a sixth-round pick, and Willis proceeded to appear in seven games for San Francisco.

Serving as defensive line coach Kris Kocurek “bravo” (or, simply, backup) defensive end, Willis finished the season having compiled 13 tackles and a career-high 2.5 sacks.

The 49ers lost some defensive line depth earlier today. After starting a career-high 14 games for the 49ers last season, defensive end Kerry Hyder is set to ink a three-year deal with the Seahawks.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/21

Here are the minor moves from New Year’s Day:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: WR John Brown

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/2/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jets To Trade Jordan Willis To 49ers

After dealing starter Steve McLendon, the Jets are trading another defender. The 49ers will acquire edge defender Jordan Willis from the Jets, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

This is a low-profile move ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline. The 49ers will send the Jets a 2022 sixth-round pick and get back a 2021 seventh in this swap, per Pelissero (on Twitter). Willis’ profile has lowered considerably over the past two seasons, but he will have another chance at raising it soon.

The former Bengals third-round pick has worked as a backup with the Jets. He has played 46 defensive snaps this season and was a nine-game backup in 2019, after the Jets claimed him off waivers from the Bengals. Willis, who was a regular rotational cog in 2017 and ’18 in Cincinnati, has not played since Week 3.

The 49ers have seen injuries deplete their once-vaunted defensive line this season. Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are out for the season, and Dee Ford has no return date in sight. Willis has just three career sacks, but the 49ers will have some extra depth after Willis clears the lengthy COVID-19 protocols.

Jets Claim DL Jordan Willis, Send Quincy Enunwa To IR

The Jets have claimed DL Jordan Willis off of waivers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). New York is placing WR Quincy Enunwa on IR in order to accommodate the move.

Willis was a third-round of the Bengals back in 2017 and he played in 32 games during his time with the club. The Jets weren’t the only team to put in a waiver claim for Willis. The Dolphins also tried to land the defensive lineman, Field Yates of ESPN tweets.

Enunwa has a neck injury and was deemed out for the year so the news to place him on injured reserve comes as no surprise. The franchise recently traded for Demaryius Thomas to add to their depth at wide receiver.

 

Bengals Wrap Up Draft Class

The Bengals have signed third round pick Jordan Willis, according to a team announcement. With the defensive end signed, the Bengals now have all eleven members of their draft class under contract. Jordan Willis (vertical)

Willis, a former standout at Kansas State, had 11.5 sacks in his final season on campus. Now with the Bengals, the 2016 Big 12 defensive player of the year figures to contribute as a reserve behind starting bookends Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap. Will Clarke, Wallace Gilberry, and trade acquisition Chris Smith are also on the DE depth chart. Willis, who has been widely praised for his versatility, may also see time at outside linebacker.

Here’s the full rundown of the Bengals’ draft class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons, 49ers Looking To Trade Up

The Falcons and 49ers are looking to trade up, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The 49ers, unsuccessfully, tried to pry the No. 21 pick from the Lions just moments ago. If the Falcons go pass rusher, the names to remember are Taco Charlton, Tarell Basham, or Jordan Willis, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com tweets.

With 22 picks in the books, other notable names remain on the board including Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, FSU running back Dalvin Cook, UCLA linebacker Takkarist McKinley, and embattled Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.

Inside linebacker is a need for the Niners, so they could potentially be looking to move up for Foster. McKinley would be a good fit for Atlanta as they seek a pass rusher that isn’t among the three listed by Pauline.

NFL Draft Rumors: Panthers, McCaffrey, Redskins

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman believes that there are “half a dozen” three down backs to be had in this year’s draft and estimated that RB is one of the strongest groups, along with defensive end and secondary positions (link via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer). When talking to reporters today, the GM was asked he considers Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey to be one of those six players.

He can run it. He can catch it. I guess that’s three downs. [McCaffrey] has certainly shown he can carry the load at Stanford,” the GM said.

There has been lots of talk about Carolina targeting a running back at No. 8 overall. Leonard Fournette has been the popular prognostication for the Panthers there, but McCaffrey might also be in the mix. Then again, if Gettleman sees four other tailbacks as well-rounded players, then he might be willing to hold off on addressing the position. Beyond Fournette and McCaffrey, there are also standouts like FSU’s Dalvin Cook, Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara, and Texas’ D’Onta Foreman to consider.

Here’s the latest draft buzz:

  • The Redskins are smitten with Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) hears. Washington currently picks at No. 17 overall, so Miller believes that acquiring him would require the team to trade up.
  • USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson didn’t take a visit with the Patriots, but there’s been contact between the team and the player, Doug Kyed of NESN tweets. The Patriots may have to get back into the first round in order to get in the mix for him, however. As of this writing, the Pats’ first selection doesn’t come until the third round (No. 72 overall). Jackson rates as the 37th best player on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board and some draft analysts have him up even higher.
  • Two weeks ago, Falcons coach Dan Quinn put Mizzou’s Charles Harris and Kansas State’s Jordan Willis through a workout side-by-side (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).

NFC Draft Visits: 49ers, Panthers, Cowboys, Redskins

Some of Wednesday’s notable pre-draft visits from the NFC:

  • Florida cornerback Teez Tabor and Michigan defensive back/linebacker Jabrill Peppers were among the 49ers’ visitors, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Neither will be in play for the 49ers’ first-round pick (even if they trade down from No. 2), but could still be on the board when the club’s second-rounder comes up at No. 34.
  • Kansas State edge rusher Jordan Willis visited the Panthers, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Willis seems like a more realistic fit for the Panthers in the second round (No. 40 overall) than in the first (No. 8). Regardless, with Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson and Mario Addison each on the wrong side of 30, Carolina could use a young pass rusher like Willis, who totaled 20 sacks from 2015-16.
  • Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey met with the Cowboys, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Humphrey may well be off the board by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at No. 28, though it’s possible he’ll drop amid unwanted comparisons to another ex-Alabama corner, recent first-round bust Dee Milliner.
  • The Redskins, owners of the 17th pick, hosted Houston edge defender Tyus Bowser, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Washington amassed the ninth-most sacks in the league last year, though nine of their 38 came from outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who will serve a four-game suspension to open the season. He’s also due to hit free agency next spring. Adding another pass rusher early in the draft this year could make sense, then. Bowser racked up 22.5 sacks during his four-year college career, including a personal-best 8.5 in 2016.

Draft Rumors: Mahomes, Texans, Humphrey

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien “absolutely loves” Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, according to one report, but Houston’s interest could be a smokescreen, writes Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Pauline spoke to sources close to the organization who pointed out that the Texans are in win-now mode, meaning they’re more likely to use their first-round pick (No. 25) on a player who can make an immediate impact than select a project like Mahomes. There’s also a sense that current starting signal-caller Tom Savage‘s familiarity with O’Brien’s system will enable him to successfully transition from a backup to a No. 1. As such, there’s a stronger probability of the Texans taking an offensive tackle or a cornerback than a QB with their initial pick, per the sources.

More draft-related news and rumblings:

  • “Several” clubs have concerns regarding Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, notes Pauline. Specifically, they fear that Humphrey is too much of a straight-line defender and someone who’s only capable of playing in limited schemes. Those teams liken him to ex-Crimson Tide corner Dee Milliner, who, despite going ninth overall to the Jets in 2013, is no longer in the NFL.
  • Kansas State edge defender Jordan Willis was among the Ravens’ pre-draft visitors Tuesday, and Houston’s Tyus Bowser will meet with the team Wednesday, relays Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter links). Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com ranks Willis as the 49th-best prospect in the 2017 class – right in the vicinity of the Ravens’ second-rounder (No. 47) – and rates Bowser an even better 36th.
  • Missouri defensive end Charles Harris stock has risen so much that he could come off the board before Tennessee DE Derek Barnett, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jeremiah places Harris 21st in his rankings and Barnett 13th, and PFR’s Dallas Robinson currently has the former going 26th overall and the latter ninth. Harris recently worked out for the Falcons, as he tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
  • Indiana offensive lineman Dan Feeney could be a late first-rounder or an early second-rounder, according to Pauline, who reports he has visited the Vikings, Bears and Colts. Feeney also has meetings with the 49ers and Rams on tap. The Dolphins have also worked out Feeney, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who adds Miami has also spent “considerable time” with Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp.