SANTA CLARA – Here is what stood out to me at the 49ers’ Tuesday mini-camp.
1. Anquan Boldin – He was every quarterback’s favorite target, as usual. Five-of the-first-nine plays during 7-on-7 drills were passes to Boldin. He finished competitive team drills with seven catches and two touchdowns. He lined up at flanker and split end, but before the snap he usually went in motion and ended up in the slot.
2. Kyle Williams – He participated in position drills unlike the other injured players, such as Kendall Hunter, Tank Carradine and Frank Gore. When Williams was running around on the field, he looked faster than ever, and he cut with confidence. It looks like he’s going to be ready for the start of training camp. It even looks like he’s ready to fully participate in practice right now, but the 49ers are taking things slowly with him.
3. Colt McCoy – He completed three deep corner passes – one to Marlon Moore over Michael Thomas, one to MarQueis Gray over Nate Stupar, and one to Ricardo Lockette over Craig Dahl. McCoy threw one more perfect deep corner pass over Eric Reid, but Vance McDonald dropped it. McCoy couldn’t miss on the deep corner passes today. For a guy with average arm strength, he aggressively looks to throw downfield in practice, and so far he’s been successful.
4. Tarell Brown – He was not with the team during OTAs. Today, he stepped right in at his starting right cornerback spot and did not allow a completion during competitive team drills.
5. Nnamdi Asomugha – He started at left cornerback in place of Carlos Rogers, who has not participated much in the 49ers practices this offseason. I didn’t see Asomugha give up any catches. The 49ers’ quarterbacks seemed to avoid throwing into Asomguha and Brown’s coverage this afternoon.
6. C.J. Spillman – He didn’t do anything spectacular in practice, but he was the starting free safety ahead of Eric Reid and Craig Dahl the entire practice. Usually those three rotate into the No.1 free safety spot throughout practice.
1. Vernon Davis – He caught two short passes and dropped two downfield passes where the ball just clanked off his hands. On another play, Michael Wilhoite dropped an interception on a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Davis in a 7-on-7 drill. Kaepernick stared down Davis and Wilhoite read Kaepernick’s eyes all the way. It doesn’t seem Kaepernick and Davis have improved their on-field chemistry yet.
2. A.J. Jenkins – He was the starting split end and he made one catch during team drills, a nice, sliding catch on a pass thrown low and behind the second-year receiver. That was the only catch Jenkins caught and the only time he was targeted in competitive team drills. Quinton Patton and Kassim Osgood caught four passes apiece, Ricardo Lockette and Chad Hall caught three passes apiece and Marlon Moore caught two passes. Chuck Jacobs was the only other receiver to catch just one pass.
3. Scott Tolzien – He threw two interceptions on downfield passes, one to Tramaine Brock and one to Craig Dahl. Tolzien has less juice on his passes than McCoy, who has much less juice on his passes than Kaepernick or B.J. Daniels. Tolzien has to start playing better or he will not make the final roster.
3. Darryl Morris – He was the second and third-team slot cornerback, and he gave up quite a few completions. Quarterbacks did not hesitate to throw into Morris’ coverage. He was beaten so badly most of the time he wasn’t close enough to the receiver to extend an arm and contest the pass. Morris seems more comfortable playing outside cornerback where he can use the boundary as an extra defender, but if he’s going to make the team someday, he’s probably going to have make it as a slot cornerback.