SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me from the 49ers’ second open OTA.
1. Anquan Boldin. He lined up in the slot about 90 percent of the time in 7-on-7 drills and 11-on-11 drills, and he caught 10 passes on 11 targets. He was the best offensive player on the field today by far. Every time he ran a route it seemed the quarterback threw it to him and he caught it. On one play, he ran deep down the middle of the field and was covered step-for-step by Patrick Willis. Kaepernick threw a laser to Boldin anyway, and Boldin jumped up and snatched the ball before it hit Willis in the back of the head. I’ve never seen a wide receiver in person who has better hands – not even Michael Crabtree.
2. Chad Hall. He lined up at flanker and in the slot and was targeted seven times, second-most among the 49ers’ wide receivers. He caught four passes. The small receiver seems like he’s always open in these non-contact, non-padded practices.
3. Ricardo Lockette. He caught four passes on five targets. Like A.J. Jenkins, Lockette is most comfortable running short routes – sticks and drags, in particular. Lockette has not shown the necessary body control to make more difficult catches down the field. For example, in the two-minute drill, Colt McCoy tried to throw him a back-shoulder pass, and Lockette couldn’t manage to turn his body around to catch the ball.
1. Colin Kaepernick. First, his passes were sailing all over the place this afternoon. He completed 7-of-15 passes by my count, and he missed four-of-his-first-five. When he missed, he was overthrowing receivers deep or firing short passes as hard as he could. Second, he did not throw it to Vernon Davis one time. With Crabtree out, you’d think Kaepernick would make it his business to develop chemistry between him and Davis. Finally, Kaepernick and the first-team offense went three-and-out against the second-team defense in a two-minute drill at the end of practice. Kaepernick threw two wild passes on that series. I’m not concerned about Kaepernick, though. Today probably was just a bad day.
2. A.J. Jenkins. He was targeted once and made one catch – a five yard gain on a stick route. Every other receiver was targeted at least twice. Jenkins is the favorite to win the open competition at split end, but he’s going to have to make some plays to actually win the job. Quinton Patton had three catches on three targets this afternoon, Lockette and Hall played well, and Kyle Williams should join the competition in training camp.