OK, the 49ers have been in training camp for a full week by now, and the only activity scheduled for today is a walk-through. All of which can mean only one thing: It’s time for a stock report. Here are the players whose stock seems to be on the rise. As you may expect, I’ll follow with a look at falling investments.
T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati: It’s not that the rookies are dominating opponents, either in one-on-one drills or in team period. But they moved into first-team roles this week, perhaps earlier than expected, and could be there to stay. Neither looks overmatched, either.
DE Demetric Evans: Standout DE Justin Smith has gotten the “veteran courtesy” treatment on several occasions during camp, and when he leaves the field, it’s almost always Evans who moves in with the first team. That’s no guarantee Evans will wind up in the D-line rotation, but he’s getting a long look from assistant coach Jim Tomsula.
FB Brit Miller: I’ve already written about Miller and how solid he has looked at fullback (especially in technique-driven drills like the nutcracker). With Scott McKillop going down, Miller has a chance to become a core special-teams player for the 49ers, too.
ILB NaVorro Bowman: Until recently, Bowman was a rookie lost in the shuffle, getting third-team reps and making little impact. But he moved up to second team when McKillop got hurt, and has made the most of his opportunity. Bowman dominated the Niners running backs during a blocking drill Saturday morning.
WR Kyle Williams: The rookie from Arizona State hasn’t been perfect, either in his routes or his pass-catching. But his quickness catches your attention, and he has played very well in the past couple of days. He still has a chance to emerge as the lead kick returner, too.
G/C Tony Wragge: He wasn’t expected to start this season – and unless something unexpected happens, he won’t. But Wragge’s value to the O-line was on display last week as he assumed first-team duties at both right guard (when dehydration knocked out Chilo Rachal) and center (when Eric Heitmann suffered a stinger).
NT Ricky Jean Francois: Aubrayo Franklin’s absence (don’t call it a holdout!) continues to benefit the likable Jean Francois. You knew he’d get the reps, but it wasn’t clear that RJF was ready. He has held his own at the point of attack.
CB Tarell Brown: He’s right where you thought he’d be – the fifth defensive back in the nickel package and the first corner off the bench in case of injury. But Brown has sneaked in for a few first-team reps at left cornerback even when Nate Clements is practicing, and has looked very solid in coverage.