BIG things happening in Santa Clara

As the offseason progresses, I will be able to tell you about Anthony Dixon’s cutting ability, Taylor Mays’ ball-tracking skills and Kyle Williams’ fit in the slot. With limited reps in today’s rookie practice, very little intelligence emerged.

But before you really get to know someone as a football player, the first things that stand out are the purely physical measures. And the 49ers have welcomed some very impressive specimens into the fold.


Start with Taylor Mays. I mean, you hear 6-3, 230, but until you see him, it’s hard to imagine how little he looks like a safety. The guy is head and shoulder above most defensive backs. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine him as a tight end.

Running back Anthony Dixon is as imposing as advertised: 233 pounds out of the backfield. He looks like the sort of person you wouldn’t want to tackle in the open field. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati? Big dudes. With Iupati, it isn’t just the dimensions; he just looks really solid. During one blocking drill, he stood there holding a pad, and when another offensive lineman came up to hit the pad, it was the supposed attacker whose head snapped back.

Even tight end Nate Byham, listed at a fairly normal 6-4, 264, had some impressive heft. You can see why the 49ers envision him as almost a third offensive tackle in short yardage.

No idea whether any of these guys will turn out to be players. But if Mike Singletary’s goal was to build a more physical team, it looks like he and Trent Baalke found the right raw material.

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