SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at the 49ers’ first open practice of the Chip-Kelly Era.
LWR: Dres Anderson (Quinton Patton for the first couple of plays, then no more Patton).
RWR: Torrey Smith
SLOT: Bruce Ellington
TE: Garrett Celek
LT: Joe Staley
LG: Zane Beadles
C: Daniel Kilgore
RG: Brandon Thomas
RT: Erik Pears
H-BACK: Bruce Miller
QB: Blaine Gabbert
RB: Carlos Hyde
LDE: Arik Armstead
NT: Mike Purcell
RDE: Quinton Dial
LOLB: Aaron Lynch
LILB: Gerald Hodges
RILB: NaVorro Bowman
ROLB: Eli Harold (Ahmad Brooks did not participate in practice)
LCB: Tramaine Brock
FS: Eric Reid
SS: Antoine Bethea
RCB: Jimmie Ward (Base), Dontae Johnson (Sub)
NICKEL: Jimmie Ward
1. Jimmie Ward.
Started at right cornerback in the base defense, moved to the slot in the sub-packages and intercepted two tipped passes during team drills. Also gave up one deep catch down the seam to Garrett Celek. Ward’s coverage was not so good on that play.
2. Bruce Miller.
Started at H-back, mostly lined up in the slot and caught two deep passes near the sideline. The Niners seemed to feature Miller in the passing game.
3. Torrey Smith. Started at right wide receiver instead of left wide receiver, the position he has played his entire NFL career. Beat Tramaine Brock once with a short curl route to the inside, and beat Rashad Robinson once with a deep curl route to the outside.
4. Dontae Johnson. Broke up two passes during team drills as the starting right cornerback for the first-team nickel defense.
5. Kenneth Acker. Broke up two passes during team drills as the starting right cornerback for the second-team defense.
6. Tramaine Brock. Gave up zero catches as the starting left cornerback for the first-team defense, although he may have held DiAndre Campbell as Campbell ran a deep route down the sideline during seven-on-sevens. Brock’s best play was a pass breakup on a throw intended for Torrey Smith, who telegraphed a deep curl route. Brock broke early on the pass and dropped the interception.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Vance McDonald. Let a deep pass fly through his hands as he ran down the middle of the field, which has become his specialty.
2. Jeff Driskel. Inaccurate. Overthrew a deep pass, underthrew a deep pass and tossed a third out of bounds. Also sailed a couple of couple of short throws and threw a one-hopper.
3. DeAndre Smelter. Lined up at all three receiver positions for the second-team offense and caught zero passes on just one target. Created no separation. Seemed tentative.
4. Tank Carradine. Played right outside linebacker for the third-team base defense and seemed lost when he had to drop in coverage. To be fair, the first-team right outside linebacker, Eli Harold, also seemed lost in coverage. Both he and Carradine gave up deep catches to tight ends.
5. Devon Cajuste. Made a difficult leaping catch on pass thrown over his head, but seemed to injure himself when he landed and did not return after limping off the field.