Here are the highlights from the 49ers rookie minicamp.
Last week, Kyle Shanahan spent most of the voluntary minicamp working with wide receivers and tight ends on route-running. He looked like the passing game coordinator. Today, he looked like the quarterback coach. More specifically, he looked like C.J. Beathard’s personal tutor.
Shanahan watched Beathard during every drill. When the rest of the team practiced special teams, Shanahan worked with Beathard on a side field. Showed Beathard how to turn his front shoulder toward the target and open his hips before throwing to his left. Shanahan demonstrated the proper mechanics twice.
The entire time during team drills, Shanahan stood behind Beathard and spoke to him as he broke the huddle and walked to the line of scrimmage. Beathard is Shanahan’s pet project, just as Colin Kaepernick was Jim Harbaugh’s pet project.
Solomon Thomas played defensive end and participated in every drill. He’s in terrific shape. He will not practice again with the 49ers until training camp because Stanford’s school year doesn’t end until June 17.
Reuben Foster, the 49ers’ second first-round pick this year, did not participate in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills because he is rehabbing a torn rotator cuff. He will not practice fully until training camp at the earliest.
- WR Trent Taylor. The 49ers’ second fifth-round pick beat the 49ers’ first third-round pick, Ahkello Witherspoon, twice during one-on-one drills. First, Taylor beat Witherspoon with a quick out route and caught the ball near the sideline before Witherspoon finished his break. Next, Taylor ran a hard curl route and Witherspoon tripped and fell.
- RB Joe Williams. The 49ers’ fourth-round pick received a handoff on a stretch-zone run to his right and burst through the defense for a long touchdown. Made the play look easy. Also made a one-handed catch during one-on-one drills after beating a safety with a move to the outside. When practice ended, Williams stayed on the field and practiced fielding kickoffs.
- WR Kendrick Bourne. The undrafted free agent made the catch of the day when he dove for a deep pass from Nick Mullens. Bourne also beat seventh-round pick Adrian Colbert over the middle of the field during one-on-ones.
- FS Lorenzo Jerome. Another undrafted free agent. Jerome intercepted a long, overthrown pass intended for Bourne during team drills after reading the quarterback’s eyes.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- QB C.J. Beathard. Didn’t make one throw that made you say, “Wow.” Didn’t have enough zip to pierce the long throws through the wind. Two of his passes toward sideline fluttered and missed their intended target, and his only deep pass during 11-on-11s sailed over the receiver’s head and landed in the hands of the free safety. After the interception, Beathard threw mostly short, easy passes over the middle.
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon. Struggled big time in man-to-man coverage. Couldn’t cover Trent Taylor or undrafted wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. Witherspoon is a 6’3” corner with extremely long legs and he takes longer to plant and change directions than smaller corners. He seems best suited for zone coverage.
- CB Adrian Colbert. Like Witherspoon, Colbert struggled man to man. During one-on-ones, he could not stick with Bourne or DeAndre Carter during. During team drills, though, Colbert broke up a pass while in zone coverage.
- DT D.J. Jones. The 49ers’ first sixth-round pick was the heaviest player on the field. Near end of practice, which lasted only 90 minutes, Jones removed himself from the action and walked toward the sideline slowly with his hands on his hips and his mouth wide open, trying hard not to vomit.