SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Thursday’s padded practice.
1. Vernon Davis – He lined up everywhere – tight end, in the backfield and out wide. In a red-zone drill, Davis lined up at split end across from Tarell Brown. Davis beat Brown on an inside move and caught a touchdown pass from Colt McCoy.
2. Nnamdi Asomugha – He was the second-team right cornerback and he didn’t give up any catches. He knocked away one pass from McCoy intended for Chad Hall.
3. Tramaine Brock – He was the first-team left cornerback during Nickel, and he held his own. On one play he lined up against Vernon Davis. McCoy threw a short pass to Davis, but Brock was all over him and knocked it away.
4. Michael Wilhoite – He replaced Patrick Willis at strongside inside linebacker. He batted away one pass from Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin, and later Wilhoite intercepted a Kaepernick pass that was tipped by Nick Moody, who was playing weakside inside linebacker in place of NaVorro Bowman.
5. Garrett Celek – He caught four passes and a touchdown. The 49ers have been using him as a deep seam threat much more than Vance McDonald, who’s been lining up in the backfield and slot and running mostly short and intermediate routes.
6. Joe Looney – He faced Glenn Dorsey twice in one-on-one blocking drills and blocked the former top-10 pick twice. Looney has been the second-team center behind Daniel Kilgore.
7. Quinton Patton – Despite his broken finger, Patton participated in practice and made a one-handed catch with his healthy hand.
1. Chris Culliver – He injured his left knee in a special teams punt coverage drill. Culliver, a gunner, was lined up against Marcus Cooper. Culliver blew past him at the line, but Cooper caught up with him downfield. Culliver tried to juke Cooper with a swim move and a cut, but his left knee buckled. The trainers had to cart him off of the field. He currently is getting an MRI on the knee at Stanford Hospital.
2. Aldon Smith – Today he joined the sideline crew, the group of 49ers “working through” injuries. Other members of the sideline crew are Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Jonathan Goodwin, Kendall Hunter, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Marcus Lattimore, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins, Kassim Osgood and Mario Manningham. The 49ers have had 15 injuries this offseason when you count Michael Crabtree, Darius Flemming and Brandon Carswell.
3. Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown – The 49ers’ starting cornerbacks gave up three catches each today. The reserves – Asomugha and Brock – played much better.