SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me at Monday afternoon’s padded practice.
1. A.J. Jenkins – Today was his best practice as a 49er. He caught seven passes, and he caught two more in half-speed drills against the scout defense. His best catch of the day came against Tarell Brown in team drills. Lined up at split end, Jenkins beat Brown on a square in for a 15-yard gain. Jenkins also beat Lowell Rose, Perrish Cox, C.J. Spillman, Marcus Cooper and Daryl Morris on short hitch routes, and Jenkins beat Cooper once and Morris twice on square-ins during half-tempo drills. Jenkins also dropped a pass on a wide receiver screen, and he was 0-for-2 on Go routes. The first time, he ran deep against Nnamdi Asomugha. When Jenkins turned his head over his right shoulder to find the ball, he tripped over his own feet. Later, Jenkins ran deep against Tramaine Brock. Jenkins could not separate from Brock, and the pass fell harmlessly to the grass.
2. NaVorro Bowman – Covering Chad Hall in the slot, Bowman intercepted a short pass from Colin Kaepernick. Later, Bowman batted away a pass at the line of scrimmage. He may be the 49ers’ most dominant defender this training camp.
3. Joe Staley – He returned to practice after taking yesterday off. In one-on-one drills, he held his own every time he faced Aldon Smith.
4. Vernon Davis – He sat out the second half of practice yesterday, but he participated in the entire practice today, although he and Anquan Boldin received just a few reps. The 49ers seem to be protecting them. Wise. The last thing the 49ers need is Davis or Boldin to get injured.
5. Demarcus Dobbs – He filled in for Justin Smith both in the base defense and the Nickel defense. On one play, Dobbs collapsed the pocket, stuck out his arm and batted down a pass.
6. B.J. Daniels – Today he beat Eric Reid on a Texas Route out of the backfield to score a TD in a seven-on-seven red zone drill. Daniels has drastically improved as a receiver.
1. Vance McDonald – He caught four passes for 25 yards, but he also fumbled once and committed a false start penalty.
2. MarQueis Gray – He seemed to take a shot to the head on a LaMichael James run play at the very end of practice. Gray was the lead blocker. After the play, he crouched on the ground for a minute, and when he walked to the sideline, the trainers checked his head.
3. Justin Smith – He missed another practice with an injured right ring finger.
4. Jonathan Goodwin – He missed another practice with an undisclosed injury.