SANTA CLARA – Here’s the best of what I could see at Thursday’s padded practice:
NaVarro Bowman picked off Alex Smith on the second play of a red zone seven-on-seven drill. Smith was throwing to Vernon Davis, but Bowman had great coverage and easily snatched the pass away before Davis could get his hands on it.
Frank Gore was the best running back on the field once again today. It seems like he takes one of every three rushes all the way to the end zone. No other Niner running back breaks into the “second level” of the defense in practice as consistently as Gore does.
Nathan Palmer caught all four passes thrown his way. He even beat No. 1 cornerback Carlos Rogers twice in seven-on-seven drills. He keeps getting better, and if final cuts were made tomorrow he would deserve a spot on the Niners.