49ers rookies make impressions during first practice

Santa Clara – The 49ers opened rookie mini-camp Friday afternoon. All nine 2023 draft picks were in attendance, the entire 12 player undrafted free agent class, and 11 tryout players. Also in attendance were offensive linemen Jason Poe, Leroy Watson and Alfredo Gutierrez, wide receiver Tay Martin, defensive backs Qwantrezz Knight, Tayler Hawkins and Tre Swilling, all of whom were on San Francisco’s practice squad in 2022.


Here is what stood out from the 80-minute practice.


Ronnie Bell – The former Michigan wideout showed off his physicality, going up and taking the ball away from defenders on a couple of occasions.


Running a deep post, the ball was a bit underthrown, but Bell was able to leap and make the grab over Tre Swilling.


A couple plays later, Bell went deep down the sideline and again leapt over the defender to come down with the pass. He beat undrafted free agent D’Shawn Jamison from Texas on this one.


Ji’Ayir Brown – San Francisco traded up to take Brown with their first of three selections in the third round.


Brown looked like the best safety on the field. He was always around the ball, and was quick in and out of his breaks.


Jake Moody – The 49ers raised some eyebrows when they selected the kicker out of Michigan at 99.


Working alone on a side field, Moody showed off a powerful leg as he put the ball high into the net from 45 yards out.


Cameron Latu – Latu was noticeably thicker than fellow tight end Brayden Willis who was taken later.


Latu displayed good hands. For the most part, Latu was solid with his route running but he was pulled aside by tight ends coach Brian Fleury to make some corrections. He also lined up incorrectly on one play.


Brayden Willis – Willis looked smooth with his routes and showed good hands.


Willis caught both targets during 7-on-7, including a diving grab of a low throw over the middle in traffic.


Jalen Graham – Graham looked like the best linebacker on the field. He showed good quickness in and out of his breaks.


Dee Winters – Winters had the more impressive 40 time of the two linebackers the 49ers drafted, but it didn’t show today.


The former TCU Horned Frog looked bulky and a step behind throughout much of the practice. It’s important to remember this is just day one.


Darrell Luter Jr. – Luter looked like the best cornerback on the field.


He often got right up in the face of the wide receiver across from him and used his long arms to win the rep.


Spencer Waege – An undrafted free agent defensive lineman from North Dakota State, Waege looked good on Friday. He demonstrated an explosive get off and didn’t show any side effects of the knee injury which sidelined him for most of 2021.


Waege is one to keep an eye on throughout these offseason workouts and training camp.


Khelan Leborn – The undrafted rookie free agent from Marshall had a good day receiving. Leborn caught all three of his targets and showed a burst with the ball in his hands.


Isaiah Winstead – Winstead drew a lot of attention prior to signing.


On Friday, he was quiet. Winstead struggled to get open, making his only catch after running a short hit route on the final play of practice.


Robert Beal Jr. – After the draft, the 49ers praised Beal’s ability to get off the ball. That was on display while the defensive linemen worked on individual drills throughout practice.

This article has 10 Comments

    1. Yes. They had most of the practice squad guys from yesterday in attendance. The offensive linemen were working on their own, but he looks good.

    1. It’s hard to get a read on fullbacks in non-contact practices, but he looked like a good athlete. Was targeted once in the right flat, made the grab and turned upfield.

  1. Training camp should be interesting. Sounds like there are some hungry young lions ready to hunt.
    We’ll see how many of these players stick and (my favorite) which player(s) become TC’s biggest surprises.

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