SANTA CLARA – Here are the highlights of the 49ers’ sixth padded practice of training camp.
1. WR Torrey Smith. Faced Niners’ No. 1 cornerback Tramaine Brock three times during one-on-one drills in the red zone, and beat him all three times. First Smith beat Brock with a fade route to the back pylon. Next Smith beat Brock with a double move – first in, then out. Finally Smith beat Brock with a quick out route. Through 10 training-camp practices, Smith has not lost to Brock during one on ones. Smith clearly is better than the Niners’ best cornerback.
2. WR Jerome Simpson. Caught a first-down pass from Colin Kaepernick on fourth-and-four, and caught a touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert a few plays later. On the touchdown grab, Simpson ran a fade route and beat cornerback Marcus Cromartie.
3. TE Vernon Davis. Made two touchdown grabs – first during seven on sevens, then during an 11-on-11 red-zone drill. On the second touchdown catch, Davis, who’s 6’3”, was being covered by Tramaine Brock, who’s 5’9” ¾. Davis ran right down the middle of the field, Colin Kaepernick threw the pass high and Davis grabbed it over his shoulder for the touchdown. Brock had no chance to stop it. After the play, Davis spiked the ball and shouted, “Come on, Brock!” then laughed and patted Brock on the helmet.
4. CB Shareece Wright. Intercepted a Blaine-Gabbert pass intended for Quinton Patton during one on ones. Patton ran a fade route to the back pylon, Wright read the route all the way and turned his head just in time to make the interception. Chris Culliver, the cornerback Wright replaced, never would have turned his head and found the football on that play.
5. QB Colin Kaepernick’s short passes. Kaepernick completed 10-of-14 passes during 11-on-11 team drills. Of his four incompletions, one was dropped, one was intentionally thrown away, one was batted down and one was underthrown.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. QB Colin Kaepernick’s deep passes. First play of 11 on 11s, Kaepernick faked a handoff, rolled to his right, set his feet and threw deep to tight end Vance McDonald, who was running a corner route toward the left sideline. Kaepernick’s pass hung in the wind and died, forcing McDonald to slow down, break back toward the line of scrimmage and dive for the pass. He almost caught it, but the ball touched the ground. By my count, during 11 on 11s Kaepernick has completed just three-of-17 deep passes through 10 days of training camp.
2. WR Quinton Patton. Caught one short pass and dropped one during team drills, which is par for the course for Patton, who never makes a big play during practice.