SANTA CLARA – Here’s who stood out to me during the first padded practice of training camp.
1. RB Joe Williams. The best skill position player on the field today. Had a 65-yard touchdown run, his second of training camp. Hits a top speed no 49er other than Marquise Goodwin can match.
2. WR Aaron Burbridge. Took reps with the starters, because Pierre Garcon had the day off. Beat starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon with a dig route for a 15-yard gain over the middle. Was the only wide receiver who caught a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo. Seems like a good bet to make the team.
3. LB Fred Warner. Clearly the best rookie so far. Tackled running back Jeff Wilson for a four-yard loss. Literally tackled him. A diving, rugby-style tackle.
4. LB Reuben Foster. Met Jerick McKinnon in the backfield, lowered his shoulder and ran through the poor guy. Coaches have said they want Foster to protect himself and use his hands when he tackles instead of ramming into players shoulder-first. He prefers ramming into players shoulder first, as McKinnon learned today.
5. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Completed 12 of 16 passes (75 percent). The longest completion was the 15-yarder to Burbridge. Threw mostly short passes to running backs and tight ends. Missed his three long throws. More on those below.
6. DE/DT Solomon Thomas. Lined up at defensive tackle during one-on-one pass-rush drills and beat backup guard Erik Magnuson with a rip move to the inside. Did not face a starting offensive lineman during this drill, but faced starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey during 11 on 11s and beat him around the edge. McGlinchey has to be the first NFL tackle Thomas has ever beaten around the edge. More on McGlinchey below.
7. OG Laken Tomlinson. The best guard on the team. Held his ground both times he faced DeForest Buckner during one on ones.
8. RB Jerick McKinnon. Caught a 30-yard back-shoulder fade near the sideline from C.J. Beathard. Moves and looks like a wide receiver.
9. RB Matt Breida. The best running back on the team. The most consistent. Runs harder than everyone else. All of his reps the first three days have been good.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. OT Mike McGlinchey. Didn’t have to face DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead or Solomon Thomas during one on ones. Got to face Cassius Marsh instead, and got beat to the inside. Then faced Jeremiah Attaochu, and got beat to the inside again. Said he was rusty because he hadn’t worn pads in eight months. Neither had Marsh and Attaochu.
2. OG Joshua Garnett. Armstead bulldozed him during one on ones. Just pushed him backward eight yards. Garnett can’t hold his ground. What a disappointment.
3. QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Underthrew a deep pass to Marquise Goodwin. Overthrew another deep pass to Goodwin – this one landed out of bounds. And overthrew a seam pass to Burbridge — the pass almost got intercepted by Adrian Colbert. Garoppolo is money throwing short and intermediate passes, but the deep passes don’t come as naturally.
4. WR Marquise Goodwin. Caught no passes. Almost caught one with his face, though. The underthrown deep ball from Garoppolo. Goodwin stopped, turned around, jumped, missed the ball with his hands and took it in the grill. Ouch.
5. WR Dante Pettis. Beat cornerback Tyvis Powell deep, but didn’t attack the pass, which was underthrown. Hung back and let it come to him. Allowed Powell to catch up and knock the pass away. Powell had his back turned – he wasn’t even looking. He got lucky. Pettis had the advantage and still didn’t make the catch. He’s soft at the catch point. But, apparently he was fantastic during one on ones. I didn’t watch that. I was filming the pass-rush drills.
6. DE Cassius Marsh. Andrew Lauderdale pancaked him during 11 on 11s.
7. OLB Eli Harold. Faced Pace Murphy during one on ones, rushed directly into his chest, slipped and fell on his face. The worst pass rusher on the team.
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