SANTA CLARA – Here’s who stood out during the sixth padded practice of training camp.
1. TE George Kittle. Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite target throughout training camp. Caught five passes from Garoppolo today: Two 15-yarders, a 16-yarder, a 19-yarder and a 30-yard touchdown pass. Kittle seems healthier and faster than last year, and hasn’t dropped a pass during training camp. He should have a good season.
2. DT DeForest Buckner. Beat starting left guard Laken Tomlinson easily all morning. Beat him for a sack early on, then beat him later for a quick quarterback pressure and forced Garoppolo to make a bad throw, which cornerback Greg Mabin picked off. Buckner is the most underrated player in the NFL and the Bay Area.
3. DT Sheldon Day. Played with the second-team defense and recorded a tackle for loss and a sack. Currently the second-best interior rusher on the 49ers. More consistent than Solomon Thomas.
4. DT Jullian Taylor. The most impressive rookie of the 49ers so far. Manhandled fellow rookie Mike McGlinchey on outside zone runs to the offense’s right. Knocked McGlinchey into the backfield.
5. WR Richie James. Caught a 20-yard pass over the middle from C.J. Beathard, and a 40-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Nick Mullens. Also was the slot receiver for the first-team offense during the final portion of practice.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. CB Richard Sherman. Gave up a 65-yard touchdown catch to Pierre Garcon five minutes into practice, and left shortly after with a pulled hamstring. How has Sherman benefited from this training camp? Serious question.
2. LB Reuben Foster. Let a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo fly through his hands and land in Kittle’s grasp. Has not caused a turnover during training camp.
3. DE Cassius Marsh. Injured his right groin muscle and left practice early.
4. WR Dante Pettis. Injured his groin on Thursday. The 49ers did not let him practice today.
5. RG Joshua Garnett. Missed his sixth day in a row with a knee injury the 49ers initially described as a contusion. Garnett had a second opinion on the injury, and apparently doesn’t need surgery. No word on when he will return to the practice field.
6. LG Laken Tomlinson. Gave up a sack to Earl Mitchell during team drills. Has not played well the past four practices.
7. C Weston Richburg. Failed to execute a reach block on nose tackle Earl Mitchell during an outside zone run to the left. Mitchell burst into the backfield and tackled Matt Breida for a four-yard loss.
8. The run game. The starting offensive line created no holes for the running backs. Jerick McKinnon rushed four times for negative 10 yards, and Breida rushed five times for one yard.
9. Focus and discipline. The 49ers committed three penalties during the first team period of the morning. Kyle Shanahan stopped practice, brought the team together and told them to lock in. And they did the rest of the morning. The 49ers had the same issues last year during training camp, and those issues carried over to the preseason and the regular season.
10. Clock management. Failed to even attempt a field goal during the final team period of practice. The offense started at its 25-yard line with 1:05 left, trailing 28-27, drove all the way to the defense’s 32-yard line and was in field-goal range. On third-and-2 with 20 seconds left, the offense decided to go for the first down. Garoppolo threw a pass behind Breida in the flat, a pass Breida should have let fall incomplete. But, he spun and dove and caught the ball for a three-yard loss, the clock ran out and the offense lost.