Here is what stood out during the 49ers’ third practice of training camp. As will be the case for the first five sessions, the team was in only helmets. The first padded practice is scheduled for Tuesday.
Jimmy Garoppolo finished the day 6-11. Three of Garoppolo’s completions came on checkdowns with another off an RPO. His best pass of the day was a strike to George Kittle on the right sideline to convert a third and long.
Trey Lance was 5-10 while splitting reps with Garoppolo. Lance started slowly, underthrowing George Kittle on a deep crossing route after avoiding pressure and then missing River Cracraft and Josh Pederson on deep throws to the left side. The rookie would eventually heat up, hitting Mohamed Sanu on the left side after his initial read was not there. Following the completion to Sanu, Lance would do a terrific job of avoiding pressure and finding Ross Dwelley for a first down while moving to his right. It wasn’t all good news for Lance today. He had two passes that were nearly intercepted, one of which nearly hit linebacker Jonas Griffith squarely in the hands before falling incomplete.
Josh Rosen finished the day 2-4, including a completion to Sanu on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage to wrap up practice.
Nate Sudfeld did not complete any of his three pass attempts on the day.
As head coach Kyle Shanahan said after practice, “the defense got the best of the offense today.” It was the strong play of the defensive line that led the way. Samson Ebukam was a force off of the edge today, getting around the corner a would-be sack on multiple occasions. After bouncing between linebacker and defensive end during his time with the Rams, Ebukam is able to focus solely on playing defensive end with the 49ers and says this change is allowing him to play fast without having to think. Watch out.
Kentavius Street is taking the starting reps at defensive tackle while Javon Kinlaw works through an issue with his knee. Street held up well against the run, and on one play burst past left guard Laken Tomlinson to stop a Trey Sermon rushing attempt in the backfield.
D.J. Jones set the tone for the day on the first snap in team drills. Jones was able to beat Alex Mack and force Raheem Mostert to bounce the run outside for no gain.
The rookie running back was impressive every time he touched the ball today. Mitchell showed the ability to run between the tackles, hitting the hole very quickly for some big gains. It will be interesting to see if this continues next week when the pads come on.
After spending the majority of his first three seasons with the 49ers playing safety, Harris is in the process of transitioning to linebacker. He has worked out with this group through the first three days of camp. Harris was able to show off his coverage skills today. With River Cracraft running a deep out, Harris was able to get underneath the receiver to knock away the target from Trey Lance.
The veteran has impressed players and coaches since rejoining the team. Sanu was targeted five times today and hauled in four of them, two from Garoppolo, one from Lance and one from Josh Rosen.
Sanu appears to be looked upon as a leader by the younger players in the receiver room.
Caught both of the passes thrown his way by Trey Lance, including a 60-yard touchdown grab on a deep throw down the left sidelines. Often looked at as primarily an underneath, run after the catch threat, Samuel has made some big plays down the field through the first three days of training camp.
The veteran had one of the best outside runs of the day. He took a handoff around the right side and did a terrific job of following his blockers before exploding through the hole for a big gain.
The veteran had two targets during team activities and dropped them both. The first was a deep in- route and while the throw from Josh Rosen was a little out in front of him, James should have been able to bring it in. The second drop was much the same, only this time it was Trey Lance throwing the ball. Lance has a lot of velocity on his throws and James just couldn’t hold on.
Jack Hammer is a lifelong 49ers fan who shares insights on the team, and leads discussion on all football and team topics. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackHammer_NFL and subscribe to his YouTube Channel, YouTube.com/c/JackHammer49.