Observations from day 6 of 49ers training camp

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Justin Hilliard takes part in drills at an NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

The 49ers held their first practice in full pads on Wednesday. Here is what stood out during the 49ers sixth practice of training camp.

Jimmy Garoppolo:

Overall, it was the typical Jimmy Garoppolo type of practice. Garoppolo would complete 11 of his 18 pass attempts with some featuring some really nice plays along with a few duds. Two of Garoppolo’s more impressive reps came on throws to free agent wide receiver Trent Sherfield. On the first play, Garoppolo stood in strong against the rush to find Sherfield over the middle for a completion. A few plays later Garoppolo would find Sherfield on a deep-out route along the right sideline to convert for a first down.

On the downside, Garoppolo would throw late a number of times, including a deep throw down the middle to George Kittle that was nearly intercepted by Jimmie Ward.

Trey Lance:

Lance demonstrated throughout team drills exactly why the 49ers made the move to grab him third overall in the draft. Lance would finish the day 14-15 with a touchdown throw and a number of solid runs on zone-read plays. The ball only touched the ground two times while Lance was operating the offense. The first would come on a botched handoff, and the second would be Lance’s lone incompletion, coming on a deep throw down the left sideline to a well-covered Richie James on the last play of practice.

Lance finished off the first team period with what may have been the best play of training camp. On the play, Lance would be forced to move to his left due to pressure and fire a strike deep down the left side of the field to Trent Sherfield who was running to the corner. This was the type of play that only Lance could make. It was definitely a WOW moment.

Trent Sherfield:

The free-agent acquisition from the Arizona Cardinals was fantastic throughout practice, leading all receivers with six receptions including the deep touchdown from Trey Lance.

According to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, it was special teams coordinator Richard Hightower that stood on the table for San Francisco to bring Sherfield into the fold. Known primarily for his work on special teams, Hightower promised that the veteran would add value to the team as a wide receiver. That belief will be well founded if Sherfield can continue to stack days like today over the course of training camp.

Elijah Mitchell:

After flashing during the early part of training camp, the rookie was able to back those strong performances up with another during the first day of padded practice today. Mitchell was repeatedly able to find space for big gains while attacking the middle of the defense, and showed off his receiving skills by hauling in a throw from Trey Lance in the right flat for another nice gain.

Aaron Banks:

The rookie right guard is still working with the second-team offense, but held up well during his first one-on-one pass rush reps of practice, winning all three reps.


On his first rep Banks was matched up with veteran Arik Armstead. Banks was able to square up Armstead and stop him in his tracks. He followed that up by doing the same to Kevin Givens before getting the best of Darrion Daniels on the final play during this period of practice.

Anthony Zettel:

The recent free-agent acquisition had a tremendous rep during a one-on-one period for the offensive and defensive linemen. Matched up against Trent Williams, Zettel was able to get the multi-time Pro Bowl left tackle off balance with a spin move. Williams was barely able to get a hand on Zettel.

Cornerback concerns:

With the cornerback position thin due to injuries Webster was running with the first-team defense and Jared Mayden was working with the second team. Mayden played cornerback early on during his time with Alabama before finishing his career at safety which is what his focus had been since signing with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent last season.

San Francisco used a third-round draft pick on Ambry Thomas and a fifth-round draft pick on Deommodore Lenoir, but so far neither has been able to earn additional playing time.

Players returning from injury:

The 49ers got a shot in the arm on the first day of training camp when Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, and Jalen Hurd passed their physicals. Ford and Hurd cleared another hurdle today by taking reps in team practice. This is another sign that things are progressing well for both as they work their way back.

Javon Kinlaw had been held out of team drills through the first four practices, took some reps during team drills yesterday and again today.

Nick Bosa, returning from the knee injury that he suffered in week two of last season continues to not take snaps during team drills and also did not participate during the one-on-one period for offensive and defensive linemen.

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.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. Funny how this is starting to feel like Smith-Kaep.
    Is he going to pick the young, mobile guy with the hot hand or settle for reliability.

  2. Jack,
    If the D line stays healthy I see them getting over 60 sacks or better. Their depth will make them unstoppable in the 4th quarter of games. My question to you is, is this D line good enough to make up for the 9ers CB’s if Mosley, Verrett and or Williams go down.

    1. Coach,

      If Dee Ford stays healthy all season this defense should be REALLY good. Don’t give up on the rookie CB’s just yet.

  3. This is welcome news.

    The 49ers got a shot in the arm on the first day of training camp when Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, and Jalen Hurd passed their physicals. Ford and Hurd cleared another hurdle today by taking reps in team practice. This is another sign that things are progressing well for both as they work their way back.

    This is also welcome news.

    Chris Biderman @ChrisBiderman
    Aug 3
    Nice practice for Dee Ford today with at least one sack and a few pressures working with the second unit. #49ers

  4. Jack,
    I think the BU FB spot is very important to the 9ers. If they lose Juice for a game or two or possibly longer it will could effect KS’s game plans in a major way. As good as Dwelley seems to be as the #2 TE I thought he was horrible when he stepped in for Juice in 2019. This is just a long winded attempt to ask you how Josh Hokit has looked so far? There is no room for a #2 FB but if he is looking good I certainly see a spot for him on the practice squad.

    1. Coach,

      Hokit has looked good. He was very active on Tuesday. I’ll keep a closer eye on him at practice tomorrow.

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