Rookie defenders continue strong showings; Observations from day 16 of 49ers training camp

Here is what stood out from the San Francisco 49ers 16th day of training camp.

Brock Purdy

The talk about Purdy and interceptions can stop, at least for one day. For the first time since last Tuesday the 49ers starting quarterback made it through practice without an interception.

Purdy took the lions share of reps on Thursday, a sign he is unlikely to play against Denver on Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium in week two of the preseason.

Throughout the first half of practice Purdy was on the mark. His lone incompletion coming on his first throw when he missed Brandon Aiyuk coming across the field.

Purdy bounced back from the miss with a shot off play action to Deebo Samuel who was running an over route from left to right.

On his next series of downs Purdy opened with a completion to Brandon Aiyuk over the middle on a dig route for a gain of 15. Purdy followed with a completion to Jordan Mason on a screen to the right before finding Aiyuk again, this time on an out along the right sideline for a gain of ten. The final pass of this series saw Purdy work his way from right to left before hitting Mason in the left flat with a checkdown.

Following the special teams break the focus turned to a redzone move the ball situation.

Facing second and five from the 15, Purdy ripped an out to Deebo Samuel to beat the coverage of Deommodore Lenoir for a pickup of 14.

Purdy’s next throw came on second and goal from the four. The quarterback tried to fit a throw in to Ross Dwelley on a stick route along the goal line, but linebacker Curtis Robinson was able to get a hand on it to break up the pass.

Purdy went right back to Dwelley on the next play, connecting with the tight end in the right flat for a touchdown.

On the final play of the session Purdy’s throw to the back of the endzone sailed over the head of Mason for an incompletion.

The starting offense wrapped up practice with a hurry up possession. The situation for this series had the 49ers leading 13-10 with under two minutes remaining in the first half.

Purdy opened the possession with a screen out to Deebo Samuel on the left side for a gain of five.

After a run by Mason gave the offense a first down, Purdy hit Samuel with a short checkdown throw to the right for a gain of four. Now facing second and six Purdy threw his worst pass of the day. With pressure in his face the quarterback threw off his backfoot to Brandon Aiyuk. The pass fell to the ground before Isaiah Oliver could get to it, a lucky break.

Purdy bounced back on third and six, hitting Danny Gray on an out to the left side for a gain of five. On the ensuing fourth and one, Purdy checked the ball down to Ty Davis-Price for a gain of seven and a new set of downs.

Following an incompletion to Davis-Price, Purdy got the offense moving with a pair of completions to Chris Conley. The first was a 14-yard out to the right side, followed by a gain of eight on a crossing pattern from right to left after which Purdy got to the line quickly and spiked the ball to stop the clock.

On third and two from the 16, Purdy tried to hit Davis-Price in the back of the endzone, but the pass sailed high for an incompletion.

Purdy finished the day 13-20 with one touchdown.

Sam Darnold

Thursday was a rough practice for Darnold. The veteran quarterback completed just one of seven attempts and had some bad misses.

His first throw came while rolling right off play action and he could not connect with rookie tight end Cameron Latu.

On his next series Darnold had Troy Fumagalli running free down the right seam but overshot the tight end. Two plays later he had Chris Conley open on a deep slant and once again missed the open receiver with an overthrow.

Darnold’s next turn came in the redzone.

The veteran quarterback finally found success by hitting Ronnie Bell on an out to his left for a gain of eight. Two more attempts to Bell followed, with one being broken up by the defensive back and the other sailing out of bounds.

Trey Lance

Lance had only two possessions of work during the early portion of practice.

After a missed handoff resulted in the quarterback having to run, he found Troy Fumagalli over the middle for a short completion on the next play.

Lance then hit Willie Snead on a quick screen to the left before wrapping up this day with a checkdown to Davis-Price.

Jordan Mason

Mason appears to be taking the lead over Davis-Price in the competition for the running back spot behind Christian McCaffrey.

The second year back is a more fluid runner and does a better job of setting up his blockers than Ty Davis-Price. He has also looked much better in pass protection, squaring up defenders consistently.

Jalen Graham

The rookie seventh round linebacker has stood out over the last couple weeks. Right now he looks better than Marcelino McCrary-Ball and Dee Winters in the battle for a roster spot.

Today he again made a tackle around the line of scrimmage on a run to the outside.

Graham has the makings of a late round gem for the 49ers.

Deommodore Lenoir

Lenoir came on strong last season as the starting cornerback opposite Charvarius Ward. The former Oregon Duck has continued to look strong during this camp.

With Isaiah Oliver struggling, Lenoir has spent a lot of time working inside with the starting defense with Ambry Thomas coming on to play the boundary.

Offensive Line

The 49ers offensive line has been a concern for some, especially with the loss of Mike McGlinchey during the offseason.

Today the starting group provided solid protection for Brock Purdy.

Deebo Samuel

Samuel was targeted four times on Thursday and came down with all of them.

In addition to his normal short receptions with yards after the catch, he got open on an over route for a nice gain from Purdy.

The wideback has looked good with the ball in his hands, picking up big yards on several runs.

Cameron Latu

The rookie tight end just cannot catch the ball. Sam Darnold put a pass in the endzone right on him today and he couldn’t hold on.

There is a lot to like about Latu, but if he can’t turn this around it’s hard to see how the 49ers put him on the 53-man roster.

Spencer Waege

The undrafted free agent defensive tackle was given a look today with the second unit in place of Javon Kinlaw who had the day off.

Waege struggled to generate any pressure from the inside, but held up well against the run.

D’Shawn Jamison

The undrafted free agent cornerback had a pair of nice plays in the redzone.

Matched up with Ronnie Bell, the former Texas Longhorn was able to get his hand on the pass to knock it away. On the next play he was again all over Bell forcing Darnold to throw wide.

With his skills in man coverage and ability to return kicks, Jamison might find his way onto the roster.

Austin Bryant

The free agent acquisition nearly came up with a big play when he got his hand on a screen pass from Purdy to Mason.

JiAyir Brown

The rookie safety missed practice for the second day in a row. No reason was given by the 49ers.

This article has 3 Comments

  1. Well, now. They are looking better. Except Cameron Latu. He needs to step it up or risk losing a roster spot which would be a waste of a third round pick. The late rounder te is better than him. Nice to see Colton did better today. Out of all the positions, the o-line is the weakest, except Trent Williams. The positions I have the most confidence in are the wideouts and running backs. But no matter what, Captain K is a true Niner Faithful for life. Thick and thin. I am bringing up Khalon Leborn up again because I saw plenty of video highlights of him. I don’t see how he went undrafted. He looks like he should have been at least a fifth rounder, Imho. If Sf tries to sneak him on the ps, I’m afraid some team would wisely snatch him up. Especially Seattle, who has a track record for signing players we cut.

  2. You know what? In next year’s draft, San Fran should draft these to positional players. Left tackle because of Trent Williams impending possible retirement. And even if Trent came back again, the new draftee could learn from the best left tackle in the NFL. And second, right tackle if Colton doesn’t pan out. Also DT if Javon Kinlaw leaves, as is possible.

    1. K,
      I believe that the 49ers will make a major trade before next years draft. They need to clear cap room. Hopefully they will have multiple 1st and 2nd round picks to go along with the multiple 3rds they already have. If Deebo has the kind of year he usually has when he comes to camp in shape I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets traded. As for Latu a year on the PS might give him time to develop.

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