SANTA CLARA – Here’s who stood out during Tuesday’s practice.
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Completed 9 of 13 pass attempts. Mostly dinked and dunked, but threw one perfect downfield pass while rolling left, which Kendrick Bourne dropped and tipped to Ahkello Witherspoon, who made the interception. That was Garoppolo’s best pass of the morning. He has steadily improved throughout camp.
- QB Nick Mullens. Completed 6 of 10 pass attempts, and two of his passes were dropped. Mullens threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to Trent Taylor, and what should have been a 22-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel, who dropped the ball in the end zone. Mullens’ best pass of the morning was a 12-yard rope over the middle to Samuel on third and six.
- QB C.J. Beathard. Completed 6 of 8 pass attempts. His best pass of the day was a 15-yard strike over the middle to Dante Pettis, a pass the defense intercepted. More on Pettis below.
- WR Trent Taylor. Caught the 90-yard touchdown pass from Mullens, as well as two passes from Garoppolo. Through nine days of camp, Garoppolo has thrown 21 passes to Taylor, who has caught 13 of them. He and Kittle are Garoppolo’s favorite targets.
- WR Jalen Hurd. Ruined a run play by running the wrong direction and blowing his blocking assignment. Classic rookie mistake. Otherwise, Hurd played well. He caught three passes and gained three first downs. He seems like he can develop into a decent tight end or slot receiver, because he’s tough to cover in the middle of the field.
- RB Jerick McKinnon. Returned to practice after almost an entire year away from football following ACL surgery. Participated in position drills but not 11-on-11 scrimmages. May not play at all during the preseason.
- RB Austin Walter. Has taken lots of carries in camp, and has gotten better each day. Runs hard and stays on his feet. He has terrific balance for an undrafted rookie.
- TE Ross Dwelley. Ran by Richard Sherman, who bit on a play-action fake, to make a 25-yard catch on the first pass of practice. Dwelley also beat Jaquiski Tartt with a crisp out-route during one-on-one drills. Later during practice, Dwelley dropped a pass over the middle, proving he’s human. Afterward, Shanahan called Dwelley “a legit NFL player, and he’s going to help us.” Shanahan is dead right.
- LT Joe Staley. Has beaten Nick Bosa four-straight times during one-on-one pass-rush drills since Sunday. Bosa gave Staley problems the first few practices but, since then, Staley has adjusted. He is such a joy to watch every day.
- DT DeForest Buckner. Threw starting left guard Laken Tomlinson onto his back during one on ones. So disrespectful.
- LB Kwon Alexander. Gave up a catch to George Kittle, but chased him down and stripped the ball out of his hands.
- LB Elijah Lee. Started at strong-side linebacker in place of Malcolm Smith, who missed practice with hamstring tightness.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- TE George Kittle. Fumbled for the second time during camp. Kittle recovered both fumbles himself.
- WR Dante Pettis. Took most of his reps with the second-string offense after playing with the starters for most of camp, and made a nice catch over the middle. But, Pettis let Greg Mabin snatch the ball out of his hands. Pettis has struggled bigtime throughout camp – he played better a year ago. The 49ers should have signed a proven veteran to compete with Pettis, instead of anointing him the No. 1 wide receiver after an inconsistent rookie season. He remains inconsistent.
- WR Kendrick Bourne. Replaced Pettis as the first-string flanker for most of practice, and made a nice 19-yard catch over the middle. Also dropped an easy one when he was wide open, and the defense intercepted the pass. Bourne seems to drop too many passes to be a starting possession receiver. He’s a solid backup. Pettis should get more opportunities to start as camp progresses.
- DE Dee Ford. Missed his sixth practice in a row with knee tendinitis.
— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) August 6, 2019