SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Wednesday’s minicamp. Usually, I start with the positives, but today I’m not.
THE NOT SO GOOD
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo. A day after Garoppolo repeatedly botched the cadence of the snap count, he completed only eight of 20 passes – 40 percent. He completed three of his first four throws, then missed 11 of his final 16. And he missed every deep pass he attempted. He seems to have regressed since last season, when he was on fire. Maybe he just had a bad week.
- QB C.J. Beathard. He lowered his throwing motion to a three-quarters release, and threw three passes that got batted down at the line of scrimmage.
- CB Tyvis Powell. The offense picked on him almost every time it needed a big play. He gave up a crucial 12-yard catch to Kendrick Bourne a crucial fourth-and-6, and got burned deep by Aldrick Robinson. After that play, Richard Sherman threw his hand up in frustration while standing on the sideline. Powell has been the 49ers’ starting left corner since OTAs – he is the primary backup for Richard Sherman, who allegedly will return during training camp. Powell better not have to play a single snap next season. He’s worse than Dontae Johnson, last year’s starting corner.
- WR Dante Pettis. He missed Wednesday’s practice with an injury he suffered at the end of Tuesday’s practice.
- RB Jerrick McKinnon. On the third play of practice, he ran a Texas route over the middle, caught a short pass from Garoppolo and broke through the middle of the defense for what appeared to be a 70-yard touchdown. But, the coaching staff marked him down after a gain of 30.
- CB Richard Sherman. He participated in all of the positional drills with the other cornerbacks, and he walked through the various defensive play calls with the rest of the starters just before the team began to scrimmage. He sat out that portion of practice. But, he seems on track to practice fully during training camp, which starts on July 26.
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon. Garoppolo rarely tests Witherspoon during practice – why test him when you can throw on Tyvis Powell all day? But, Garoppolo did test Witherspoon once at the end of practice. Witherspoon was covering Aldrick Robinson, who ran a post route into the end zone. Witherspoon read Garoppolo’s eyes, broke early on the pass, undercut the receiver and dropped an easy interception.
- WR Kendrick Bourne. He seemed to be Garoppolo’s go-to guy in critical situations. On third-and-6 during a two-minute drill, Garoppolo threw to Bourne and missed him. The next play, fourth-and-six, Garoppolo threw to Bourne again, and this time they connected for a 12-yard gain. Bourne is in terrific shape. He looks like an NFL receiver.
- WR Richie James. James does NOT look like an NFL receiver – he’s small and skinny. He looks like he’s still in college. But, he made a professional play on Wednesday – he made the catch of the day. He ran deep down the sideline, jumped over a corner, reached up to catch the ball and landed with both feet in bounds. He’s a natural.
- DL Solomon Thomas. Thomas started at defensive tackle in the 49ers nickel defense – a good sign for the future. And during team drills, he actually used a spin move, instead of rushing straight into the blocker. The spin move didn’t work, and Thomas got nowhere, but hey, he’s trying.