As the San Francisco 49ers entered their seventh day of training camp today, many players stood out once again for the second consecutive day. One player who continues to shine is rookie first-round pick (No. 30) DB Jimmie Ward. The former Northern Illinois product not only displayed the fluidity to stay stride-for-stride with the bigger and stronger wide receivers but able to play on the receiver’s hip with the smaller but quicker slot receivers. A true sign that Ward has the potential to be a day one starter at the nickel position, Ward continues to look more and more like a first-round gem.
However, it was another rookie that continues to have the best camp of any rookie thus far, as rookie third-round pick (No. 77) ILB Chris Borland made nice plays on the ball, while maintaining his gap assignments. Whether clogging up the A or B gaps or staying at home to play the pass, Borland is looking the part of a third-round steal! In fact, I’m putting it out there right now that Borland will lead the 49ers in tackles during the pre-season as I predict him to put up around 10 tackles per game. Believe me when I say this, Borland is a day one starter on any other NFL team. Today, all Borland did was make plays on the ball. He had a nice pass break-up coming out of the flat and three plays prior rushed the quarterback as he recorded a sack. A big day for Borland despite what DC Vic Fangio says.
On the offensive side of the ball it was 7-11 that struck once again! In two-minute drills, QB Colin Kaepernick threw a pass off a three-step drop right into WR Quinton Patton’s arms from the 15-yard line. A play that resulted in a touchdown as CB Perrish Cox bit on Patton’s hesitation double move, the two continue to build rapport with one another.
But all eyes for me were on fourth-round pick WR/KR Bruce Ellington. The player who I believe to be the front-runner for return duties in RB LaMichael James absence, Ellington had a mixed day. On four punts, Ellington fielded all but one cleanly whereas second-year WR Devon Wylie fielded all four to perfection. However, that’s not to say Ellington had a bad day as he did make up for it on the offensive side of the ball. In the two-minute drill QB Josh Johnson completed a pass to Ellington as he was running a crossing route off a broken play. A play in which Ellington had to dive to make the play, he did a nice job hauling the catch for a 10-yard gain.
With training camp to resume tomorrow we will keep you updated on the latest as it unfolds.
WR Michael Crabtree (held out non-serious injury)
WR Brandon Lloyd (held-out non-serious injury)
T Anthony Davis (held-out non-serious injury)
G Alex Boone (contract holdout)