49ers’ OTAs features rookie ILB Chris Borland’s rise, passing game struggles

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There wasn’t much action to report in today’s OTAs especially with the continued absence of San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis and G Alex Boone while other players such as WR Anquan Boldin and CB Eric Wright were also MIA (missing in action).

49ers.com

49ers.com

Several players were seen doing individual workouts including CB Chris Culliver, DE Justin Smith, DE Ray McDonald, FS C.J. Spillman, T Anthony Davis, and DB Jimmie Ward. Players that have had injury concerns in the past, the 49ers continue to be cautious with their star players.

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As for the practice itself, it was a bad day for the 49ers passing game. The new $100 million man QB Colin Kaepernick looked sluggish and out of sync with his wide receivers. Whether over throwing bullet passes in red zone drills or having passes sail over receivers heads, it wasn’t the best day for Kap.

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NinerFans.com

With that being said, Kaepernick did make a handful of good plays in the 49ers two-minute drill, as he completed some nice passes to rookie fourth-round pick WR Bruce Ellington. However, the success was short lived as DE Demarcus Dobbs blocked a passing lane on the very next play, deflecting a pass which would eventually be caught by C Daniel Kilgore. With 4.5 seconds left in the two-minute drill, Kaepernick then threw an incomplete pass intended for WR Chuck Jacobs. It was a miscommunication by quarterback and receiver as the ball clearly sailed away without much of an effort from Jacobs, leaving CB Chris Cook to be hit in the hands only to drop the sure-handed interception.

Harbaugh spoke on the poor offensive play as he said, “Just wasn’t as sharp and wasn’t clicking as much today.”

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NinerFans.com

One player that continues to shine however is third-round pick ILB Chris Borland. The player who has “T-Rex” arms and small stature continues to make plays on the ball as Harbaugh said, “He’s probably leading the team right now in deflections and interceptions. He’s been around the ball all spring. He’s doing a fine job.”


Another rookie linebacker that shined in recent weeks had a setback as fifth-round pick OLB Aaron Lynch suffered an apparent right hamstring injury on kickoff coverage. He did not return to practice.

AP

AP

The storyline of the day for me was strictly on the offensive line. One player that many Forever Faithful wanted me to evaluate was the play of T/G Jonathan Martin. Working the tackling machine, Martin struggled with violent hands as he seemed to lack the “punch” you would expect from a former second-round pick. A significant difference from G Mike Iupati, T Joe Staley, and T Carter Bykowski you could clearly see the difference in strength. 49ers Coach/Intern and great NFL offensive lineman T Bob Whitfield was leading the drill and hitting the bag with no remorse.

With mandatory minicamp set to begin next week, we will keep you all updated on the latest as it unfolds.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.

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