After reviewing last night’s game, I came away with mixed reviews regarding the current state of the San Francisco 49ers. The defense was stingy, aggressive, and lively while the offense was shaky, stagnant and inconsistent to say the least. However, there were bright spots in all three phases and three players stood out in particular.
Starting with the defense, it was 49ers NT Mike Purcell who shined brightest, as he’s making the case for being on the 53-man roster. From clogging up running lanes to commanding double-teams, Purcell proved why he belongs on the team who placed their trust in him back in 2013.
The Wyoming product finished the game with six tackles (one tackle for loss) while routinely being the center of attention around the line of scrimmage. A true nose tackle who can eat up space, look for Purcell to continue his rise, as he is one of the better run defenders on the team.
While Purcell did his part, it was former Australian rugby league RB Jarryd Hayne who did his, as he quieted the critics while being the lone bright spot coming out of the backfield and return-game.
A 53-yard run that had many Forever Faithful jumping out of their seats, Hayne proved why the 49ers took a risk on him despite having no football background. A shifty player who also excelled on special-teams, as he broke numerous tackles while displaying his agility in open space, Hayne may just make the team after all.
Hayne finished the game with five carries for 63 yards, one kick-return for 33 yards, and two punt-returns for 24 yards — in all 120 all-purpose yards.
But Hayne wasn’t the only who impressed me as undrafted rookie free-agent WR DeAndrew White showcased his talent with his blazing speed and outstanding vision.
The player known as ‘Alabama’ has quickly turned into a household name during 49ers training camp. His acrobatic one-handed catches and savvy route-running are two things that have many fans excited and yesterday was no different.
On two kick-returns, White amassed 39 yards while catching one pass for three yards. Not great stats but when you turn on the game-film you can see the explosion and quick first-step that White possesses. A skill-set that should not be overlooked, I fully expect White to make some big plays before the preseason closes.
With the 49ers continuing to find the best 53-players, do not be surprised if all three players mentioned above make the squad, as they have been playing well up to this point.