The San Francisco 49ers kicked off training camp at Levi’s Stadium tonight, and while the sod was unforgiving, there were a few players who shined bright under the lights. From undrafted rookie free-agent WR DeAndrew White to veteran WR Torrey Smith, there were plenty of highlights made from these two players throughout the night.
Starting with Smith, who not only snared a one-handed catch while running a dig route but also displayed his 4.41 40-yard dash speed as he caught a 45-yard bomb from QB Colin Kaepernick on a simply go-route during team drills. A pass that saw Kaepernick display his new and improved ‘touch,’ it was a thing of beauty as the two connected over and over again throughout practice.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) August 2, 2015
Not to be outdone was the undrafted rookie free-agent from Alabama. Yes, I’m talking about White. At 5-11, 193, White showed off his deep speed time and time again as he caught numerous deep balls including a 55-yard catch. A play that had Forever Faithful screaming at the top of their lungs, White quickly became a fan favorite on the night.
While those two were making plays from the outside it was rookie fourth-round pick (No. 127) TE Blake Bell who continues to catch my eye. The player known as the “Belldozer,” Bell put on a show in the first practice as he lined up at tight-end and H-Back. From catching passes on 7-yard out-routes to going across the middle on a 15-yard hitch, Bell proved he can be a valuable asset in the 49ers passing game if called upon.
A scenario I envisioned before training camp took place, it appears that Bell will now be fighting with TE Derek Carrier for the primary backup position, while TE Vance McDonald is on the outside looking in.
And what players were taking first-team reps you ask?
The first-team offense consisted of QB Colin Kaepernick, RB Carlos Hyde, FB Bruce Miller, LT Joe Staley, LG Alex Boone, C Joe Looney, RG Marcus Martin, RT Erik Pears, TE Vernon Davis, WR Anquan Boldin and WR Torrey Smith. It should be noted that Kilgore will likely garner the starting role at center once he returns to the lineup.
The first-team defense consisted of LDE Glenn Dorsey, RDE Quinton Dial, NT Ian Williams, ROLB Aldon Smith, LOLB Ahmad Brooks, LILB NaVorro Bowman, RILB Nick Moody (for ILB Michael Wilhoite), RCB Shareece Wright, LCB Tramaine Brock, FS Eric Reid, and SS Antoine Bethea.
Notes: Second-year OLB Aaron Lynch was limited in practice while RB Reggie Bush (rest) and DE Darnell Dockett (ACL) were both held out.
With training camp to continue tomorrow, I will keep you updated on the latest news and insights as it unfolds. Good night.