SANTA CLARA — Here’s who stood out on Day 2 of 49ers training camp. Keep in mind, the 49ers didn’t wear pads and will not wear them until Monday.
1. Free safety Jimmie Ward.
Intercepted Trey Lance (more on him below). Lance was throwing to Brandon Aiyuk, who was running a slant after lining up on the left side of the formation. Ward read Lance’s eyes and stepped in front of the pass — Lance never saw him. If Ward can make plays like this during the season, he’ll make his first Pro Bowl.
2. Strong safety Talanoa Hufanga.
Broke up a pass intended for Jauan Jennings after chasing him across the field. Lance had been sacked, but it’s practice so he extended the play and tried to complete a pass downfield, but Hufanga stuck with it and beat the receiver to the ball.
3. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.
Gave up zero catches. Got targeted deep one time by Trey Lance when covering Brandon Aiyuk. Moseley had perfect coverage, but the throw was even better, as it flew over Aiyuk’s shoulder and hit him in the hands. But before Aiyuk fell to the ground, Moseley slapped the ball away. Just a phenomenal pass breakup by an ascending player.
4. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
He couldn’t complete the deep catch against Moseley, but he did make a diving 15-yard catch against Charvarius Ward, plus a diving 20-yard catch over the middle which resulted in a big collision with Ambry Thomas. These are the kind of catches Dante Pettis never would have made, and they show Aiyuk’s toughness.
5. Wide receiver Danny Gray.
He tried to catch a pass in traffic with his chest, and the ball bounced off him and got intercepted. But he made up for this mistake later by burning backup cornerback Ka’Dar Hollman with a post route for a 40-yard gain. Gray clearly is the fastest receiver on the team, but right now he looks like a one-trick pony.
6. Running back Ty Davis-Price.
He’s the opposite of Trey Sermon, who is in terrific shape, but is not explosive and is indecisive. Sermon repeatedly stops his feet behind the line of scrimmage and looks to bounce runs outside even though he’s not fast enough to do so. Davis-Price finds a crease and explodes through it as hard as he can. I prefer his style to Sermon’s style.
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THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Quarterback Trey Lance.
Completed just 6 of 14 pass attempts and threw an interception right to a defender standing 10 yards in front of him. Lance never saw him, because he was throwing to his left, where he struggles to see coverage — Colin Kaepernick had the same issue. As the practice progressed, Lance seemed to get frustrated, and began forcing incomplete passes downfield into double coverage. He clearly wanted to do something impressive, but he couldn’t find the opportunity, partially because he was missing Deebo Samuel and all five starting offensive linemen. Lance was under immediate and constant pressure — he got sacked five times and had to scramble twice, and not because he held the ball a long time. He still threw two excellent deep passes that hit his receivers in the hands but were either dropped or broken up. All in all, this was the worst practice I’ve seen from Lance, but it’s the kind of practice Jimmy Garoppolo would have every other day if he were on the field, so it’s nothing to be concerned about at this time.
2. The offensive line.
It was alarmingly bad today, particularly the right side, which features rookie guard Spencer Burford and second-year tackle Jaylon Moore. Those two couldn’t keep anyone out of the backfield, so Lance constantly had to move to his left. Burford and Moore might be talented, but they don’t seem strong enough to contribute yet. So the 49ers have second-stringers on the starting offensive line, and third-stringers on the second-team offensive line. That’s why all three quarterbacks struggled today and the run game was terrible, too.
3. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
Forced a short pass into double coverage and got intercepted by Segun Olubi after the pass got tipped. Sudfeld’s average depth of target 95 percent of the time is roughly four yards downfield.
4. Quarterback Brock Purdy.
Completed a nice 40-yard deep pass to Danny Gray, but also got intercepted twice because he has a noodle for an arm. First, he rolled left and threw to Jauan Jennings, who was open, but the pass floated through the air so slowly it ended up in the hands of Ka’Dar Hollman who had been beaten by two steps. Later, Purdy extended a play, saw a wide open receiver deep, cocked back and put everything he had into one of the most pathetic deep passes I’ve ever seen. Backup safety Taylor Hawkins intercepted it easily. Purdy’s arm is not strong enough.
5. Defensive tackle Arik Armstead.
Missed practice and the 49ers didn’t say why. We’ll find out tomorrow.
6. Offensive tackle Trent Williams.
Missed his second consecutive practice due to a personal issue.
7. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Missed another practice because the 49ers still haven’t extended his contract. The offense is freaking horrendous without him. He should hold out for more money.
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