SANTA CLARA — Here’s who stood out during Day 5 of 49ers training camp. Keep in mind, this was the 49ers’ first practice in pads, plus it was the first practice in which Deebo Samuel participated, although he mostly played with the second stringers.
1. Quarterback Trey Lance.
He completed 5 of 10 throws, he had a touchdown pass, a touchdown run and an interception, but those numbers don’t paint the full picture of his morning. Here are the numbers you need to know: He dropped back 15 times, was under pressure 12 times, scrambled four times, got sacked twice and threw the ball away once. He mostly practiced running for his life, which is a valuable lesson because he’ll have to do that all season behind this atrocious offensive line. While running for his life, Lance ran for a touchdown and threw a beautiful TD pass to Brandon Aiyuk while backpedaling to his left. He also completed a 40-yard pass up the right sideline with pressure in his face while throwing off his backfoot. Plus he had a touchdown pass dropped by Jauan Jennings. All things considered, Lance practiced well, but he didn’t really get to practice running the offense because his receivers weren’t getting open quickly and his blockers weren’t blocking well. When he threw the pick, he scrambled up through the pocket to avoid pressure, then forced a pass to a heavily covered Kyle Juszczyk and got picked by Charvarius Ward. This was the only pass of the morning that Lance forced. The rest of the time he made good decisions. Thankfully for him, players couldn’t touch him.
2. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Had his first practice of the offseason and appeared to be in good shape.
3. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Had his best practice of the offseason. During 1 on 1s, he beat Jimmie Ward for one touchdown and beat Emmanuel Moseley for two touchdowns — once with a fade route and once with a slant. Then during 11 on 11s, he beat Charvarius Ward during an off-schedule play for a touchdown, then caught a 40-yard pass up the right sideline after burning Moseley and Talanoa Hufanga (more on him below). For the second consecutive practice, Aiyuk was the best offensive skill player on the field.
4. Free safety Jimmie Ward.
Practiced with the cornerbacks and wide receivers during 1 on 1s, and played the most aggressive bump-and-run coverage of any 49ers defensive back. Ward completely erased rookie wide receiver Danny Gray (more on him below).
5. Cornerback Charvarius Ward.
Intercepted Lance in the red zone. This was Ward’s second pick of camp — the first one came when Nate Sudfeld was quarterback. Ward is excellent in man-to-man coverage, but he hasn’t intercepted many passes in his career, so these picks in practice bode well for the 49ers.
6. Cornerback Ambry Thomas.
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Won both of his reps during 1 on 1s, including one against Ray-Ray McCloud, who’s much quicker than Thomas.
7. Running back Ty Davis-Price.
Got his first carry with the first-team offense. The 49ers are searching for a No. 2 running back after Elijah Mitchell, and Davis-Price could be that guy.
8. Running back Jordan Mason.
Got his first carry with the second-team offense, which is big for an undrafted free agent rookie. Mason has excellent quickness and hand-eye coordination and is a terrific receiver out of the backfield.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Strong safety Talanoa Hufanga.
Gave up a 40-yard catch up the sideline while playing split-safety coverage. That means Hufanga was responsible for half of the field, and he could not run to the sideline fast enough to impact the play. Range is a big issue for Hufanga, but this was the first deep catch he has allowed so far in camp.
2. Center Daniel Brunskill.
Played center with the second stringers today, which is fitting, because Jake Brendel is a better center than him. That doesn’t mean Brendel is good — he’s not — but at least he can snap the ball accurately, as opposed to Brunskill.
3. Wide receiver Danny Gray.
Can’t beat press coverage. Can’t get open short, medium or deep. Can’t catch the ball away from his body. Other than those small issues, he’s great.
4. Running back Jeff Wilson Jr.
Missed practice with an undisclosed injury, which is becoming the story of his career. Wilson is a tough running back, but injuries could push him off this roster.
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