SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers just had their 12th and final practice of training camp. They will cut down their roster to 53 players later this week and play their season opener against the Cardinals two weeks from today.
Here’s who stood out during practice No. 12.
1. Strong Safety Jaquiski Tartt.
Intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo during team drills and returned the pick for a touchdown. This was Tartt’s first pick of a terrific camp for him, during which he led the first-string defense in pass breakups. The 49ers’ defensive evolution toward using more man-to-man coverage suits him well. But despite all the pass breakups in camp, Tartt still dropped three picks. He needs to hold onto the ball to become a play-maker. And today, he held onto the ball. Plus he intercepted it while playing zone coverage. It was by far his best play of camp, but I still say the 49ers should have traded for strong safety Jamal Adams.
2. Wide Receiver Dante Pettis.
I rarely put a player in the Good section who dropped two passes in one practice as Pettis did Sunday. One of the drops technically wasn’t a drop, because it hit him in the face and never actually touched his hands. Pettis turned his face late after making his break near the sideline and got beaned in the facemask. Jimmie Ward actually laughed at him. Usually when Pettis has a couple bad plays, he goes in the tank and has a terrible practice. But today, he rallied and caught five passes from Garoppolo, including two touchdown passes in the red zone. Overall, Pettis had a solid camp with a few fantastic days. Today wasn’t fantastic, but it certainly was good. Pettis probably will start Week 1 if Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk both are injured.
3. Wide Receiver Kevin White.
Scored a touchdown in the red zone. Also received two targets deep down the field and was open both times but the quarterback overthrew both passes. I’m guessing the 49ers would love to keep White on their practice squad this year. He looks good in camp, but probably hasn’t gotten enough opportunities to make the 53-man roster.
4. Running Back Jeff Wilson Jr.
Caught three touchdown passes from Garoppolo in the red zone. Wilson Jr. is a quality short-yardage running back, but his best attribute by far his receiving ability. He’s an excellent receiver for a running back, and that’s no overstatement. He absolutely should make the final roster.
5. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.
Broke up a deep pass intended for Pettis during team drills. Moseley went all of camp without giving up a big play. He’s the most consistent cornerback on the team after Richard Sherman. Moseley should start Week 1 and probably will.
6. Nickelback Jamar Taylor.
Broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Kendrick Bourne. Bourne had the ball in his hands for a split second and Taylor poked it out before Bourne got his feet down. Clutch play by a guy on the roster bubble. Still not sure if he’ll make the team.
7. Nickelback Jared Mayden.
Read Nick Mullens’ eyes and intercepted him during team drills. Mayden was covering the flat and dropped out of his zone to make the pick. This was Mayden’s second interception during the past two practices. This undrafted rookie is coming on big time. He might just earn a spot on the 53-man roster. He certainly deserves one. He looks like a play-maker who excels in zone coverage.
8. Linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles.
Broke up a pass from Mullens during team drills. Flannigan-Fowles is a former safety who looks like a safety and plays well in coverage. No idea how he plays against the run, but he looks like a good athlete who can cover and play special teams.
9. Defensive Tackle Kevin Givens.
Lined up at defensive end during one on ones and beat Justin Skule around the edge. Given rushes so long to the ground, he’s difficult for Skule to block because Skule is 6’7”. He twisted and fell on his face trying to lock onto the Givens. Givens better make the final roster. If the 49ers try to sneak him on their practice squad, another team should pick him up.
10. Defensive End Kerry Hyder.
Beat starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey for a sack around the edge during one-on-one pass-rush drills. Hyder has been a starting defensive end in practice ever since Nick Bosa injured his leg. Hyder almost certainly will make the team.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Made quick decisions and threw five touchdown passes in the red zone. After practice, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Garoppolo is much more decisive than he was a year ago, and Saleh is absolutely correct. Garoppolo doesn’t hold the ball in the pocket as long as he did during last year’s camp. But being more decisive doesn’t mean Garoppolo is making better decisions. He still throws about one pick per practice. Today, he threw his third pick-6 of camp. He also fumbled a snap from the shotgun, meaning he committed two turnovers. It’s good that he’s improving in the red zone and becoming more decisive. Now he needs to become a better decision maker. That’s the next stage of his development.
2. Linebacker Fred Warner.
Did not practice after sitting out all of Friday’s team drills. The 49ers say Warner isn’t injured, but other starters played today such as Garoppolo, Trent Williams, Laken Tomlinson, Raheem Mostert, Mike McGlinchey, Richard Sherman, Jimmie Ward, Arik Armstead, Kwon Alexander, plus more. I’m guessing Warner has a minor injury the 49ers don’t want to report just yet. But I have no idea. He could have a serious injury or no injury. And the 49ers won’t tell us -- they have been less than forthcoming about injuries all throughout camp. We’ll know the truth next week when the 49ers release their first injury report.
3. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
Also sat out practice. The 49ers didn’t say why.
4. Defensive Tackle Javon Kinlaw.
Also sat out practice. The 49ers didn’t say why. Quite an underwhelming training camp for the 49ers’ top draft pick of 2020.
5. Quarterback Nick Mullens.
Forced a pass downfield to Shawn Poindexter and got picked off by Jared Mayden. To be fair, it was fourth and 15, so Mullens had to force the ball down field. Still, he has thrown lots of picks in camp because he has been much more aggressive than he was in the past. I doubt he would be so aggressive if he played with the starters in a real game.
6. Quarterback C.J. Beathard.
Overthrew Kevin White deep two times when White was open. Beathard’s best quality remains his ability to take a hit. He does not deserve to make this team, but probably will because the 49ers seem to want three quarterbacks during the pandemic. At least I’ll never have to watch Beathard practice again, I hope.
7. Offensive Lineman Colton McKivitz.
Took reps at center with the second-string offense, which means he probably won’t start Week 1 at right guard. Which means Tom Compton probably will start Week 1 at right guard, which might be the worst news to come out of training camp. The 49ers still have two weeks to make the right decision. Will they?