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The Good and Not So Good from Week 1 of 49ers OTAs

The offseason has officially begun.

SANTA CLARA -- Here's who stood out during OTAs on Tuesday. Keep in mind, this practice was voluntary, players did not wear pads and mostly competed in 7-on-7 drills instead of full-team 11-on-11s.


1. Defensive end Drake Jackson.

Looks like a completely different person than he did last year as a rookie. Back then, he looked like a flabby college player who might wear a t-shirt in the swimming pool. Now, he looks like a five-year veteran with a grown-man's body. That's great news for the 49ers, because they need Jackson to take a huge leap and start opposite Nick Bosa, So far, so good.

2. Guard Spencer Burford.

Also looks like a completely different person than he did last year as a rookie. Last season, Burford had an impressive year for such a young player, but still looked lean and light -- almost too light to play guard in the NFL. Now, he looks much bigger and stronger. Which means the weakest link on the offensive line from a year ago could be a strength now.

3. Running back Christian McCaffrey.

Showed up to a voluntary practice in May, unlike Deebo Samuel (more on him in a minute), and practiced as hard as he could. McCaffrey clearly is in midseason shape, which means he's an outstanding professional and an emerging leader on this team.

4. Nickelback Isaiah Oliver.

Broke up a well-thrown deep pass from Trey Lance that was intended for Chris Conley. Oliver had outstanding coverage, and used his extremely long arms to poke away the ball at the last second.

5. Cornerback Darrell Luter Jr.

Broke up an underthrown deep pass from Sam Darnold that was intended for Danny Gray. Luter was playing press-man coverage, Gray beat him off the line of scrimmage and initially had a step on Luter. But Luter didn't panic, recovered, and knocked away the pass before it hit Gray's hands.

6. Tight end Brayden Willis.

Made the catch of the day -- a sprawling left-handed catch on a pass over the middle from Darnold. If Willis hadn't made this catch, the pass might have gotten intercepted.

7. Wide receiver Ronnie Bell.

Instantly became everyone's favorite target. Caught a team-high six catches, and a few of them were heavily contested. Bell has zero fear and is extremely quick and tough.

8. Wide receiver Chris Conley.

Caught three passes as the 49ers' starting split end in place of Brandon Aiyuk, who showed up to practice but sat out with muscle tightness.

9. Guard Nick Zakelj.

Played left guard with the second-team offense while Jon Feliciano played right guard and Matt Pryor played right tackle.

10. Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.

Looked lean, mean and completely healthy for the first time in a long time. Didn't appear to have any limitations.

11. Me.

Didn't get yelled at by a player.


1. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Didn't show up, which is too bad for a player who didn't show up to OTAs last year and was out of shape all last season.

2. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.

Also didn't show up. You'd think the newest member of the 49ers would want to make a good first impression.

3. Tight end George Kittle.

Caught one pass, took two steps, fumbled and the defense recovered. Steve Wilks ran on the field to celebrate Kittle's mistake. Hey, at least Kittle showed up.

4. Kicker Jake Moody.

Missed a 48-yard field goal wide left.

5. Kicker Zane Gonzalez.

Also missed a 48-yard field goal wide left. Not a good start to the 49ers kicker competition

6. Offensive tackle Jaylon Moore.

The third-year pro was the third-string right tackle in 11-on-11s. Bad sign for his chances to make the team.

7. Tight end Charlie Woerner.

Slipped and fell while running a seam route, which caused an incomplete pass from Trey Lance. If Woerner can't even stay on his feet, how will he make the team?

8. Running back Elijah Mitchell.

Looks much stronger than he did last year, but still let a perfect check down pass from Lance clank off his hands. 

9. Defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight.

Missed practice with what appears to be a broken thumb.

10. Cornerback Ambry Thomas.

Clearly has perfected the technique of standing and watching while wide receivers make catches right in front of him. No one stands and watches better than Thomas.