The San Francisco 49ers rookie minicamp, an important step in the development of NFL newcomers, begins Friday.
The three-day session will be a key portion of the offseason program. Veterans won’t be around to take up all of the on-field reps, allowing the rookies to showcase what they’ve learned since being added to San Francisco’s roster.
Let’s take a look at five key storylines for the rookie camp.
1. When Draft Picks Collide
Perhaps my most vivid memory of last year’s minicamp involved the team’s top draft picks,
An under-the-radar competition set to unfold will be at reserve inside linebacker. Enter third-round draft pick
The son of 49ers Hall of Fame legend Jerry Rice announced on Twitter that he’ll be trying out at the upcoming camp. The same goes for former Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas, who also announced his invitation on social media. Rice Jr. has already received support from both Harbaugh brothers. Rice Jr. attended the 49ers local pro day before the draft and was invited to the Baltimore Ravens post-draft rookie camp. I hate to use this pun considering his father’s legendary work ethic, but Rice Jr. will have an uphill climb to make San Francisco’s wide receiver-laden roster. Then again, you never know what can happen.
5. Surprise Standouts
In addition to Rice Jr. and Thomas, a report from Minnesota’s St. Cloud Times indicated that Bemidji State basketball player, Zach Noreen, will attend the rookie camp. Noreen was invited by general manager Trent Baalke, an alum of Bemidji State. There could be other impact prospects who earn a spot on the 90-man roster based on what they showcase this weekend. The 49ers signed wide receiver Brandon Carswell after an impressive rookie camp audition in 2013, but shortly after the solid debut he was lost for the season due to a knee injury suffered during OTAs. In 2012, cornerback Ben Hannula was also signed to the roster after his rookie camp outing.
So who will be the most talked about player following the camp? Leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.