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14 Observations from 49ers Mandatory Minicamp: June 14

Posted Jun 14, 2017

Rookie tight end George Kittle stood out in Wednesday's practice. Find out who else played well during minicamp.


The San Francisco 49ers offseason program is in the books, at least as far as practices are concerned. The team finished up mandatory minicamp on Wednesday. They’ll have workouts and a team BBQ on Thursday before departing for the summer. 

Players will return on report day for training camp on July 27. Until then, here are notes and highlights from the final practice of an eventful offseason.

1. A number of tight ends are receiving first-team reps, but rookie George Kittle is getting more than his fair share. He was often the first tight end to take the field during each team period. Kittle caught two touchdowns during the red-zone period. Both came with the rookie lined up to the left and running a post towards the back middle of the end zone. On the second score, he made a leaping grab and tapped both feet in bounds.

2. Rashard Robinson didn’t practice on Wednesday with a minor injury, but he was still very much a part of each drill. At the start of each period, Robinson would go into the defensive huddle, dap each player, then race back to the sideline. He was also the hype man for whenever a 49ers defender made a big play. Of course, Robinson held onto his helmet throughout, just in case coaches decided he needed a few reps. (They made no such decision.)

3. Matt Barkley had an impressive day. His first sizeable completion came on play action to Vance McDonald over the middle of the field. He also threw two touchdowns in the red zone – one to Kittle and one to DeAndre Smelter.

4. Chris Jones is good for at least one flash play each practice. He had a would-be sack on Tuesday. So, too, did Arik Armstead and Aaron Lynch.

5. The 49ers defense consistently brought the juice throughout the offseason program. They dominated a “move the ball” period with interceptions on three straight drives. Eric Reid grabbed the first, returning a tipped pass back for a pick-six. Will Davis got the second on an underthrown ball down the right sideline. Chanceller James intercepted the third on a ball over the middle for another pick-six. Following James’ long return, the entire defense mobbed the rookie in the end zone to emphatically end the period.

6. Jeremy Kerley, DeAndre Carter, Victor Bolden Jr., Raheem Mostert and Trent Taylor all saw reps at punt returner.

7. Brian Hoyer completed consecutive passes to Marquise Goodwin, Kerley and Pierre Garçon during one team period. On Garçon’s reception, he put a move on a linebacker in the open field and gained extra yards. The shake-and-bake move got a rise out of both sidelines.

8. Carlos Hyde scored a touchdown on a screen pass to the left from Hoyer during the red-zone portion. Hoyer also completed a touchdown pass to Garçon with a fastball right at the goal line.

9. Barkley and Taylor connected on a sizeable gain late in practice. Taylor was running a crossing route from right to left and had open field in front of him upon catching the pass.

10. C.J. Beathard’s best pass of the day came on a play-action rollout to the left when he found B.J. Johnson III.

11. A funny moment of practice came when Joe Staley came off of the sideline at a full sprint to chase after Jimmie Gilbert, who had just recovered a fumble and was running it back.

12. Eli Harold nearly had the play of the day. The linebacker tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and was almost able to secure it for an interception. The PBU will still show well in the film room.

13. UDFA wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was able to return to the team on Wednesday. Like Solomon Thomas, the Eastern Washington product had been kept out due to NFL rules.

14. Brock Coyle was down momentarily with an injury but later returned. While he was down, the music at practice quieted and players took a knee. Thankfully the injury wasn’t serious, but to see the concern on everyone’s face gives credence to the growing brotherhood in the 49ers locker room.