The eighth training camp session of 2015 for the San Francisco 49ers saw many first-year players make impressive plays.
Twenty-two rookies were involved in the action on Saturday, including first-round pick Arik Armstead, who performed well with his family in attendance. In fact, the defensive lineman's brother, Armon Armstead, a former member of the New England Patriots, watched the end of practice from the back of an end zone.
Arik Armstead did get shaken up when an offensive lineman stepped on his hand, but the Oregon product brushed himself off and returned to practice shortly after the setback. During the final special teams period of practice, Armstead joined his fellow defensive linemen in running sprints on the nearby field.
In addition to Armstead's noticeable presence, seventh-round draft pick Ian Silberman saw a few snaps at right guard and center. Marcus Martin, who has taken the bulk of those right-guard reps, slid over to center for a series in 11-on-11 work. Another seventh-round selection, tackle Trent Brown, continued to see reps at left tackle mixing in with stalwart Joe Staley.
Elsewhere, rookies like tight end Blake Bell and running back Mike Davis flashed their potential with key receptions and quick cuts in the run game.
Second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt practiced for the second day in a row after a toe injury slowed him down early in camp.
Lastly, undrafted rookie wideout Issac Blakeney returned to work after being sidelined for the last week of practice with a leg strain.
More practice observations can be found in this practice report.
MVP Colin Kaepernick.
Saturday evening was a sharp showing for San Francisco's passing attack. Kaepernick threaded the needle several times on the day, including 20-plus yard strikes to tight ends Garrett Celek and Asante Cleveland, respectively.
Kaepernick also opened up the practice with a hot start in 1-on-1 red zone drills. He fired touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. Boldin's play especially stood out as he displayed excellent body control to turn back for the football and tag both feed inbounds in the front corner of the end zone to complete the 15-yard scoring play.
Kaepernick's other memorable throws came on passes to Bell, Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson.
Offensive play of the day
Cleveland's catch in a 7-on-7 period gets the nod here.
The second-year tight end made the 49ers roster as an undrafted rookie last season. And although the team has added great depth at the position, Cleveland continues to show his growth on a daily basis. Kaepernick's pass was lasered right into Cleveland's direction, showing excellent timing and anticipation by both the quarterback and the intended target.
Defensive play of the day
Defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie knocked down a Blaine Gabbert pass at the line of scrimmage.
These types of plays tend to happen during a camp practice where the offense throws 20-30 passes in a day's work, but it was even more eye-catching in how the young lineman flashed his receiver-like vertical jump.
Jerod-Eddie sprung up off the ground and batted the ball away in an instant.Rotation tracker
- Corey Lemonier and Ahmad Brooks started as the first-team defense's right and left outside linebackers.
- Reggie Bush carried the ball once during 11-on-11 work. The veteran runner later took part in punt return drills.
- Second-year linebacker Aaron Lynch took a few reps during 7-on-7 work, but he mostly dropped into coverage with light movements. The 49ers continue to monitor his daily activity along with last year's first-round pick Jimmie Ward.
- 49ers assistant coach Aubrayo Franklin continued to spend time going over techniques with third-year pro Quinton Dial. The detailed work continued during 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills. Franklin showed Dial how to use his leverage against the offensive linemen's hip and torso.
- Garrett Celek missed practice due to illness. Linebacker Philip Wheeler (undisclosed injury) and wide receiver Bruce Ellington (leg strain) both missed practice.
- New outside linebacker Shawn Lemon wore No. 46.Quote to Note
"I think he's in for a big year if he keeps doing what he's doing."
- 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith on Tramaine Brock's training camp to date.