Sunday wrapped up the San Francisco 49ers 2013 three-day rookie minicamp at team headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. Last season, the 49ers were the only team in the NFL not to have a rookie make start in a game at any point in 2012. Don’t expect San Francisco to repeat that this season.
The two positions were rookies will likely start this season are at safety and defensive end. The selection of first-round draft pick Eric Reid will fill the void at strong safety and he will likely be starting by Week 1. While second-round draft and defensive lineman, Tank Carradine, will likely start at some point in 2013 because of injuries to other players on defense.
With the rookie minicamp ending on Sunday, the rookies will not have much rest as they continue their workouts this week. This time they will be joined by the veterans and entire roster for a helmet-free fundamental workout to prepare for Organized Team Activities that start on May 21.
Here are some highlights from the 49ers’ rookie minicamp:
- Safety Eric Reid, a first-round draft pick, and tight end Vance McDonald, a second-round draft pick, went one-on-one plenty of times on the practice field. Reid broke up one pass in a drill and in another he closed in quickly to bat down a B.J. Daniels‘ pass intended for McDonald on an underneath route. In fact, McDonald did not hold onto a couple catchable passes. But McDonald did make a nice catch on a deep corner route after beating Reid.
- Wide receiver Quinton Patton (fourth-round) did not look good in his route-running and was described as “predictable” in his routes. He did receive positive marks for his explosiveness off the line. He also was seen on the field catching punts and did a nice job of dodging tacklers.
- Even though Tank Carradine will likely start at some point this season, he was not medically cleared to practice at the rookie minicamp. Neither was running back Marcus Lattimore (fourth-round). There was a possibility Carradine would take part at the workouts, however, he is still recovering from a knee injury. Lattimore was not a surprise as he is not even expected to play this season as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
- Quarterback B.J. Daniels (seventh-round) not only took snaps under center, but also lined up at running back, and fielded punts and kickoffs. Daniels will be competing for third-string QB and if he does not make the team as a quarterback, his versatility could land him a spot on the roster. It should be noted that Daniels never played at running back or fielded punts and kickoffs before. At quarterback, Daniels struggled the first day, but he improved his accuracy the second day with good throws to receivers.
- Another QB taking snaps was undrafted rookie Nate Montana. The son of Joe Montana is a long-shot to make the team and he was inconsistent with his throws to receivers. There is a chance Montana can jump ahead of Daniels for a shot to make the final roster. But even Daniels is a long-shot to make the team.
- Former Olympic discus thrower and current defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye spent a lot of the rookie minicamp working one-on-one with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Reports said Okoye “looked natural and reflexive at the right defensive end position at the snap of the ball.” However, it should be noted that Okoye did not fare well against the rookie offensive linemen when going through drills. It looks like he has a long way to go before realizing his dreams of playing in the NFL.
- Cornerback Marcus Cooper (seventh-round) was one of highlights at the rookie minicamp because of his solid job covering receviers. Most the time he was lined up against Quinton Patton as a left cornerback. He held his own against Patton by breaking up passes and not allowing any deep passes to be completed against him.
Jim Harbaugh talks about 49ers rookie minicamp: