49ers roster: 4 biggest winners from first week of training camp
By Peter Panacy
With just over a week of 49ers training camp in the books, let’s take a look at the four biggest winners so far and how it’ll translate into the 2021 regular season.
There’s only one more week of training camp action before the San Francisco 49ers kick off their first preseason game of the 2021 calendar on Saturday, Aug. 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
And, whew. A lot sure has happened since all the speculation and overanalysis started pouring in after this year’s NFL Draft.
Perhaps no other training camp in recent Niners history has generated more interest than this one, and that’s not hyperbole. A budding quarterback competition between Jimmy Garoppolo and the team’s top-drafted rookie, Trey Lance, has brought more focus on head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad as San Francisco looks to make an all-important switch under center.
Exactly when that happens has been one of the highlighted points of the offseason, leading all the way up to Week 1 next month.
For now, though, these four players have certainly made out the best for themselves and whatever fate awaits them once the regular season kicks off.
49ers Winner No. 4: Defensive Tackle Kentavius Street
2021 was going to be a crucial year for the 49ers’ fourth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Kentavius Street, who was redshirted his rookie year after suffering an ACL tear, then saw only modest field time the following two seasons before entering this year on the roster bubble.
Yes, it’s a bit frustrating to realize second-year pro Javon Kinlaw hasn’t shown he’s taken that next-year leap after a so-so rookie campaign in 2020.
At the same time, that’s led to Street seeing plenty of first-team reps during camp. And by all accounts, he’s making the most of them and proving he’s more than worthy of a spot on the 53-man roster.
For a player originally thought to be on the weaker side of the bubble, Street’s ascent during camp is great news. Not only does it help justify the Niners’ initial drafting of him to a small extent, but it could also do wonders for his own career as Street looks to showcase his own strengths and talents in a regular role for the first time on an NFL field.