The first little step on the road to Week 1 has finished with the 49ers first-year players in 2022 getting to know each other in the rookie minicamp.
With the 2022 NFL Draft in the books, attention now turns to the upcoming offseason workouts and training camps as the San Francisco 49ers get ready to tackle the new season.
The Niners held their annual rookie minicamp from May 13 through 15 as a mix of drafted rookies, undrafted free agents and a handful of tryouts (players merely invited to participate in order to earn their way onto the extended roster) got to know each other and run some basic drills.
Obviously, in such a brief minicamp there isn’t a lot that’s going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things, and indeed the drills consisted primarily of 7-on-7s, as there was a lack of available offensive and defensive lineman for a full scrimmage, but it was good to see the rookies on the field.
Here are some of the things that were noteworthy from the minicamp.
No. 1: Danny Gray was 49ers’ MVP of the minicamp
The biggest knock on Gray was he could be considered to have hands of stone during his time at SMU, and if he was a better catcher of the football, he would have potentially been a second-round pick.
We saw the good and the bad of Gray at the minicamp but it was mostly the former. We saw Gray drop a pass he should have held onto, and he formed pushups as penance for that.
But we also saw Gray make some exceptional catches, including an acrobatic catch along the sideline. He’s very explosive, too, maybe even better than initially thought even as a speedy prospect, and it’s clear he has limitless potential in an offense like San Francisco’s that thrives in allowing receivers into space.
If the 49ers can give Gray the ball with nobody between him and the end zone, the defense won’t catch him. If he becomes a reliable target, he could look to be an astute pick even as a rookie.