With 49ers’ mandatory minicamp wrapping up a day early, Niner Noise looks at five takeaways as the team inches close to training camp.
While some San Francisco 49ers fans who were itching for some more minicamp action were left disappointed by the decision to cancel the final day, making the three-day session last only two, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. decided they’d seen enough.
And as a result, we’re likely to not get much Niners news until late July.
But nonetheless, despite only getting two days instead of the scheduled three, we still got to see some very interesting developments for San Francisco. More than you might normally suppose from such an early time in the preseason.
So while we sit back and wait impatiently for training camp to slowly inch closer and closer, here are some takeaways we learned from minicamp last week.
Takeaway No. 1: Pencil in Jake Brendel as 49ers starting center… for now
Unfortunately, the worst fears for fans were realized when former center Alex Mack did indeed decide to hang up the cleats, leaving behind a big hole in the middle of the offensive line.
There was some debate on what the 49ers would do should this eventuate. Would they decide to elevate backup Jake Brendel to the role, move guard Daniel Brunskill back inside to center or not say much of anything and just let a training camp battle play out?
For now, at least, we know it’s the former. The team has spoken very highly of Jake Brendel and for the moment, he has the big lead as the starting center.
Brendel didn’t have to contribute much in 2021 after coming over from the Baltimore Ravens in 2020 and then opting out his first season with the Niners because of the pandemic, but with a year of Shanahan’s zone-blocking system under his belt, it’s undeniable Brendel has a leg up on the players behind him joining the team.
As long as Brunskill isn’t moved over to compete with him.