49ers training camp: Rookie stock watch after one week of practice

Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Drake Jackson #95 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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While Trey Lance and the defense have dominated headlines from 49ers training camp, let’s hone in on the rookies and how well they’ve looked after one week.

Way back in 2017, there was plenty of training camp focus on the San Francisco 49ers’ rookie NFL Draft class within the context of a rebuild in the first year under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

In 2019, all the focus centered on then-rookie EDGE Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in that year’s draft, while 2021 saw some focus on that year’s No. 3 overall pick, quarterback Trey Lance, despite the assumption he’d serve as a backup to Jimmy Garoppolo in year one.

The Niners’ 2022 NFL Draft class and subsequent undrafted free agents were almost entirely intended to be depth pieces with awfully few of them candidates to start in year one. Some may be closer than others, yes, but the bulk of rookies are likely tabbed as backups if they end up making San Francisco’s 53-man roster at all.

Still, with one week of training camp in the books, let’s perform a stock watch on the 49ers’ higher-profile rookies and see who’s on the rise (bullish) and who’s falling (bearish).

49ers training camp rookie stock watch: EDGE Drake Jackson

The 49ers seem to understand their top pick from this year’s draft, former USC EDGE Drake Jackson, won’t be an every-down player right away, and he still needs to fine-tune his run-stopping abilities to achieve that benchmark.

However, as a situational pass-rusher, Jackson could find a niche role in year one.

Jackson has been featured in some pass-rush situations early in camp, even recording a would-be sack against Lance in full-team drills. Having leaned out a little bit after showing up to rookie minicamp slightly overweight, the second-round draftee certainly looks more explosive.

In tandem with Bosa, Jackson could eventually wind up being a formidable No. 2 pass-rushing option at some point down the line.

While the Niners are far away from seeing whether or not that’ll pan out, the early results from the former Trojan are looking promising enough.

Stock: Bullish