Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Training Camp Day 7 Breakdown: Defense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 4, 2022 at 9:45 AM--



The San Francisco 49ers had a non-padded practice on Wednesday, softening the workload after going an extra 11-on-11 session on Tuesday, as multiple key players got veteran rest days.

RELATED: 49ers Training Camp Day 7 Breakdown: Offense
RELATED 49ers Training Camp Day 7 Breakdown: 11-on-11s
RELATED 49ers Training Camp Day 7 Breakdown: 1-on-1s



Defense


Defensive Line

Defensive lineman Kevin Givens continues to stand out, taking first-team reps once again at the defensive tackle position, and getting another sack, this time against Jake Brendel, who was the first-team center at the time.

Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was a pleasant surprise on Wednesday, being on the field for a significant portion of the first-team reps as he continues to ramp up his snaps following his recovery from ACL surgery.

Rookie Drake Jackson took some first-team snaps after dominating in practice yesterday, recording a pressure on right tackle Mike McGlinchey. He's a sleeper candidate to start opposite Nick Bosa in pass-rushing situations.

Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu took the starting snaps today as Nick Bosa had a rest day. Kerry Hyder also took some first-team reps, but hasn't really had any splash plays during his significant reps.

Linebackers

The linebackers had a quiet day on Wednesday, losing all of their 1-on-1 reps against the running backs and tight ends, but continued to display good run defense, attacking the gaps and stopping plays for short gains.

It appeared that Dre Greenlaw got a veteran rest day on Wednesday, so free-agent signing Oren Burks played with the first-team defense and Segun Olubi was elevated to the second-team defense.

Burks had a nice play on the first play of scrimmage, getting to Elijah Mitchell as he rushed to the left side for a 0-yard gain. Burks utilized his speed and was able to avoid the oncoming offensive line to make the stop.

And, because it needs to be mentioned, there were no fights on Wednesday.

Cornerbacks


Charvarius Ward returned to practice on Wednesday, taking back the first-team cornerback role opposite Emmanuel Moseley.

With an eye on the depth chart, rookie Tariq Castro-Fields, who I had mentioned as a positive in the secondary in days past, was elevated to the second-team defense above Ambry Thomas, who was relegated to the third-team. Thomas has struggled with consistency thus far in camp and continues to lose at the catch-point, which was an issue that he struggled with last season as well.

Second-year cornerback Deommodore Lenoir continued his good training camp on Wednesday, beating Danny Gray in a 1-on-1 rep, then recording an interception off a dropped pass from Taysir Mack as well as a pass breakup on an accurate throw from Brock Purdy intended for Austin Mack.

Thomas continued his up-and-down camp on Wednesday, getting "Mossed" at the catch point by Brandon Aiyuk for a 10-12 yard gain along the sidelines, although he had a good rep in 1-on-1s, apparently pinning Jauan Jennings to the sideline while giving up a high-pointed catch, as the play was ruled incomplete.

Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley had strong days in coverage as they neutralized deep passes on four different attempts from Lance. Ward was close in coverage on Aiyuk twice, forcing Lance to make a difficult throw and the balls were off-target. Moseley covered Deebo Samuel well, including on a Samuel drop that was a great throw from Lance.

Safeties


Talanoa Hufanga had another great rep in 1-on-1s to begin the day, this time winning against tight end Tyler Kroft after beating George Kittle near the beginning of the 1-on-1 period on Tuesday, deflecting the pass for a breakup. Hufanga was later beaten on a different rep.

Leon O'Neal hasn't had a strong performance yet, as he was beaten yet again on his 1-on-1 rep, and looks like the 2nd-best rookie safety behind Tayler Hawkins, who did have a nice 1-on-1 rep against Troy Fumagalli on Wednesday.

Tarvarius Moore got some run with the first-team defense, which is important because the 49ers may debut more three-safety sets in 2022, with Moore's athleticism being an added bonus on the backend.

Free-agent signing George Odum hasn't initially flashed in training camp, as he's lost all of his 1-on-1 battles and given up several catches at the catch-point, including one to Brandon Aiyuk on a deep route and another to Danny Gray on a 12-yard slant.

Odum's strength is tackling, as he was an All-Pro special teamer in 2020, so there may be more sets with the former Indianapolis Colts safety near the line of scrimmage.

Stay tuned for Wednesday's coverage!
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