Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Training Camp Day 8 Breakdown: Offense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers had a padded practice on Friday, following a non-padded, softer practice on Wednesday and a rest day on Thursday.

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Trey Lance completed 9/13 passes today, which included a drop by Malik Turner, finishing with one of his most efficient days of camp. The 22-year-old quarterback primarily focused on shorter throws today.

Lance only attempted five passes over ten air yards, of which three were complete, although they were all near the intermediate range of the field.

Lance's best throw came on a 25-yard pass to Ray-Ray McCloud, who worked a beautiful route, faking a dig inside before cutting back outside on Charvarius Ward to get open.

The quarterback continues to work through his connection with Deebo Samuel, as the pair failed, once again, to connect on Lance's only 30+ yard throw of the day, with the second-year player overthrowing the star receiver, who was tightly covered by cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. The two were seen working on deep routes after practice.

Lance was poised in the pocket today with great protection from the offensive line, and made a number of third-down throws, which were primarily 3rd-and-long scenarios due to the occasional inefficiencies of the running game on earlier downs.

Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld had his strongest day of training camp, completing 14/16 passes while targeting all areas of the field.

Sudfeld, who had consistently struggled with accuracy down the field, connected with Jauan Jennings on 25-yard and 30-yard completions, while hitting Brandon Aiyuk, Ross Dwelley, and Troy Fumagalli for 20-yard passes.

Sudfeld also utilized his legs off a bootleg to his left, gaining ten yards on the play. Lance had a similar play, rushing for a 10-yard gain up the middle.

Brock Purdy was 4/7 with an interception on Friday. Purdy's interception came on a throw a little behind tight end Tanner Hudson, who caught it, but had it ripped away by linebacker Segun Olubi.

Running Backs

Elijah Mitchell was the clear No. 1 running back on the depth chart once again, and looked the part, taking an outside-zone carry for a long gain, which could've potentially been to the house, benefitting from good blocks by Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, and George Kittle.

Mitchell was by far the best running back on the field on Friday, breaking away for a different 12-yard gain towards the right side, while looking explosive and like the fastest running back on the team.

Tyrion Davis-Price was the second-best running back on Friday, rushing with power, but also exhibiting great vision on certain plays, which he lacked during the early part of training camp while Trey Sermon was shining.

If Davis-Price can continue being consistent with his vision in this zone-running scheme, his ceiling is definitely high. He earned one first-team carry on Friday after a duo of good carries, but continues to primarily work with the backups, so factor that while evaluating his performance.

Jeff Wilson Jr. and Trey Sermon were the two other running backs that received first-team carries, mainly splitting work with Elijah Mitchell. Wilson's explosiveness and pure speed might not be the same as his pre-injury form, but his vision was on display Wednesday, although it was inconsistent during Friday's practice.

Trey Sermon had a quiet morning on Friday, as his vision wasn't as great as it had been on previous days. However, Sermon had a nice 4-yard run early during scrimmage where he exhibited true power for the first time this offseason. If he can play bigger than his size while not fumbling, he could be in line for a bigger role, especially when he becomes more comfortable with his vision, due to the explosiveness, cutting ability, and the fact that the 49ers continue to provide him with first-team carries.

Jordan Mason and JaMycal Hasty got limited action on Friday with Jeff Wilson Jr. continuing to see action.

Hasty failed to separate from linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair on a play, and the pass intended for him was incomplete. Mason lined up on the outside as a receiver for a rep and appeared to have a step on his defender running a go-route, but wasn't targeted, as quarterback Brock Purdy threw a checkdown.

The battle for that fourth running back spot between Wilson Jr., Hasty, and Mason remains alive and well.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Aiyuk and Trey Lance didn't connect for the first time in a while during scrimmage, as the receiver got all of his targets from backup Nate Sudfeld, catching both of his targets for 20 yards and 10 yards, respectively.

Deebo Samuel continues to get back into football shape following his extended leave due to contract negotiations, as he struggled to separate from cornerbacks during 1-on-1 drills and 11-on-11s.

First, he got beat on a 1-on-1 rep by rookie Tariq Castro-Fields, while top cornerback Charvarius Ward was step-in-step with him during an incompletion on a different rep.

Then, during 11-on-11s, he once again failed to separate from Emmanuel Moseley on press coverage, and the ball was overthrown by Trey Lance. The duo continue to work on their connection as they were seen practicing deep routes after practice, but have yet to develop any consistency.

Samuel did catch a 15-yard comeback over the middle from Lance on a well-placed ball in front of Talanoa Hufanga.

Slot receiver Jauan Jennings had a bounce-back day, catching two intermediate passes, including a play in traffic where he was laid out by Tarvarius Moore but still held onto the ball. Jennings had drop issues over the past few practices, so this was a turnaround performance on the positive side. Jennings also won in 1-on-1s, defeating Samuel Womack with a nice route and catch before beating Dontae Johnson with another good route.

Ray-Ray McCloud continues to have a good training camp, as his shiftiness and acceleration were clearly on display during a couple of plays. First, he shook cornerback Charvarius Ward with what appeared to be a "Rub Return" route, according to Jordan Elliott of Niners Nation, making a nice 25-yard catch. McCloud also won a 1-on-1 rep against Tariq Castro-Fields, exhibiting a great break on his route en route to a catch.

McCloud has been a bit of a gadget player, utilized in several positions, and figures to have a role in the 49ers' offense in 2022.

Rookie wideout Danny Gray continued his inconsistent camp on Friday, struggling to get open once again, despite his superior speed, as he lost a 1-on-1 rep to Deommodore Lenoir and couldn't get any targets during the 11-on-11 sessions.

Rookie receiver Tay Martin continued his strong performance in 1-on-1s, beating Deommodore Lenoir on a rep today, while also running a good route on an incompletion against Qwuantrezz Knight.

Malik Turner continues to shine as a receiver, winning a 1-on-1 rep against Samuel Womack, who had good coverage on the play, but a great catch by the receiver won Turner the rep. Turner appears poised to win the sixth receiver spot, with him and Martin being the top candidates at the moment should the 49ers want an extra pass-catcher on the 53-man roster.

In roster news, the 49ers released undrafted rookie Taysir Mack, who dropped a pass on Wednesday that ended in a Deommodore Lenoir pick-six, and announced that Marcus Johnson, who was hit by Fred Warner on a cheap shot that began the Brandon Aiyuk brawl on Tuesday, entered concussion protocol. Additionally, the 49ers signed veteran receiver Willie Snead after working out him and fellow receiver Dede Westbrook after practice on Friday.

Tight Ends

Tight end George Kittle got action in the short-passing game on Friday, getting a five-yard catch from Trey Lance in the flat, as well as a pitch that was stopped at the line of scrimmage.

Ross Dwelley finally got into the action, catching a 20-yard pass from Nate Sudfeld, while Troy Fumagalli got several targets on the day.

Dwelley got the starting reps with the second-team offense, perhaps indicating the 49ers' thoughts at the second tight-end position.

Offensive Line

The offensive line had their strongest performance of training camp on Friday, with the first-team starters not allowing a single sack on the day.

Guards Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford both had great days in pass-protection and run-blocking, paving the way for a number of Elijah Mitchell runs on the day.

Banks, who had struggled to anchor during 1-on-1s earlier in the week, was stout, being in good position and utilizing his strength to keep Lance's pocket clean on the left side, while Burford recorded his second-straight good performance.

Daniel Brunskill started at center on Friday, despite head coach Kyle Shanahan indicating that Jake Brendel was the favorite prior to practice during his press conference, continuing the musical chairs exercise at the position. Despite the switch-off after two series each, both centers held up in pass-protection on the day, sparking some positivity going into the final stretch of training camp.

However, Brunskill's snapping issues continued as he fumbled a snap on the second play of scrimmage, after some cleaner performances earlier this week.

The offensive line blocked well for the outside runs, but struggled on many of the inside runs on the day, although part of the issue was the vision of the ball carriers rather than a lack of running lanes.

In other news, backup Keaton Southerland continues to take second-team right guard reps over rookie Nick Zakelj, who struggled in 1-on-1s, and tackle Colton McKivitz moved back to the left side following the news of Jaylon Moore's lower leg strain that will cause him to miss a few weeks.

Stay tuned for Saturday's coverage!
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