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Standout players on Day 8 of 49ers Training Camp

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 4, 2023 at 8:49 PM--

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Day 8 of the San Francisco 49ers training camp is officially over, as it was the longest practice that the team ran, consisting of 13 periods, rather than the usual 12, with the final session lasting nearly 23 minutes in a heavy scrimmage day.

The offense and defense each had their moments, as the quarterbacks compiled a second consecutive day of good collective performances, while the defensive line rebounded with a number of pressures and at least five sacks.

Here were the standout players from Day 8, which I talked about in-depth when recapping the day of practice in our podcast down below.

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RB Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey is just such a special player, and its been on display every time he touches the field. The 49ers' running back room has seen some solid play all throughout training camp, so its notable when sharing that McCaffrey has been miles ahead of the rest, with his combination of vision, elusiveness, and hard running style just working to perfection.

McCaffrey got his biggest share, it seemed, on Friday, which made sense, given the longer practice, and flourished, taking a few runs for at least five-six yards, with the potential of at least one going to the house.

With the offensive line getting better in the run game, McCaffrey continues to see longer runs, and it's very clear he'll be as featured, if not more, in his first full season with the 49ers.

Not to mention, McCaffrey dominates every time he touches the field in 1-on-1s.

TE George Kittle

George Kittle has been the primary storyline at tight end this offseason, mainly due to the lack of an emergence amongst his backups, and continued his strong play on Friday, mossing Dre Greenlaw on a 35-yard deep ball from Brock Purdy that was underthrown, which was one of the plays of the day.

Kittle caught three passes on the day, earning four targets, with the lone misfire coming on a good pass breakup from Ambry Thomas.

Kittle's rapport with the quarterbacks is continuing to develop, and it's nice to see him earn some reps downfield as a pass-catcher, where he's proven to be a viable threat, both with his route-running and speed, as well as with his contested catch ability.

DL Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton is the next Charles Omenihu.

But, seriously, Charlton has seen a hell of a start to camp, winning two of his three 1-on-1 reps, beating Jaylon Moore and splitting ones with Ilm Manning, with the win coming off a nice spin move to the inside.

In team drills, Charlton recorded a pressure and a run stop, displaying his impact in both areas of the field. It's been too early to tell, but Charlton has put a dent into the 49ers' plans at defensive line, making a case to earn a 53-man roster spot after hopping right off a plane into practice earlier in the week.

You could argue he's been the top defensive end upon his arrival in San Francisco.

OT Colton McKivitz

The Colton McKivitz show in 1-on-1s continued, as the offensive tackle won two reps, one against Clelin Ferrell and another against Drake Jackson. While both aren't great pass-rushers, it's important to note the success he's seen in 1-on-1 reps, displaying some of the pass-protection skills he has.

Now, his true test will only come during joint practices, where he'll face Maxx Crosby, and especially in the preseason, but he's been fine so far in 1-on-1s, although a little inconsistent in 11-on-11s.

Additionally, the runs to the right side with the first-team offense have been gaining some traction. McKivitz is no McGlinchey in the run game for sure, but if he can at least be average, it'll provide the 49ers with their full arsenal on the ground, where stars like McCaffrey can impose their will.

TE Brayden Willis

Brayden Willis arguably had his best practice yet after stacking a few solid outings this week, catching two passes in team drills, and looking solid once again with his hands.

Willis is an interesting case; he may not be the best athlete or route-runner, but has gotten some good separation on different plays, which has allowed the quarterbacks to be more comfortable targeting the rookie tight end.

The hands are what has separated him as well so far, with the remainder of the backup tight ends underwhelming to begin training camp.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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