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Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Training Camp Day 4 Breakdown: Offense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 30, 2022 at 6:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers continued training camp on Saturday, marking their fourth practice of the month.

RELATED: 49ers Training Camp Day 4 Breakdown: Defense

As it was still the first week of camp, pads weren't on. They're likely to come on during Monday's practice.

The 49ers' offensive starters remained the same as yesterday, with Jake Brendel starting as the center over Daniel Brunskill, although, for the first time, Brunskill took a majority of the first-team reps.



Trey Lance had his best day of training camp thus far, throwing 8/15 with an interception, while having two passes dropped.

Lance threw the best ball of training camp, connecting with receiver Brandon Aiyuk on a 50-yard completion along the right sideline over cornerback Charvarius Ward and in front of safety Jimmie Ward, with the wideout making a diving catch.

Additionally, Lance had completions of 15, 18, 27, 25, and 20 yards, showcasing his ability to make throws to all areas of the field, while continuing to air the ball out as the 49ers continue to install their offense.

Lance's one major mistake was an interception where, once again, he didn't see a defender over the middle of the field, this time throwing the pick straight to linebacker Fred Warner on a pass intended for receiver Ray-Ray McCloud.

Sudfeld had a rough day on Saturday, throwing three interceptions, while finishing 7/13 overall.

Sudfeld's three picks were all poor throws, as he first underthrew Ray-Ray McCloud on a 45-yard pass that fell into the arms of cornerback Charvarius Ward. Then, Sudfeld locked onto Brandon Aiyuk as he was coming out of his break on a 20-yard post route, alerting safety George Odum, who beat the receiver to the spot and batted the ball into the air, where it fell into the hands of safety Tarvarius Moore. Finally, Sudfeld threw a ball into double coverage while looking for Danny Gray, who was guarded step-in-step by cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, and Moore, once again, made an interception.

During the second scrimmage, Sudfeld was much more conservative, ending that portion of practice 5/6 with that third interception.

A positive from Sudfeld's day was that the veteran quarterback challenged himself, finally looking downfield to make plays, although he didn't face much success while doing so.

Quarterback Brock Purdy ended the day 5/7, having an up-and-down day as well, despite what the box score indicated.

On Purdy's two biggest plays of the day, a 25-yard completion to Jordan Matthews and a 13-yard connection with Ray-Ray McCloud, his lack of arm strength was apparent, as the ball traveled in the air for a long period of time, which almost allowed safety Leon O'Neal, who was ten yards back on the first play, to make a play on the ball.

The remainder of Purdy's throws were primarily short-distance, and while Sudfeld had a poor performance on Saturday, there still doesn't appear to be a quarterback controversy for the backup spot to Trey Lance for 2022.

One positive from Purdy's day: his pocket awareness was on display, as he maneuvered around pressure to make some plays on Saturday.

Running Backs

Here were the running back rotations during walkthroughs:

Elijah Mitchell appears to be the clear-cut No. 1 running back so far, but the remaining members of the group have been seen action with all three offensive teams, sparking a potential battle when pads come on for the second, third, and fourth running back spots.

Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Trey Sermon all had catches on Saturday, while Wilson and Tyrion Davis-Price were targeted on incompletions.

After mentioning that Wilson Jr.'s stock may be potentially on the decline, he had a good rushing day today, which may offset the drop he had from Lance in the flat.

Wide Receivers

Top receiver Brandon Aiyuk had his best practice on Saturday, and was the best player offensively for the 49ers. Aiyuk made five catches on Saturday, including three from Trey Lance with the first team offense. He had struggled to consistently win against top cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward, so Saturday's performance is a great step in the right direction.

McCloud was second on the team in targets with five on Saturday, and it appears that the former Steeler will have an extended role with the 49ers offense in 2022. McCloud also ran a jet sweep, his first of the offseason, which may be a bigger part of his role as practice continues.

One other note: wideout Malik Turner took some reps with the first-team offense on Saturday. Turner didn't necessarily have much of an impact—he was held by cornerback Ambry Thomas on a play—but it may be an indication about who the 49ers are initially looking at for a possible sixth wide receiver role. Remember, Turner and special-teams coordinator Brian Schneider were together in Seattle during the 2020 season.

Tight Ends

George Kittle finally got in the action after being seen working on the side with quarterback Trey Lance on Thursday, catching a nice 27-yard pass with Tarvarius Moore on his tail on Saturday.

Wide-receiver-turned-tight-end Jordan Matthews continues to raise eyebrows, catching a 25-yard pass from Brock Purdy. Matthews has had a good feel for getting open early and has been the second-best tight end on the roster so far, behind Kittle.

Tyler Kroft got in the action on Saturday as well, catching three passes, which were all from Nate Sudfeld. Kroft is the only on-the-bubble tight end that has guaranteed money on his contract ($25,000), so that may play a role in how the 49ers address the tight end position.

Offensive Line

The starting offensive line had its best performance on Saturday, with left tackle Trent Williams and right tackle Mike McGlinchey returning to team drills and scrimmages.

Veteran center Jake Brendel continues to start at center, however Daniel Brunskill got a majority of the first-team center snaps on Saturday and it seems the 49ers may want him to start at the position in 2022.

Spencer Burford, the team's fourth-round pick this season, took all of the first-team reps at right guard once again, while Jaylon Moore took reps at left tackle with Trent Williams practicing in a limited fashion during the scrimmages.

Aaron Banks did allow a pressure to Javon Kinlaw on the first play of the day, but continues to look good at left guard, especially in run-blocking.

Third-string right tackle Justin Skule had a rough performance on Thursday, and right guard Jason Poe looked outmatched on Saturday, getting consistently beat by defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.

Currently, the main question around the offensive line is at right guard, but it's too early to tell how Burford will fare before pads come on, especially given his athleticism, which should bode well in the running game.
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