49ers’ talented rookies get chance to impress
The quest for six begins tomorrow at the ‘Stick with the 49ers preseason opener against the Denver Broncos with both sides eager for in-game action.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Pro Bowl left tackle Anthony Davis said regarding the upcoming contest:
“It will be nice hitting guys not wearing red and gold.”
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning reiterated Davis’ sentiment after Tuesday’s practice:
“I think all the players are looking forward to going up against a different colored jersey. There’s good familiarity between the Broncos’ offense and the Broncos’ defense. To go up against a good team like the 49ers, it’ll be a good test for us.”
Neither squad is expected to play its starters much, but Niner fans will get their first look at San Francisco’s talented rookie class as they see NFL live game action for the first time.
Though much attention will be on 49ers’ draft picks, here are some of the undrafted rookies to watch for:
Penn State’s Chuck Jacobs can return kicks and play the slot and with the recent injuries to the receiving corps he’s sure to get more reps.
Darryl Morris (Texas State) and Lowell Rose (Tulsa) are competing at the crowded cornerback position. Both can take a big step toward making the roster by shutting down their assigned receivers.
Colton Schmidt will get plenty of opportunities to show off his booming punts and blasting kickoffs. It should be interesting to see how he works with long snapper Kevin McDermott as both could be eventual heirs down the line if they prove their worth.
D.J. Harper recovered from multiple knee injuries at the Boise State, and the 5-9, 205-pound back possesses 4.3 speed and sure hands. He’s also familiar with the pistol from his many duels with Nevada and has gotten praise from the coaching staff in camp.
MarQueis Gray was a quarterback at Minnesota and is now a converted tight end. Pass, block, run, and catch; that satisfies the 49ers versatility fetish quite well.
Lawrence Okoye of course has drawn the attention given his rugby and discus throwing background, but the athlete who has been in pads just two weeks is likely to see the field at defensive end sometime tomorrow.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. with action shown in the Bay Area on KPIX-TV.