The 49ers wrapped up their fourth day of training camp and their first padded practices today. The team had what appears to be a significant injury for wide receiver Dontavia Bogan. Additionally, the team dealt with some modest aches and pains as Shawntae Spencer had some cramps and Patrick Willis had a foot issue that held him out of practice.
Matt Barrows has posted the first recap of the day so he gets top link for now. I'll post links to other recaps as they are posted. In reading over Barrows recap, it sounds like 49ers first round draft pick Aldon Smith had a solid day of practice. He showed strong moves against Mike Person, Alex Boone and Joe Staley in getting into the backfield. While Joe Staley will be a starter this year, this isn't exactly a Murderer's Row of offensive linemen. Nonetheless, it has to be a confidence-builder for a rookie making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker.
In a pre-practice media session, Smith indicated he would probably play defensive end on third downs. It makes sense to get him in on pass-rushing downs, but the question is how soon he'll be playing every down. The 49ers want to see pass rushing from him, but they did not make him a first round pick to simply be a situational pass rusher.
Part of his short term future might depend on whether the 49ers re-sign Manny Lawson. For now they've got competition from the likes of Parys Haralson, Ahmad Brooks, Thaddeus Gibson and now Antwan Applewhite. Can Smith emerge quickly in the preseason as a starter or is it more likely to take him time during his rookie campaign?