The San Francisco 49ers had plenty of ups and downs on Saturday in their preseason opener. Nobody likes losing, but preseason scores really hold little meaning. There will be 4-0 preseason teams that stink this year, and there will be 0-4 preseason teams that have strong seasons. All that matters is getting ready for Week 1 of the 2015 regular season. And so, here are a few players who impressed and disappointed in the loss. These are certainly not all of them, so feel free to drop in your own winners and losers from Saturday's game.
RB Jarryd Hayne - Well, it looks like the Hayne Plane can play some football. Hayne was solid in rushing and in special teams. His 53-yard run was most notable, but he even looked good on plays when the team just needed a short gain for a first down. He had a pair of punt returns for 12.5 yards per return, and a kick return for 33 yards. All in all, he seemed a natural in the role. It is only one game, but I don't know that he could have done any more on the day.
DT Mike Purcell - He was slow out of the gates initially, but he quickly got in the mix. He was a key part of that goal line stand, throwing his weight around with ease. The 49ers defensive line features a lot of competition, but Purcell got off to a solid start with six tackles on the day.
ILB Shayne Skov - He was an iron man, playing the entire game, thanks in part to Desmond Bishop's calf strain. Skov finished with eight total tackles, and made some nice plays on the goal line stand. We don't know where Bishop's calf strain leaves him, but Skov appears to be the guy who will get the work in his place. If he can build on Saturday's effort, he has a strong chance at a roster spot.
QB Blaine Gabbert - He was 8 of 11 for 86 yards and a touchdown, with a QB rating of 125.6. A year ago, Gabbert was 3 of 11 for 20 yards and an interception, and a QB rating of 1.7. That alone is worth giving him a mention here. Gabbert was connecting on fairly short passes, with several catch-and-run plays. But credit to Gabbert for completing the throws, and putting them in a position for the receivers to make some plays.
DT Lawrence Okoye - He showed some serious strength, even if he was unable to close the deal on sacks. I came away more impressed with Okoye than with rookie Arik Armstead. It is not shocking given Okoye is on his third year with Jim Tomsula, and Armstead was viewed as raw coming out of college. But Okoye looked much more capable this year than the last two years. He still faces tough odds of making the roster, but if he builds on Saturday and is waived at the end of camp, I could see him getting claimed.
SS Jaquiski Tartt - The rookie can hit and close with abandon. I still don't know what kind of role they have in mind for him aside from special teams, but I was quite pleased with his debut performance.
Shareece Wright - I don't think it was an awful game for Wright by any stretch, but he needs to show some improvement next week. He did not turn himself around enough, and he was out-muscled on that two-point conversion. It'd be nice to see some improvement next week.
Corey Lemonier - He got some pressure in the first drive of the game, but he still does not seem to have a second pass rush move. He remains in the starting lineup because Aaron Lynch is still getting back to 100 percent. If Lynch gets there, Eli Harold could easily leap-frog Lemonier on the pass rush depth chart.
Dylan Thompson - It was not a good day for the 49ers third string quarterback. Some of it was his own fault, including that ugly interception to close out the game. However, I also include him in the "losers" column because he was stuck with a miserable offensive line. The third/fourth string line is not going to be particularly good, but they looked atrocious for Thompson.
Wide receivers not named Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith or Jerome Simpson - I'm very curious to see the snap count later today, and see what kind of work was split up between Quinton Patton, DeAndrew White and others. The tight ends got most of the targets, and I kind of wonder if the team wanted to showcase them for trades. I assume it was more because Gabbert is looking for more of the safe options. Whatever the case, it was a pretty low key night for most of the younger wide receivers.
Kendall Hunter - He was back in the Bay Area as he continues working his way back into team drills, but Hayne's performance hurt Hunter's roster chances, at least a little bit. Hayne actually needs to build on this, but with Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Mike Davis all seemingly locks to make the roster, their might only be one running back spot left between Hunter and Hayne.