The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their 2015 preseason schedule Thursday evening, defeating the San Diego Chargers by a final score of 14-12. There was plenty to lean in the preseason finale, so how about ten things we learned? Feel free to drop in whatever you learned from the game.
1. Bruce Ellington has some jets
The 49ers gave Bruce Ellington plenty of opportunities in the preseason finale, and he impressed. Ellington handled the opening kickoff, and then got some slot receiver work. On his first target, Ellington caught a pass over the middle from Dylan Thompson, and proceeded to cut up field. He turned on the jets, and took off. Nobody had a chance as Ellington ran 70 yards for the touchdown. He later had a punt return in which he got a nice block from Blake Bell to spring him. Marcus Cromartie made an illegal block to bring the return back, but we saw some serious speed from Ellington. Now, if he can just stay healthy.
2. Dylan Thompson can do some good, and plenty of bad
As one might expect of a third string UDFA quarterback in the fourth preseason game, we saw some pretty cool stuff, and we saw some pretty bad stuff. Thompson got off to a great start with the 70-yard touchdown. A couple drives later, we saw him roll out and scramble for 11 yards, and then roll out and throw a quick dump-off to Busta Anderson. Generally we saw some nice moves.
And then later we saw the pick-six, thrown behind DeAndrew White for an easy pick. Prior to Thursday, we had seen primarily bad passes by Thompson. On Thursday, we saw some good early, and then some bad later in the first half. That continued into the second half, as Thompson finished 17 of 25 for 225 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The 49ers gave him a full four quarters of action, and we'll see if the team has seen enough to try and get him on the practice squad.
3. Mike Davis has some nice moves
There are some issues of dancing, but there are a lot of times where I really like Davis's moves. He shows a nice ability to cut and turn something into a positive. Davis finished the game with 33 yards on seven carries. He is not competing for a roster spot, but rather just playing time. But his preseason performance might make it easier for the 49ers to cut Kendall Hunter with final roster cuts.
4. Tony Jerod-Eddie lining up at outside linebacker
I am not entirely sure what the 49ers had in mind with this, but TJE got some new work in. He has been a defensive end and defensive tackle throughout his 49ers career, and at 300 pounds, maybe they just wanted to check his versatility. I don't really know.
5. Shareece Wright is just not impressing
It was not an awful game for Wright, but he continues to struggle in coverage. It seems like all four games, we saw him get beaten on multiple plays. He did make a nice play late in the game with a tackle for a loss, but I was not overly impressed by Wright in preseason action. Given what we've seen, it seems like Keith Reaser and Kenneth Acker might both have supplanted Wright.
6. DeAndrew White finally impresses in game action
We had heard a lot about White through the offseason workout program and the early part of training camp. However, through the first three preseason games, we did not see a whole lot of much. He stepped up in a big way in the preseason finale. White had a pair of receptions for 70 yards, a kick return for 26 yards, and three punt returns totaling 70 yards.
7. Jarryd Hayne, still doing things
While Hayne did not have a big game returning punts (one nice one was called back on a holding penalty), we saw a little bit of everything else. He showed great vision running between the tackles, he trucked a cornerback at the end of a play, and we saw him make a nice play as a gunner on the punt return team.
8. Mike Purcell finished well
The big defensive tackle did not make quite as many big, highlight-reel plays, but he was back there in the backfield once again. I think he has done enough to earn a roster spot at this point. The question is who he beats out.
9. Busta Anderson with a big touchdown grab
This was probably Anderson's best play of the preseason. He has made a couple nice plays. The question now is a) is it enough to make the roster, and b) if not, will he make it through waivers. It's a tough call with the rookie tight end.
10. Kenneth Acker can tackle
The 49ers secondary did some decent work, although it was up and down at times. One thing I saw that I really liked was Kenneth Acker making open field tackles. He came up on the run, and generally did a good job containing players when they got into the open field near him. He has done solid preseason work in coverage, but showing a willingness to get physical in tackling is