The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their first set of OTAs on Thursday, and will pick them back up next Tuesday. In the meantime, players have plenty of opportunity to get work done and acclimate themselves to Chip Kelly's new offense (and Jim O'Neil's new defense).
One player who is giving this priority is rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel. Matt Barrows reported earlier this week that Driskel turned down an invite to this weekend's NFLPA Rookie Premiere event.
The annual Rookie Premiere event takes place in Los Angeles, and has players in town Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The event focuses on skill position players and a few high profile defensive players. The 49ers did not draft an offensive skill position player until the sixth round, grabbing Driskel, Kelvin Taylor, and Aaron Burbridge. Driskel is the only one to confirm an invite to the event.
The event itself does provide value for the rookies. It provides players a chance to start making business connections that could lead to future endorsement deals. It obviously is less about football and more about off-field stuff, but that is incredibly important for athletes who on average have incredibly short careers.
That being said, props to Driskel for focusing on the football side of things this week. It seems incredibly unlikely that he will secure much in the way of playing time this fall, but every day he can work with the playbook and get a better handle on things is important. He could very well wash out of the NFL, and we'll forget about him, but hopefully this kind of dedication pans out at some point.