The San Francisco 49ers are currently in phase two of the offseason workout program, which does not allow for full team drills, but does includes some one-on-one work. One notable bit of work features wide receivers and cornerbacks squaring off in passing drills. They are not allowed to do any bump-and-run work in phase two, which means we can learn a little more about things like footwork and general technique.
On Monday, UDFA wide receiver Kendrick Bourne posted a pair of videos from practice in which he first squared off against cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, and then against defensive back Adrian Colbert. They’re quick videos, but in both we see Bourne put together some great footwork in breaking free of the defensive backs. The first one against Witherspoon is particularly impressive. He shakes him as he moves outside, and Witherspoon goes to the ground. Bourne then cuts upfield and hauls in the catch.
(Fooch’s note: It doesn’t always go smoothly)
Bourne finished up his college career at Eastern Washington overshadowed in the draft process by teammate Cooper Kupp. Kupp was a third round pick after a season in which he had 117 receptions for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. The EWU passing game was kind of ridiculous last season. Bourne was second with 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and seven touchdowns, and Shaq Hill was third with 77 receptions for 1,157 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Bourne put together a strong career at Eastern Washington. He was a three-time all-conference selection, seeing his numbers slowly rise from his sophomore to senior seasons. He had 52 receptions for 814 yards and ten touchdowns as a sophomore, followed by 73 receptions for 998 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior.
Bourne has solid size (6’1, 203 lbs) and length (32 1/2” arms), but running a 4.68 40 hurt his draft stock. Lance Zierlein noted his speed in the “weaknesses” category of his scouting report, but thinks he has good hands, “above average sharpness” in his routes, and an “alpha demeanor” when it comes to competing for the ball. His overall summary was, “tall with strong, natural hands and has the good ball skills teams want down the field. He will have to prove that he has the speed and athleticism to uncover against NFL cornerbacks, but he has enough talent and toughness to compete for a roster spot as a possession receiver.”
The 49ers will move into phase three of the offseason work next week when they begin OTAs. Bump-and-run is still not allowed, but team offense vs. defense drills can happen. This will be a big part of implementing the new offense. If Bourne can grasp the offense quickly in OTAs, it provides some solid momentum heading into training camp. Once camp arrives, then we start to see how he can do when everyone is allowed to start getting physical.