The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos square off Saturday evening in the second preseason game of the year for each team, and the 49ers first home game. Starters will be likely play into the second quarter, with Kyle Shanahan saying he hopes to get his starters about 20 snaps.
During the regular season, we’ll talk with the opposing team’s blog to get a handle on their team, and preview various matchups. For preseason games, we are doing things a little bit different. Matchups are not as big a deal because teams use the preseason to prepare their teams rather than win games. There is less game-planning against the opposing team, and more game-planning to see what your various positional units can do.
With that in mind, I chatted with Mile High Report editor Tim Lynch, and we talked about players to watch. He broke down offensive and defensive players facing the chopping block who could be decent waiver options. He then offered up a couple players worth watching when the fourth quarter arrives. We’ll have some unknown players on the field who likely will be either out of the NFL or on a practice squad when Week 1 of the regular season arrives. It helps to know who we’re watching. Here is what I had to say about the 49ers over at Mile High Report.
Broncos offensive bubble player to watch for
The wide receiver position is heavy in numbers and there is one guy that is likely expendable that should be on a final 53-man roster and that is Kalif Raymond. He has had himself an amazing camp and looks like dynamite in the return game. Unfortunately for him, the Denver Broncos drafted Isaiah McKenzie.
The two players are smaller and faster, so basically the same kind of wide receiver. That fact makes it highly unlikely that Raymond makes the team despite making some huge leaps this year. Some team is going to get lucky when they pick up this guy off the waivers. Then again, maybe Denver keeps both.
Broncos defensive bubble player to watch for
The Broncos have a defense most in the league would envy and I wouldn't be surprised that any player cut from this unit would end up getting a hard look from many teams around the league.
One guy the Broncos will absolutely try to stow away on the practice squad is rookie safety Jamal Carter. He has been all over the field in camp and has earned high praise from Chris Harris Jr. who compared him to Deone Bucannon. With T.J. Ward, Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons, and Will Parks established ahead of Carter, he is a clear practice squad candidate.
A smart team would recognize the potential there and pick him up.
Broncos player to watch in the fourth quarter
Last week that was rookie running back De'Angelo Henderson, but he has look so good in practice and in the first preseason game that he may have moved up the depth chart already. He looks like a guy who has great vision and is hard to bring down - a perfect combo for an NFL running back.
The other guy to watch would be Jamal Carter. He played in the first preseason game from the first quarter to the end and was using as a safety and a linebacker at times. This kid is real fun to watch and though raw, you could see the potential for greatness there.