The San Francisco 49ers are getting ready for Week 3 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, but before that arrives, I wanted to take a look back at what the team’s rookies did in Week 2. The 49ers are a young team looking to build out from their 2017 and 2018 draft classes. Today, we’re back to take a look at the 2018 rookie class.
Rookie of the day: DB/KR D.J. Reed
Other rookies played more significant roles, but Reed gets credit for his 90-yard kickoff return. He had a touchdown, but his facemask penalty at the 11-yard line brought it back 15 yards. Reed is a reserve safety, but for now is working exclusively on special teams. Trent Taylor has been getting kick return work as well, but I feel like at some point Reed is going to claim that job for his own.
OT (again) Mike McGlinchey
Injuries resulted in Mike McGlinchey spending a sizable portion of his Week 1 debut at an unfamiliar right guard position. He was serviceable in the emergency situation, but thankfully he was able to focus on right tackle in Week 2. Most notably, he allowed only two hurries on 33 pass blocking snaps. He remains a work in progress, but this kind of game shows the high floor McGlinchey brings to the table. If they get more games like this, it will be a solid rookie season.
WR Dante Pettis
The 49ers moved Pettis into the starting lineup following Marquise Goodwin’s Week 1 quadricep injury. Pettis led the team in snaps, but only walked away with one reception for 35 yards. He is among the league leaders in yards per catch, but like the 49ers other receivers, he is not able to consistently get open. The question now heading into Week 3 is whether or not Marquise Goodwin will return to action, and if so, what that will mean for Pettis. The rookie also was the team’s primary punt returner, with two returns, including one for 14 yards.
LB Fred Warner
Another week, another double digit tackle day for the third round pick. Elijah Lee led the team in tackles, but Warner still finished with ten on the day. Lee seemed to be a better partner in the middle over Brock Coyle, but they were also facing a worse offense, so make of it what you will. Veteran Malcolm Smith returned to practice on Wednesday, as did the recently suspended Reuben Foster. The 49ers have some significant decisions to make as to which two will start at the MIKE and WILL linebacker positions.
Moore once again was tied with Mark Nzeocha as the team leader in special teams snaps. He has earned a core role, which is a good starting point for the third round pick. He is transitioning from safety to cornerback, so it is not surprising it is slow going getting him into the secondary. Ahkello Witherspoon struggled last week and is dealing with an ankle injury. He likely will play, but if the ankle issue remains a problem, Moore could find himself with an opportunity.
The seventh round pick made his debut after being inactive in Week 1. He played seven offensive snaps, with no targets in the pass game, and had no special teams snaps. Once Goodwin is healthy, James will likely be inactive once again.