The San Francisco 49ers were given Wednesday off after four consecutive practices. The team returned on Thursday for Day 5 and were greeted by their first red-zone practice, with two out of the three final sessions taking place inside the 20-yard line. Kyle Shanahan’s offense took control early, getting the better of a defense that’s been the star through four practices.
Here’s our stock report after Day 5 of the 49ers training camp:
Stock up: Red zone offense
The 49ers capped off Thursday’s practice with an 11-on-11 red zone period. It was a session dominated by the offense. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed five passes in six attempts including four touchdowns. Dante Pettis (twice), George Kittle and Matt Breida all reeled in touchdowns from the 49ers’ franchise quarterback. It was a solid step in the right direction for an offense that's struggled to establish any momentum against an impressive 49ers defense.
Stock down: QB CJ Beathard
The battle for backup duties behind Garoppolo, while hopefully inconsequential, is one of the more heated battles of 49ers training camp. Former undrafted free agent versus third-round pick, Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard has been given sparse reps through the first five practices. Mullens has played well and seems to have established a lead in the competition. It’s an advantage that may have increased after Beathard’s performance on Thursday. The third-year quarterback only completed 2 of 7 passes during team drills and was one of five during the red-zone period.
Stock up: WR Dante Pettis
Pettis stock fell a bit on a previous report. His drops have become a steady issue through the first four days, a problem that wasn’t present on Day 5. Pettis was the 49ers’ go-to target during the red zone period of practice. He caught two touchdowns from Jimmy Garoppolo during the final 11-on-11 portion of practice, and one from Beathard. His highlight came during 1-on-1s while matched up against cornerback Richard Sherman. Pettis beat the veteran to the corner on a fade from Garoppolo, leaping up to haul in the pass before turning and getting his feet in for the score.
Stock down: CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Witherspoon’s been having an impressive camp so far, but he looked off on Day 5. He was victimized during the 1-on-1 portion of red zone drills, dropping reps to both Marquise Goodwin and Deebo Samuel. Witherspoon looked frustrated, which is odd considering his high energy throughout the first four practices. His performance on Day 6 will be one to watch.
Stock up: DL Sheldon Day
Day’s stock went up in our last report. He’s earned another mention. Day was the most disruptive defensive lineman during the team portion of red zone drills on Thursday. He racked up two sacks, and an impressive run stop while receiving additional work in DeForest Buckner’s absence. Day was a waiver claim two seasons ago; now he’s a significant factor among the 49ers’ talent-laden defensive line.
Stock up: WR Richie James
James earned a stock increase much earlier than Day 5. It’s on me for not including him sooner. James has been one of the 49ers’ most impressive receivers through five practices. He’s earned the respect of all three quarterbacks. James’ highlight play of camp so far came on Day 3 when he reeled in a deep pass from Garoppolo over the coverage of safety Adrian Colbert, sprinting into the endzone for the would-be score. Given his ability on special teams, James’ chances at a roster spot seem very good.