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49ers preseason Week 1 snap count shows rookies were given opportunities to make plays

We also have PFF’s top five players on both sides of the ball

NFL: JUL 29 49ers Training Camp Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have discussed the winners and losers from the San Francisco 49ers already this morning. Now, here are the snap counts and PFF’s highest and lowest graded players from Saturday’s game. The Niners rested 28 players for their preseason opener.


On offense, only 28 players registered a snap.

Snap counts don’t dictate exactly how things play out, but if you’re a veteran workhorse for multiple games in the preseason, your roster chances are not ideal. Draft picks are going to get more work to help them get comfortable, but if you’ve been in the league more than one year, a high snap total in the preseason might be indicative of how things are going to play out. Not always, but it’s not ideal. For Beavers, he didn’t have much of a choice. The Niners were thin along the offensive line. Jordan Matthews had a nice chip block, but only seeing the field for eight snaps is a bit of a head-scratcher. Maybe it was to let the younger guys get some shine.

PFF Grades

Top 5

QB Nick Mullens-84.6

WR Richie James-77.9

WR Jalen Hurd-76.4

WR Deebo Samuel-73.4

RG Najee Toran-72.6

James bounced back nicely after an early drop. James caught six of his seven targets and converted two of them into first downs. A friend of mine reached out to me asking if Kyle Shanahan was going out of his way to get James the ball. I’m not sure if it just so happened to play out that way, but I’m fine with that.

Bottom 5

LT Willie Beavers-40.9

LG Ross Reynolds-43.7

WR Malik Henry-47.2

WR Shawn Poindexter-49.8

WR Kendrick Bourne-52.9

It was all or nothing for the wideouts, according to PFF. The next lowest graded player was Dante Pettis. The difference in the receivers in the bottom five, compared to the receivers in the top five is that these ones didn’t take advantage of their opportunities. Remember the long pass to Poindexter in the fourth quarter ahead of the two-minute warning? That’s a pass he has to catch if he is going to play in this league.

Defensive snap counts

There were 77 possible defensive snaps, and Tarvarius Moore played 70. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh didn’t have much of a choice with Adrian Colbert being ejected. It made sense to give Moore the extra reps.

I imagine Greenlaw would have played more if he didn’t flash as much as he did. There was no reason for him to play any more than he did. It was good to see Street out there running around. He finished with a couple of stops. I know Moseley was flagged for pass interference on one of the first few plays, but I liked what I saw from him.

PFF Grades

Top 5

LB LaRoy Reynolds-92.9

SS Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles-88

FS Antone Exum Jr.-83.6

DT Julian Taylor-76.3

Edge rusher Damontre Moore-72.8

Reynolds didn’t play much, but he made the most of his snaps. He had the sack in the fourth quarter where he beat the left tackle. Reynolds also finished with three other stops.

Exum had a nice pass breakup and played well. I wonder if he will leap Colbert on the depth chart after this game.

The defensive line as a whole played well. Jeremiah Valoaga had two sacks, and he just joined the team a few days ago. Moore had three QB hits, and Jay Bromley had a couple of hits as well. Robert Saleh dialed up the pressure as the game went along, and the Cowboys offensive line couldn’t keep up.