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Golden Nuggets: NFL.com projects the 49ers to win the NFC West

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, May 15, 2021

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The overreactions surrounding rookie camps are always hilarious. Take the Eagles, for example. I saw a clip where DeVonta Smith did the most basic drill and saw some reactions saying, “see! Best hands in the draft!!”

Let’s wait until these guys go up against their veteran teammates at least before we start heaping too much praise.

Former Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee tried out for the 49ers on Friday.

Here’s a look at the 49ers rookie numbers:

Trey Lance: 5

Aaron Banks: 62

Trey Sermon: 28

Ambry Thomas: 41

Jaylon Moore: 76

Deommodore Lenoir: 38

Talanoa Hufanga: 29

Elijah Mitchell: 49

Poor Ambry. Emmanuel Moseley did a lot for No. 41, but it still looks off — especially for a cornerback.

Jets claim running back Austin Walter from 49ers

The New York Jets claimed running back Austin Walter off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and waived running back Pete Guerriero on Thursday.

Walter played in four games last season with the 49ers, his second stint with the team, and had one run for 3 yards and a 27-yard reception. He also was part of the special teams units.

Walter has familiarity with new Jets coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur from their time together in San Francisco.

Morning Report: NFL.com Gives 49ers 2021 Win Total Projections

Projected Wins: 10.3

“The fact that veteran Jimmy Garoppolo and No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance both project as strong scheme fits drives a return to prominence for the 49ers (the fourth-place schedule helps, too).”

Projected NFC Playoff Teams

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Projected NFC South Champions)
  2. Green Bay Packers (Projected NFC North Champions)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (Projected NFC West Champions)
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Washington Football Team (Projected NFC East Champions)
  6. Dallas Cowboys
  7. Los Angeles Rams

49ers’ Trey Lance, Trey Sermon worked out together before draft

“He’s a good dude, and I know he’s a hard worker,” Sermon said of Lance. “Just from training with him back in Pensacola at EXOS, I saw from then just how hard he works and he’s just trying to be the best he can be.

“When I got that call, I was excited. I was like, ‘I was training with this guy back in Florida, and now we’re going to be on the same team.’ It was definitely a good feeling.”

Trey Lance shines on 49ers’ practice field during rookie minicamp

He completed 19 of 24 pass attempts during Friday’s practice with mostly short and intermediate pass attempts.

The rookies reported to work on Wednesday. Since then, they’ve been cramming to learn the 49ers’ playbook.

“With any offense, football is football,” Lance said before the workout. “It’s an NFL playbook, so it’s a lot. I’ve got a lot to learn for sure. But I also have great people around me, great coaches and obviously great guys in the quarterback room. So just looking forward to learning from them as much as I possibly can.”

Because there are only 23 players taking part in the rookie minicamp, there are not enough players for 11-on-11 work. The 49ers have four offensive linemen and no defensive linemen taking part in the camp.

49ers have the NFL’s worst travel distance disadvantage

San Francisco has the most net travel miles in the NFL in 2021, according to ESPN. The 49ers will travel nearly 8,000 miles more than their opponents, round trip.

The 49ers will also travel more than 28,000 miles over the course of the 2021 season, the most of any team. But net travel miles matter more than total distance traveled, because net travel miles factor in how far your opponent is traveling, too. Traveling to London may take a lot out of you, but your opponent has to make the trip too, so it evens out. (All four teams playing in London this year are East Coast teams.)

But the 49ers have a lot of road trips to far away places, and their opponents don’t have to travel as far to play them.

How should we look at net travel miles? For starters, disregard division games, because every team plays its divisional opponents once at home and once on the road, so whatever travel disadvantage you go through to play a division road game, that division opponent is going to have the same disadvantage when it visits you.