Now that rookie camp is completed for the 49ers the first-year players will join the rest of the 49ers for OTAs that’ll consist of nine days between May 24 and June 10, before there’s a mandatory full-squad minicamp from June 15-17.
DT Javon Kinlaw vs. OG Aaron Banks
Kinlaw struggled last season during training camp to beat rookie guard Colton McKivitz during one-on-ones. Kinlaw made McKivitz look terrific, but McKivitz isn’t terrific, and he played poorly during the season. Kinlaw had his positive moments, but did not produce much — only 1.5 sacks. Now, the 49ers expect Kinlaw to make a major jump in Year 2 of his career. And he’ll need to improve, because this offseason he’ll have to face second-round pick Aaron Banks, who’s much better than McKivitz. Big test for Kinlaw.
“Just looking back on it, I feel like it was one of the greater points to my college career because it really turned on my dog mentality even more. It just lit something up inside of me even more.”
Thomas is a fighter. He proved that to work the point he was to be a productive college cornerback and he proved that when he endured colitis. To his credit, it even proved beneficial to him. This is the type of player the 49ers have needed in the secondary. Adding sweet talent is great and all, but there has to be serious consideration of who the player is.
Trey Lance was among those asked to predict their ratings in the upcoming release of the football video game franchise, and the San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback sounded optimistic about his potential rating. Maybe too optimistic.
Lance believes his Madden rating should be 88 “because I can do a lot of things, I can make plays.”
It’s worth noting that the highest ever Madden rating for a rookie quarterback was an 83, earned by Andrew Luck, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts. Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals was last year’s highest rated rookie quarterback with a rating of 76.
At least Thomas didn’t lack for confidence in his initial 49ers press conference:
I’ve got speed and I’m long in the defense we run. If I’m at the nickel or the cornerback spot I can make plays on the ball — make a lot of plays on the ball. Put me in a position to win, I feel like. I’ve just got to get used to the whole playbook, but once I feel like I got that, it’s over. It’s over.
Those early OTAs will reveal a lot whether or not Thomas, who sat out 2020 in light of the pandemic, will be up to the cut early.
Niners fans sure hope that’ll be the case.
The Rams do have a noticeable lack of depth and rely so heavily on Ramsey and Donald defensively that if one of them goes down, things could unravel quickly. Still, if they stay healthy, 49ers first-year defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will need to limit LA’s offense, which should be a difficult task. At this point in the season, this could very easily be a matchup between the two best teams in the NFC outside of Tampa Bay. Stafford will probably make the difference unless Lance is already an above-average starting quarterback.
Quality of Opponent: A-
Prediction: 34-24 defeat
Hypothetical Record: 6-3
10. San Francisco 49ers
In addition to Hilliard, the 49ers signed LB Elijah Sullivan. It wasn’t a surprise that half of San Francisco’s UDFA class was off-ball linebackers. Linebacker was the one area of need San Francisco wasn’t able to check off over NFL Draft weekend. Whoever plays better between Hilliard and Sullivan in camp likely wins their way onto the Week 1 roster.