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Oh Hey There! Which young players can you believe in?

Between camp and two preseason games, these players have made their mark

Today’s Oh, Hey There! Podcast was a good vibes only event. Leo Luna and Jason Aponte picked the players they believe have shown enough this preseason to earn your trust. I’ll highlight a few below.

Danny Gray

“It’s not just, ‘Let’s run deep,’” Leo said, “We’ve seen him on a quick out on first down from Nate Sudfeld, we’ve seen him run a 15-yard dig route over the middle of the field as well. Then, run across the field again to get the two-point conversion. Hit the griddy, extra points.”

Through two preseason games, Gray has four catches on eight targets for 123 yards and a touchdown, but that doesn’t fully encapsulate what he’s shown so far. He’s also had multiple nice catches where his feet landed just out of bounds, and highlight reel plays in training camp.

Throw in the recent comments from 49ers coaches, and it’s clear the arrow is pointing up for Danny Gray.

Jordan Mason

Jason put it bluntly on the show:

“How many times did I have to tell you after coming out of training camp practice, ‘Jordan Mason, Jordan Mason, Jordan Mason?’ This is carrying over. This is something that he’s done whenever he’s gotten reps. The thing is, you really can’t go by how many reps you get. You can only take advantage of the reps you do get. If he got two reps in practice, four reps, he made the most of it. He led the team [against the Vikings] with six yards per carry, and you can say, ‘It was against backups,’ that’s fine. That’s how he looks whenever he’s on the field. It’s gonna be very hard, and I’ll need an explanation from somebody if Jordan Mason does not make this roster. My hot take is this: Jordan Mason will be on an NFL roster, I just hope it’s the 49ers.”

Jason Poe

Don’t let his height fool you, Jason Poe plays plenty big on the field.

Poe may have gone undrafted in April, but after training camp and two preseason games, he’s already splitting first-team reps with Aaron Banks in practice. That should tell you everything you need to know about him.

Charles Omenihu

Omenihu is on this list in part due to last year’s performance, but Leo has liked what he’s seen so far.

“I’m at the point where, seeing what Charles Omenihu last season, seeing what he’s doing right now in the preseason, I’m like, ‘Why is he there?’ This guy shouldn’t have to suit up for these games. He’s earned that right based on what he did last season for the 49ers. He’s just way better than the offensive tackles that a trying to block him.”

It looks right now like Omenihu will follow in the footsteps of players like Arden Key and Kerry Hyder Jr., that have become their best selves in San Francisco. Being surrounded by better talent surely helps, but Omenihu also credited defensive line coach Kris Kocurek for teaching him the finer points of the position.

“I had to understand how to rush,” Omenihu told the Athletic, “When I was in Houston, and I came here, I learned very quickly that I didn’t really know how to rush for real. I was very much super raw. I didn’t understand how to be an outside pass rusher. I had a slight idea of inside rushing, but outside rushing, I didn’t have a clue.”

Listen to the entire show to hear the full conversation, which also included Spencer Burford, Drake Jackson, and more.

Other topics in today’s show

  • Danny Gray is more than just a deep threat (1:27)
  • Spencer Burford has proven he can be a starter (3:36)
  • Jordan Mason has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s had (4:16)
  • Jason Poe has earned a spot on the roster (5:04)
  • Drake Jackson looks like a first-round pick (7:04)
  • Iced or Hot: Is Trey Sermon on the roster bubble? (11:35)
  • Has Brock Purdy done enough to be QB2? (16:50)
  • Ross Dwelley’s time may have come (20:48)
  • Don’t panic about the injuries just yet (22:10)
  • What to watch for against the Texans (27:53)
  • Jason’s advice to 49ers fans about Trey Lance reports (30:46)