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Golden Nuggets: 58 days until we get to see Cam Latu in preseason

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Friday, June 16th, 2023

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Why the 49ers fell in love with Cameron Latu: Raw power from converted tight end (paywall)

“Oh yeah, I remember Cam false starting,” Forristall said. “Because we would all make fun of him. We knew the kid was gonna be good, so we gave him a hard time.”

Forristall said the issue underscored the difference in mentality between a pass rusher who fires across the line of scrimmage as soon as he sees the ball move and an offensive player who has to be more cerebral at the snap.

“Cam wanted to do so well,” he said. “And I’ve been there. Especially after you’ve made a position change? You’re thinking about what the play is, what’s this, what’s that. And all of a sudden you hear, ‘Set, hut!’ and you’ve got to hold the reins.”

By the 2021 spring season, the yips had been addressed and Latu started gaining Saban’s trust.”

REWIND: 49ers’ NFL draft class: Scot McCloughan dishes on Ji’Ayir Brown, Cameron Latu, more (paywall)

“He competes,” McCloughan said of Latu’s blocking ability. “It’s just not there yet. But that’s what I’m saying — when it’s all said and done, he has the chance to be an every-down tight end. Which means he can block and work as a receiver. I think he can get there in time. I think he will intrigue the sh– out of you in rookie minicamp, OTAs and training camp. Because you’re going to see some of the athleticism. It’s pretty freakin’ cool.”

He continued.

“I guarantee you he’s a phenomenal basketball player,” he said. “I guarantee it. You can just tell. It was like watching Tony Gonzalez run routes. You could tell he was a basketball player. You could see how smooth he was. You could see his flexibility and his movements in and out of breaks. There were no wasted steps. That’s what Latu has. Latu’s not there yet. But he has a chance to get there. That’s going to end up being a hell of a pick.”

Where the 49ers receiving corps landed in PFF rankings

“There are so many receiving weapons to choose from in the Niners offense,” wrote Sikkema. “They have Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk at the receiver positions, George Kittle at tight end, and now Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield. From Week 7 on — when they acquired McCaffrey — the 49ers earned the highest team receiving grade in the league at 87.3.”

49ers’ Jackson pleased but not content with physical growth

“I do see the improvements for sure,” Jackson told Maiocco. “The day I came (to the 49ers), I took a picture of myself and then I kind of used that picture to see where my body was then. But I try not to look in the mirror a lot because at least for me, I’m looking at myself like ‘Oh this is nice right here,’ but I still need to do more. I don’t have the lowest body fat, I’m not the strongest, so there’s something I can still work at. It’s kind of ... I am loving where I’m at, but I’m kind of torn because I can’t love it for long. I gotta go do more.”

Why Steve Wilks was a perfect fit for the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

“I need a guy that can run a four-down front that doesn’t come in and change it to a whole 3-4 or anything,” Shanahan explained. “Not because I have a problem with a 3-4. You can succeed any way. You just got to commit to it and match it with your people. But we’re already committed. So let’s get someone with a four down. Let’s get someone that we truly respect just from going against them, and let’s find out what kind of guy he is.”