Getting a read on the San Francisco 49ers during OTAs is a difficult task. The 49ers like to play their cards close to the vest, and most of their practices are closed to the media. Subsequently, we’re left attempting to read the few tea leaves coach Jim Harbaugh drops or reading too much into the usual preseason positivity that surrounds a team looking ahead to their upcoming season.
That doesn’t mean we don’t know anything, however. While no one’s going to significantly move up the depth chart during OTAs, it is the first chance for players to make an impression on the coaching staff this season. Seeing who’s getting penciled in for first-team reps, who is excelling in drills and who coaches are raving about can give us hints as to who is getting in the team’s good graces as we wind our way slowly toward the first preseason games.
What that means for every individual player is different. Some players are already penciled in as starters, so their stock rising simply indicates a higher level of confidence or expectations, based on solid performances. Other players are just fighting to earn a roster spot, so their stock rising could move them from cut to the 53-man roster.
It’s all relative.
Here are five players who saw their stock rise during the first three days of OTAs last week.