The San Francisco 49ers are fortunate that Week 1 of their 2014 preseason ended in a much different fashion than it began.
Indeed, progress reports that emerge after three positive, constructive joint practices with a former Super Bowl nemesis—instead of coming after a 23-3 thrashing last Thursday vs. said Baltimore Ravens—are generally kinder to the eyes.
And that includes those of veterans, second-year players and rookies alike.
For the purposes of this evaluation, San Francisco’s 2014 draft picks and undrafted pickups are the subjects of note. Jimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin, Chris Borland, Bruce Ellington, Dontae Johnson, Aaron Lynch and Kenneth Acker all made their presence felt over the past week. The same goes for a few rookie free agents.
Hyde averaged a fantastic 7.8 yards on the ground against Baltimore’s formidable defensive front. Fellow first-year asset Ellington led the 49ers in receiving yards.
There are also the likes of Martin and Shayne Skov—the first a top-70 pick and the other an undrafted linebacker out of Stanford. Both have appeared as little more than raw NFL backups, if not the quality of practice-squad stowaways.
With such an appropriately wide disparity in mind, here are the progress reports for the 49ers’ rookies through Week 1 of the preseason.
Note: Draft picks G Brandon Thomas (knee), CB Keith Reaser (knee), DT Kaleb Ramsey (N/A) and FB Trey Millard (knee) have all been sidelined for the entire offseason. Each one will also sport the redshirt label for their rookie campaigns.