Niners Live provided you with the postgame analysis of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Now we go even deeper, as only we can, by breaking down the performance of both wide receiving and tight end units against the Los Angeles secondary. We will, from this last assessment, predict who made the team, who should be considered for the practice squad, and give you their grade.
The San Francisco 49ers went into Thursday night’s matchup eager to rest up their starters for the September 10 season opener at home against the Carolina Panthers. Yet, there were plenty of spots up for grabs, as many guys were auditioning not only for the 49ers, but for the 31 teams, as well.
Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson and Jeremey Kerley were given the night off and Trent Taylor saw limited action, mostly as a punt returner, giving others a chance to shine. Victor Bolden JR.continued to make his presence felt (in this video) with a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. Bolden had 1 reception for 9 yards. Tim Patrick had two catches for 20 yards, but perhaps his biggest play of the night in this video was the block he made to spring C.J. Beathard free for his 62-yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. Deandre Smelter had two catches for 19 yards. DeAndre Carter had one catch for 5 yards. Kendrick Bourne saw no action. I see Bolden making the team as a 6th receiver, kickoff return specialist. I see Kendrick Bourne as a practice squad member. I think Tim Patrick, DeAndre Smelter, DeAndre Carter and Louis Murphy will be cut.
With the trade of Vance McDonald to the Pittsburgh Steelers, George Kittle, who also was given the night off, seems to be the number one tight end. Logan Paulsen made a rare appearance as a pass catcher in the 1st quarter with an 11-yard reception. Garrett Celek, who may have been the biggest winner in the Vance McDonald trade, was also given the night off. Blake Bell also saw no action while Cole Hikutini had a reception in the 3rd quarter for 20 yards. It’s very plausible that the 49ers will keep 4 tight ends, with Hikutini perhaps earning a spot on the P-Squad.
What to Expect Week One vs. the Carolina Panthers
The secondary of the Carolina Panthers is still recovering from the loss of all-pro cornerback Josh Norman in free agency last season. The starting corners are James Bradberry on the left and Daryl Worley on the right, both entering their second year in the NFL. Though talented, both Garcon and Goodwin should be able to take advantage of these matchups, provided the offensive line gives Brian Hoyer enough protection. The slot corner is former Minnesota Vikings Captain Munnerlyn who will be matched up against Jeremy Kerley. Former Pro Bowler and 49ers’ Practice Squad member Mike Adams is the Box Safety, while converted linebacker Kurt Coleman is the free safety and will have a tough matchup against George Kittle. The receiving and tight end corps should have a pretty good game against Carolina.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author and new Staff Writer @NinersLive.net, David Edmondson. Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims