49ers

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo struggles mightily in 2019 preseason debut

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo struggles mightily in 2019 preseason debut

DENVER — Jimmy Garoppolo’s first appearance back on the field since tearing his ACL in Week 3 in 2018 was not impressive at all. But at least he got his first snaps out of the way. 

Garoppolo’s first two plays were handoffs to running back Tevin Coleman, the first of which earned the team a first down. The third snap on 2nd and 6 was an incomplete pass that was intended for Dante Pettis and batted down at the line of scrimmage.

On the ensuing 3rd-and-6 play, Garoppolo threw an interception that was announced to have been intended for Dante Pettis, but could also have been for running back Matt Breida. Denver cornerback Isaac Yiadom came down with the impressive pick.

Garoppolo was under pressure from Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb, who was a handful for left tackle Joe Staley during the first series. 

After the Broncos drove down the field and kicked a field goal, Garoppolo took the field again. 

The second series did not go much better for the returning quarterback. His first pass attempt of the series, intended for Marquise Goodwin, was tipped at the line by Broncos nose tackle Shelby Harris and resulted in an incompletion.

Garoppolo then handed it off to Matt Breida for four yards before disaster nearly struck again. The 49ers QB attempted another dangerous pass towards the sideline and Broncos cornerback De’Vante Bausby knocked it down and almost intercepted it himself.

Garoppolo did go back in for a third and final series during the game. After a holding penalty committed by offensive lineman Najee Toran, Garoppolo and the 49ers were pinned deep in their own territory. Jimmy G faced a corner blitz on first down and barley got the pass off, which was intended for rookie tight end Kaden Smith. 

The QB finally was able to connect with Breida on a short pass for no gain for his only completion of the game. His final snap under center was a handoff to Coleman before the 49ers had to punt the ball away. 

[RELATED: Why Kittle's dad writes him a letter before every 49ers game]

Garoppolo finished the day 1-for-6 for no yards and one interception, giving him a passer rating of 0.0. While this sounds like a disastrous return for the franchise quarterback, it is just preseason. Jimmy G and the 49ers still have time to get back into the swing of things. 

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Javon Kinlaw isn't afraid of a few deadly weapons.

The 49ers rookie showed off a seemingly dangerous drill on social media Friday in a video posted by defensive line trainer Cam Spence.

You're correct, those are in fact a pair of knives being wielded and sent in Kinlaw's direction as he bats them away. We've seen a similar drill from two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman calls out report on 2020 NFL season negotiations]

Kinlaw was the 49ers' first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, going No. 14 overall. The South Carolina product plugged up the middle for the Gamecocks' defense, picking up six sacks and recovering two fumbles. He likely will have an immediate chance to contribute, as All-Pro DeForest Buckner's departure to Indianapolis leaves a void in the 49ers' defensive line.

The rookie, along with a few returning players looking to earn a contract, will be imperative to make sure that void is filled in order for the 49ers to replicate the dominance the team enjoyed in 2019.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

The Brandon Aiyuk hype among 49ers fans has grown exponentially ever since he was drafted 25th overall in April.

The sixth receiver to come off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk is expected to make an immediate impact with his elite breakaway speed, which he showcased numerous times during his two seasons at Arizona State.

But based on the just-released Madden 21 ratings, Aiyuk isn't even among the fastest wide receivers in his rookie class. In fact, he's just the sixth-best rookie wideout according to the video game's new ratings, checking in at 72 overall.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The rookie receivers' overall ratings were almost identical to their draft positions, with the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy and the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb swapping places being the only alteration.

When it comes to speed, however, Aiyuk checks in as the 10th-fastest rookie wide receiver, behind a handful of players drafted well behind him.

[RELATED: George Kittle 'really proud' of team's offseason work, effort]

Aiyuk's 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn't exactly elite (4.54 seconds), but during his senior season, he was tracked with a top in-game speed of 21.97 mph -- a mark bested by just three NFL players in 2019.

Game speed is different than track speed, and Aiyuk brings game speed in spades every time he takes the field.

Guessing those ratings might be adjusted once Aiyuk actually sees some on-field action in a 49ers uniform.