The 49ers have held four practices, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.
They are still a couple days away from putting on full pads for the first time since the end of last season.
What could any reasonable or rational person conclude after such a small sample size in training camp?
Well, this is not necessarily the space for reasonable and rational.
This is our first installment of 49ers Overreactions for the 2021 season . . .
General manager John Lynch had a flawless approach to the 49ers’ selection of quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick.
Lynch did all the homework. He communicated multiple times a day with head coach Kyle Shanahan. He deferred to Shanahan, who knows exactly what he wants from a quarterback.
Ultimately, the player Shanahan said he wanted was the player Lynch wanted, too.
The only FBS school that recruited Lance to play quarterback was Boise State — and they entered the picture much too late in the recruiting process.
But let’s not shortchange North Dakota State. That program is as good as any in the country at producing NFL quarterbacks. The coaching staff at NDSU is very good — most notably, Randy Hedberg, whose title is associate head coach/passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
Prior to the draft, one longtime NFL scout had this to say to NBC Sports Bay Area: “The stuff he (Lance) does in the pocket is so unique . . . Either everything comes so naturally for him or he has the best coach in college football.”
The big schools missed on Lance. It’s more of a bad reflection on the Big Ten schools (especially the University of Minnesota) than on Lance.
Obviously, an impressive opening to training camp is no guarantee of success. But it is safe to assume, if the 49res had the ability for a do-over, they would not change a thing.
The 49ers are well aware that no rookie quarterback has ever helped his team advance to the Super Bowl.
Just like a 16 seed had never beaten a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before the University of Maryland Baltimore County upset Virginia in 2018, some day a rookie will go to a Super Bowl.
But, right now, the 49ers feel a lot more comfortable with Jimmy Garoppolo starting the season.
That’s completely understandable. It also appears clear that Lance will not spend the entire season on the sideline. There could be a weekly role for him in the offense before he ultimately becomes the starter. When that happens is anybody’s guess.
The Colts, who have a little more than $10 million in salary cap space, are set up to win this season. Carson Wentz is out indefinitely with a foot injury. But with Wentz already counting $20.4 million against the salary cap for this season, it does not seem realistic they would give up draft picks for Garoppolo and take on his scheduled $25 million pay for the upcoming season.
What the heck was going on with Arden Key and the Raiders? Based on how he looked in the first four practices, it’s a head-scratcher that he had only three sacks in 37 career games over three seasons after the Raiders picked him in the third round.
Key is a talented guy. And he sure seems motivated to get things right this season. Therefore, your statement is not an overreaction.
Although I believe Key will make the team and win a role as a rotational outside pass-rusher, my vote for the team’s No. 2 edge threat is Samson Ebukam.
Overreaction? Hmmm, maybe not.
Javon Kinlaw, the No. 13 overall pick in 2020, had a solid rookie season. He missed a couple games late in the season with a knee condition that required a clean-up in January. The 49ers are bringing him along slowly in camp this summer. He did not take part in anything other than individual drills in the first four practices.
I don’t know that I would go so far as to say Kentavius Street is a better player, but I can understand what you’re saying. I do not think this is crazy talk.
Street has been a player who has caught my eye. He is an impressive guy who seems to have a great perspective after appearing in just 15 games since entering the league in 2018. It has been a struggle for him. Now, he appears set up to make a big impact.
“My mindset going into each practice is to prove I belong and prove to myself that I’m the baddest man on the field,” Street said.
Mike McGlinchey added 25 pounds in the offseason to handle the bullrush. He does not believe he is sacrificing any of his mobility, which has suited him so well in the run game.
McGlinchey is entering his fourth NFL season. He still is a few years away from reaching his prime, so it would be a major disappointment if does not come through with his best season.
The T-shirts made after the 2021 NFL Draft because, as challenging as it was, we made it through somewhat unscathed.
As for training camp . . . let’s not start celebrating our touchdown at the 30-yard line.