Training camp is over for the San Francisco 49ers and the preseason schedule is underway as the team prepares itself for their week one battle in Dallas against the Cowboys.
Many of the questions that arose upon the onset of camp involved some of the younger players and new additions to the team. And yes, some of the new guys did impress and have terrific camps but for every yin there is a yang and their was also a handful of guys that struggled.
Now for the winners.
The moment NaVorro Bowman injured his knee the 49ers knew that he was going to miss most of the 2013 season. They consequently addressed this issue by drafting Borland in the third round and the rookie has not disappointed.
At the moment, Borland and veteran Michael Wilhoite are said to be neck and neck to start along side Patrick Willis in week one. Borland is a guy that has natural football instincts and although is not perfect, always seems to find himself around the football. As of right now he gets my vote to be a week one starter.
It’s hard to look at the bright side when it comes to a season-ending injury but when Kendall Hunter tore his ACL it was Hyde’s opportunity to shine and shine he has. He has proven to be a pretty elusive runner for his size in the game against the Ravens, he carried the ball five times for 39 yards which included a couple of highlight plays. He obviously will not take Frank Gore‘s job but he’s definitely making a case for getting more carries.
If you had to choose an area of question for San Francisco it would be the cornerback position. The departures of Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers have opened things up a bit and Brock has certainly won the title as number one corner. Between him, Chris Culliver and Chris Cook, Brock has the best ability to take the ball away and has had some moments in which he completely shuts down one side of the field. Look for him to have a big year.
Here are some guys that didn’t do themselves any favors, the losers.
How can you be considered a training camp winner if you hold out for the entire thing?
Alex Boone has been a key part of that 49ers’ offensive line the last three years. He started off as a backup and worked hard to become one of the best in the NFL. There is no doubt he deserves a raise but missing camp is only hurting himself and his wallet. Not only did he get fined a substantial amount of money but with his absence he almost guaranteed himself to be on the bench when the season starts.
It’s hard to see Hunter as a real loser this camp, but he did lose in a sense that this was his season to really show that he can be the 49ers next feature back. The addition of Hyde had put a lot of pressure on Hunter to preform this season but he was nonetheless penciled in as the number two back. The combination of his season ending surgery and Hyde’s excellent play might have ended any chance Hunter had to be a starter unfortunately.
This one is a bit of a surprise because coming into camp I thought of Lattimore as a player to watch but that hasn’t worked out so well. The 49ers expected him to be healthy to play this season but his knee hasn’t completely healed yet. Even if he does come back at 100 percent, you can’t expect the 49ers to give him much playing time with Hyde and James in the backfield.