Hit and Miss

Rookie Derrick Hamilton, the 49ers' third-round draft pick in April, was the team's leading receiver in Saturday's exhibition game against Chicago after being shut out in the preseason opener against Oakland.

Hamilton led the Niners with four catches for 51 yards, maneuvering his angular body to get open and create separation in the secondary. But he also dropped two passes that were right in his hands.

"It's just catches that I missed," Hamilton said. "You can't go back in time. I'm just trying to be natural and let everything come to me, and I feel I'm getting better. I feel more like I belong now."

At this point, the Niners will take Hamilton hit-and-miss inconsistency as long as he continues to display steady development.

"He's gotten a lot better," quarterback Ken Dorsey said. "You could see it from the minicamps to the start of training camp, and you can see the improvement he's made since the start of training camp. He's got great speed and great instincts. It just takes a little time to learn this offense. I think he's gotten a lot more confidence in himself because he's been out here taking all the reps in practice."

Hamilton left Clemson a year early after being named the school's all-time leading receiver last season. As a junior, he brought in 62 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also averaged 7.5 yards on 29 punt returns and 34.5 yards on 11 kick returns with an additional score.

CUTigers.com Top Stories