If Jake Butt was the most impressive pass catcher on the day, Amara Darboh was next on the list. It should say something that he still is the only guy we’ve seen catch a pass on Jourdan Lewis. That’s not to say that other receivers haven’t caught balls on Lewis… we just haven’t seen them. Darboh’s polish and physical maturity are apparent on every rep. He was clearly the best at getting off jams, physical contact or even interference down the field doesn’t knock him off routes, his hands are sure, and his route technique was praised by Fisch. He doesn’t tip his routes with giveaways like standing up at the top of routes or going into breaks... mistakes that some of the younger receivers made.
After Darboh receiver play was pretty up & down except for Grant Perry (who caught every short pass we saw thrown to him). We saw impressive flashes at times and young mistakes at others. And there were definitely some drops
Drake Harris made his spring debut on day two after missing day one while healing up from a bout with norovirus. Early on dropped a touchdown on a stutter & go in 1-on-1s, but caught all of the short and intermediate stuff. Later he came back in 7-on-7 and ran another double move. This time he caught a beautiful ball down the sideline from O’Korn with Channing Stribling and Delano Hill in coverage. He has made size and strength gains, but is definitely looking to make more during the offseason.
Ahmir Mitchell is physically ready to compete with college defensive backs. However, he has learned pretty quickly that he won’t be able to outmuscle every guy he faces like he did in high school. He have to win with technique, which is a pint Fisch made to him about his route running. He stressed to his young protégé the need to work on not tipping his routes… to make them all look alike. The coaches used Darboh as an example. Mitchell got mauled on a few short routes because defensive backs were able to anticipate what he was going to do. He showed much better technique on a stutter & go in 1-on-1s that he pulled in for a touchdown.
Channing Stribling over the first few days and has been the #2 CB after Jourdan Lewis. If there was a defensive back is skiing to break up a pass it was Stribling. He has made some really acrobatic plays. At the same time he has given up a few plays. Darboh has been particularly troublesome due to his superior strength and great route technique. Stribling also gave up the aforementioned deep ball to Harris, but again, he made many more plays than he gave up during the time the media was at practice. He just seems more comfortable. That’s best exemplified by his understanding of route concepts and his ability to occasionally come off his man to make plays on balls intended for other receivers as a result. We’ve seen him do that a few times thus far.
Jeremy Clark has been the most physical corner in camp. He broke up a number of short passes thanks to his ability to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. That being said, sometimes is a little too physical. He didn’t get his head around a few times when hand fighting with receivers with the ball in the air (which was an issue last year). Harbaugh actually blew the whistle after one rep and yelled “can we get a pass interference.” The headman would’ve gotten that call in a game. He has only been playing corner a year now, so he is still honing his technique, but there isn’t a corner on the roster with more upside.