Minicamp Day 3: White shines again

The 49ers wrapped up their minicamp Thursday, with the final practice highlighted by a pair of touchdown grabs from an undrafted rookie receiver.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers concluded their spirited three-day minicamp with a morning practice a Levi's Stadium, highlighted by consecutive touchdowns scored by undrafted rookie receiver DeAndrew White.

White caught touchdowns on back-to-back plays midway through the practice from backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert in full-team drills, continuing his solid showing during the offseason program.

The 49ers, despite having an apparent need at the position, drafted just one receiver in last month's draft, DeAndre Smelter, who is unlikely to play this year while recovering from an ACL tear sustained at Georgia Tech.

General manager Trent Baalke made up for it landing five undrafted receivers, including White, creating a competitive battle behind Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson and Quinton Patton for roster spots. Second-year player Bruce Ellington did not participate this week while working back from a hamstring injury.

----

Alex Boone, who had been working with the second-team offensive line during the first two days of minicamp, began Thursday's session with the first team, replacing Andrew Tiller. But Boone was quickly back with the second team after the first period.

Both offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and head coach Jim Tomsula have maintained Boone is working on the left side to prepare for backing up Joe Staley at left tackle. Boone is still very much in the mix to start on the right side, either at tackle or guard, where he's started since 2012.

Nine-year veteran Erik Pears, who was acquired via free agency, remained working with the first team, and looks like the favorite to replace the recently retired Anthony Davis. Marcus Martin (first team) and Brandon Thomas (second team) spent this week working at right guard.

----

Cornerback Traimaine Brock was back participating in team drills after taking things slow to start minicamp. He did not start, but was the third corner off the sideline when the team went to its nickel setup.

Brock has not worked at in the slot at nickel since he became a starter in 2013. That spot would normally go to Jimmie Ward, but Ward is still working his way back from a Jones fracture in his foot that ended his 2014 season prematurally. Tomsula believes Ward is on pace to return to action in training camp at the end of July.

----

Colin Kaepernick and Torrey Smith have built a nice rapport since Smith signed his five-year, $40 million deal in March, becoming Baalke's highest-paid free agent signing as the team's GM.

The duo connected on a 40-yard bomb down the left side line Thursday where Smith beat second-year corner Dontae Johnson for the ball. In talking with quarterbacks coach Steve Logan Thursday (more on that later), it's clear pushing the ball down field is a big point of emphasis for the new offense.

The 49ers signed Smith and anticipate Vernon Davis being back to 2013 form, when he caught 13 touchdowns and averaged over 16 yards per reception. Jerome Simpson, White, and Dres Anderson all have the skill sets to become deep threats within the offense.

----

We mentioned it here before, but the grass inside Levi's Stadium held up well during the three-day session of minicamp practices. More important than aesthetics: there were no significant injuries to players this week.

The only players who didn't participate in minicamp were Ellington (hamstring), Smelter (ACL), Ward (foot), tight end Derek Carrier (foot), outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (hamstring), center Daniel Kilgore (fractured ankle), defensive end Darnell Dockett (ACL), and rookie defensive lineman Arik Armstead (rule preventing college players from practicing before graduation).

With the exception of Smelter, Tomsula says he expects all those players to be available around the start of training camp, which made this offseason program a very, very healthy one for the 49ers.

Armstead is set to join the 49ers this weekend, according to the team. He was unable to practice during minicamp because of a league rule that prohibits rookies from joining their respective teams until after their schools hold their graduations. Armstead officially dropped out of Oregon after the Fall quarter, but remained impacted by the rule.

Former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota has been able to practice with the Titans since getting drafted because he graduation from school early.

Follow Chris Biderman on Twitter.

Next story:

Minicamp Day 3: Davis shows wheels

E-mail Niners Digest: NinersDigest@gmail.com

Get updates from Niners Digest by following here and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and analysis.


Niners Digest Top Stories