Five games to watch during San Francisco 49ers’ OTAs
OTAs start May 24 for the 49ers. These will be the five most intriguing clashes to watch.
DT Javon Kinlaw vs. OG Aaron Banks
Kinlaw struggled last season at training camp to beat rookie guard Colton McKivitz in a head-to-head. Kinlaw made McKivitz look great, but McKivitz is not great and he has played poorly during the season. Kinlaw had his positive moments, but didn’t produce much – only 1.5 bags. Now the 49ers expect Kinlaw to make a major leap in the second year of his career. And he’ll have to improve, because this offseason he’ll have to face second-round pick Aaron Banks, who is way better than McKivitz. Big test for Kinlaw.
OT Mike McGlinchey vs. DE Samson Ebukam
McGlinchey entered training camp underweight last year and has been pushed by everyone all season. This season, he should be in better shape, as the 49ers will have a full training schedule during the offseason. And if he’s in good shape, he should perform well in the one-on-one passing drills against Ebukam, who isn’t a refined passer. But he’s strong and fast, so he should give McGlinchey everything he can handle.
WR Brandon Aiyuk vs. CB Ambry Thomas
Thomas was the best cornerback of the 49ers drafted this year – they’re hoping he can become a No.1 corner in the NFL. If he can cover Brandon Aiyuk, who looks like a future No.1 wide receiver, then the future will be bright for Thomas.
TE Ross Dwelley vs. SS Talanoa Hufanga
Hufanga isn’t the fastest safety, so he might struggle to cover some of the more athletic tight ends, such as George Kittle. But Ross Dwelley is even slower Hufanga. So it will be interesting to see if Hufanga can hang out with Dwelley, who is surprisingly difficult to cover one-on-one.
MLB Fred Warner vs. RB Trey Sermon
Sermon took a road that knocked undrafted linebacker Justin Hilliard down during the rookie mini-camp. If Sermon can also beat Warner, arguably the best linebacker in the NFL, then Sermon will be a weapon in the passing game.