49ers rookie camp: Reid, McDonald go head-to-head

49ers rookie camp: Reid, McDonald go head-to-head
May 11, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Eric Reid (left) is projected to start in the 49ers' defensive backfield to replace Dashon Goldson. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SANTA CLARA -- The two highest draft picks on the 49ers' practice field got to know each other pretty well Saturday during the team's rookie camp.

Safety Eric Reid, a first-round draft pick, and tight end Vance McDonald, chosen in the second round, matched up repeatedly on the practice field. After Reid broke up one pass, McDonald gained separation but failed to hold onto a couple catchable passes. But McDonald did latch onto a pass on a deep corner route after beating Reid.

During a one-on-one session, Reid made one of the top defensive plays of the day when he closed quickly to bat down a B.J. Daniels' pass intended for McDonald on an underneath route.

McDonald made one catch after Reid slipped. McDonald failed to hold onto a Nate Montana pass after beating Reid by a step on a corner route. And McDonald made a nice catch on a deep route after getting behind Reid by a couple steps.

This is probably a matchup that will take place a lot in the future, as both players figure prominently into the 49ers' plans. Reid is projected to start in the 49ers' defensive backfield to replace Dashon Goldson, who signed a lucrative contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McDonald has an opportunity to get a lot of playing time as Vernon Davis' backup. Delanie Walker, who signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason, filled that role last season.

In other notes from 49ers practice on Saturday:

--Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, decked out in Golden State Warriors gear from head to toe, watched 90 minutes of practice from the sideline. He stood next to Anthony Davis, whose brother is taking part in a tryout this weekend.

--Andre Davis, Anthony's brother, played defensive line at Kentucky Christian. The 295-pounder is taking part in the practices on the offensive line, but looked surprisingly nimble as he ran some routes at tight end.

--Daniels, who is sharing the quarterback snaps with Montana, also worked at running back in warmup drills.

--Fatigue appeared to set in for the receivers during the afternoon practice, as McDonald, Quinton Patton, Brandon Carswell, Alex Debniak, MarQueis Gray each dropped passes. Invariably, those who dropped passes also had nice catches during the two-hour practice.

--North Texas tight end Andrew Power made the best catch of the day when his feet tangled with safety Shawn Plummer and he still managed to catch a dart from Daniels as he went sprawling to the ground.

--Cornerback Lowell Rose and Marcus Cooper made fine defensive plays to break up passes on back-to-back plays during a 7-on-7 drill. Darryl Morris also had a pass breakup later against wide receiver Greg Wilson.

--Linebacker Nathan Stupar intercepted a Montana pass that slipped through the hands of running back Damon Harper.

--Defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye again got a lot of one-on-one attention from defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Okoye looks natural and reflexive at the right defensive end position at the snap of the ball.

Here's how the first group lined up during 11-on-11 drills:

OFFENSE
WR Chuck Jacobs
LT Carter Bykowski
LG Wayne Tribue
C Al Netter
RG Patrick Omameh
RT Kenny Wiggins
TE Vance McDonald
WR Quinton Patton
FB Alex Debniak
RB Damon Harper
QB B.J. Daniels

DEFENSE
LDE Dan Farr
NT Michael Purcell
RDE Lawrence Okoye
LOLB Corey Lemonier
LILB Nick Moody
RILB Nathan Stupar
ROLB David Tuitupuo
LCB Marcus Cooper
RCB Lowell Rose
S Eric Reid
S Shawn Plummer

--The three-day camp concludes Sunday. The session is closed to the media.

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