The first preseason game for the 49ers in 2014 was a 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. While there are grades from last night, the coaching aspect is not graded because of their decisions to sit out players combined with a basic playbook.
Colin Kaepernick was on the field for the opening possession only and is excused from this. Blaine Gabbert had the roughest outing completing three out of 11 passing attempts with an interception while also being sacked once. It took a late incomplete pass to raise his passer rate from 0.00. McLeod Bethel-Thompson played late and threw an interception, but Josh Johnson looked promising in the third quarter.
Running Backs: B-
Carlos Hyde had a great first half as the starting running back. He showed great vision at reading the holes and took advantage of his opportunities on five carries. However, this grade is lowered on Jewel Hampton for his inability to pick up the blocking when needed. He was responsible for some pressure on the quarterback and struggled on the ground. Alfonso Smith was on the field for special teams and had two carries on offense.
Wide Receivers: C-
There were two drops notable by Chuck Jacobs, but Stevie Johnson did a good job at drawing one penalty on the night. Bruce Ellington was also able to flash his speed in the second half. Quinton Patton was flagged for offensive pass interference and David Reed has a couple decent catches building off his strong training camp.
Tight Ends: B
Vance McDonald started the game and had two catches. Most importantly, there were no drops. Derek Carrier was targeted twice.
Offensive Line: D
It was a rough outing for Jonathan Martin at RT when picking up assignments. The 49ers weren't able to punch it in while in the red zone and the reserves couldn't muster anything afterwards. Dillon Farrell was also responsible for a bad snap which led to a fumble by Josh Johnson.
Defensive Line: D-
The second-string defensive line started most of the game and they were battered on the line of scrimmage by any unit of the Ravens. Quinton Dial had a decent outing, but there was no help from Mike Purcell on the interior. Tank Carradine had a few flashes of promise in his first game with the 49ers, but Lawrence Okoye had a few ups and downs before he went down with an injury.
One thing positive was the pass rushing and coverage from Corey Lemonier against the Ravens. Michael Wilhoite did well, but Chris Borland was exposed on defense. His lack of speed was on display and was a victim of no help from the defensive line when trying to stop the run.
Chris Culliver played in his first game back since Super Bowl XLVII and had a decent outing. Dontae Johnson also covered any deep ball thrown by Tyrod Taylor last night. The third string unit gave up a touchdown late, but the secondary did their job. Jimmie Ward over-committed a few plays, but also had good pursuit at other times.
Special Teams: A
Ellington and Jacobs both had decent kickoff returns while even Devon Wylie contributed. Coverage units on both punts and kickoffs didn't allow anything deep. It appears Ward will be a solid gunner in addition to playing nickel CB and FS for punts. Phil Dawson made an easy chip shop while Colton Schmidt stood out with two punts right on the one-yard line.