‘Disruptive’ DB Part of Stellar Preseason Night for 5 49ers Rookies

Samuel Womack

Getty Samuel Womack returns his second interception during the 49ers' August 12, 2022 preseason game versus the Packers.

Before the third quarter began, San Francisco 49ers play-by-play announcer Greg Papa shared these words:

“The 49ers have been looking for the third cornerback next to Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley. It could now be Samuel Womack.”

The rookie defensive back out of Toledo was among the show stealers in the 49ers’ preseason debut versus the Green Bay Packers — helping spearhead a list of stellar samples delivered by this 2022 49ers rookie class in San Francisco’s 28-21 home win. Here’s who Heavy on 49ers believed thrived in their NFL debut on Friday, August 12, at Levi’s Stadium.

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Samuel Womack, Cornerback

Let’s start with ball-hawk of this crew.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound cornerback’s night began by showing his scrapper side — fighting for this ball with the much towering 6-foot-2 rookie out of Nevada Romeo Doubs.

But the Toledo Rockets star wasn’t done using his instinctive and ball-hawking side. On third down and facing a trips formation to his side (left of the field), Womack stayed on his receiver in man coverage. Former first round selection Jordan Love tested Womack’s side again…and the result was Womack’s second pick.

After his breakout plays, 49ers insider for The Athletic David Lombardi re-posted a previous angle he did on one of the newest S.F. defenders — calling him a “disruptive” defensive back.

Lombardi also reminded fans of a longer part of Womack’s game: His wingspan, which nearly correlates to a past 49ers star who played in Super Bowl 54.

The broadcast crew of Papa and Tim Ryan spent their first half and halftime raving about the No. 172 pick of the draft. Ryan even compared Womack to a young D.J. Reed during the fourth quarter. But Womack wasn’t the only stellar rookie on the 49ers’ opening preseason night.


Danny Gray, Wide Receiver

He was the rook who set the tone for the 49ers.

And his big play came when the offense didn’t even have 20 yards through the air.

But with Trey Lance facing the rush and standing in the pocket comfortably, Lance uncorked the bomb to the sprinting third rounder out of Southern Methodist for the biggest play of the game on the 76-yard touchdown strike…and what can be billed as “Trey to Gray.”

Gray not only fooled his defender with the outside move, but used that 4.3 speed that got him drafted. He’s the rookie expected to help blow the top off defenses. He showed just that on the 49ers’ first touchdown of the night.


Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Linebacker/Safety

Even the undrafted made their impact.

Before the Packers contest, the former Indiana Hoosier was described by The Athletic’s Matt Barrows as being a defender showing “excellent speed” during training camp practices. And of the 13 defenders who snatched an interception at Santa Clara, one of them was McCrary-Ball.

But he was on the spot during this play…then rumbled or 56 yards afterward.


Tyrion Davis-Price, Running Back

No, the third rounder didn’t break off any big runs and show off his 4.48 40-yard dash time.

However, he did break out his punishing side on this run:

A pummeling run like that explains why the 49ers took him 93rd overall — to deliver violent runs like this one. And that was on a play where it looked like the LSU Tiger was supposed to go between the center and guard before bouncing over to the more wider gap. He’s expected to give defenses problems in short yardage situations with grinding runs of this magnitude.


Drake Jackson, Edge Rusher

Unfortunately, Jackson’s night ended with a shoulder injury

But before that, the 49ers’ top draft pick of this class showed that same bend and pursuits that NFL scouts fell in love with on this pressure of Love:

Plus showed his hustle ability against the mobile Love.

But that was the play where he injured his right shoulder and didn’t return. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Jackson sustained a shoulder stinger from the game.

Yet, the former USC Trojan showed glimpses of his potential in this defense on a night where five rookies thrived in their league debut with the Niners.

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