San Francisco

Niners Excited by What They See From Thundering Hurd

Rookie wide receiver continues to impress in training camp this week after notable exhibition-game debut vs. the Cowboys

Jalen Hurd is on a roll in his first professional training camp.

The rookie wide receiver, who was selected in Round 3 out of Baylor, had two touchdown catches Saturday night in San Francisco’s exhibition victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Then, on Tuesday, the former college running back at Tennessee, who transferred to Baylor and converted to wide receiver, continued his strong play by catching several passes in scrimmages against the defense, including one long pass from Nick Mullens that set up a touchdown and another for a score on a slant pass.

Since training camp began, the 6-foot-5, 226-pounder has been one of the most promising stories, fighting (and winning) battles with defensive backs for passes and becoming a true red-zone threat.

The 49ers drafted Hurd for his physical combativeness against defenders, and see him as an all-purpose offensive weapon, capable of lining up wide, in the slot, at tight end and in the backfield as a running back.

Fellow Rookie wideout Deebo Samuel, who also had a solid first pro game against Dallas, has also drawn praise from 49ers coaches for his physical style, and says he and Hurd make a nice pair.

"Like Coach (Kyle) Shanahan said, we bring the physicality in the group," Samuel told reporters. "That over route for a touchdown that he caught (vs. Dallas), you can see with his big frame and with his body it is going to take more than one person to bring him down."

Early in training camp, Hurd created some havoc, getting in physical confrontations with defensive backs in drills and scrimmages. Hurd says he’s also tried to make an impression by being a ferocious blocker. He doesn’t apologize for playing hard, and says he’s always done that, no matter where he’s played.

Shanahan has said Hurd still has much to learn and polish in his game, and Hurd acknowledges that. He wants to get much better by the time of the regular season opener. But, he appears a lock at this point to make the roster.

"I’m still progressing, still learning a lot," Hurd told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think I’m at a good pace right now to be able to get everything down and to get where I need to be by the season."

Hurd gets his next opportunity Monday night in Denver in an exhibition game vs. the Broncos.

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