Reporters were able to watch all of Thursday's OTA session and were -- heart be still -- also able to walk around each of the fields instead of being restricted to one spot. Which is to say, there was a lot more close observation than in previous years. Here's your minutia minute:
* Carlos Hyde was on the sideline with what Jim Tomsula characterized as a minor leg injury. That made Kendall Hunter the de facto starter at running back. Hunter, of course, is coming back from an ACL injury suffered early in the 2014 training camp. Hunter looked very quick and strong in the session, and if he isn't entirely recovered from last year's injury, he's getting close.
* Hunter looked especially aggressive during a drill in which the running backs had to show quick feet through a series of cones, cut and then take out a tackling dummy as if they were blocking on the run. Newcomer Jarryd Hayne looked good -- especially for someone pushing 225 pounds -- as he tap-danced through the cones. But he hesitated on his would-be block, which drew some extra coaching from Tom Rathman. Blocking obviously is something that doesn't translate naturally from rugby league to the NFL.
That being said, Hayne has shown soft hands, both as a running back and punt returner. Hyde's absence meant extra repetitions for each of the running backs in practice and Hayne caught a couple of outlet passes and swing passes in the session that drew praise from the sideline.
* The team has an open competition at left guard, Mike Iupati's spot since 2010. On Thursday, Andrew Tiller was lined up there with the first-team offensive line, but Brandon Thomas has been filling in as well. (He was with the second-team offense Thursday). Both Alex Boone and Anthony Davis were not on hand for the voluntary sessions and neither is expected to show until June's mandatory minicamp. The starting o-line from left to right: LT Joe Staley, Tiller, C Marcus Martin, RG Erik Pears, RT Trent Brown. Center Daniel Kilgore is still rehabilitating from last year's broken leg/ankle.
Brown had the biggest role of all the draft picks on Thursday. First rounder Arik Armstead was not on hand per NFL rules regarding players from colleges that have not graduated. Receiver DeAndre Smelter (ACL) was working out with trainers.
* With NaVorro Bowman (ACL) taking a routine, maintenance day, the starting inside linebackers were Michael Wilhoite and Shayne Skov. The latter looks a bit slimmer -- and thus faster -- than he was at this time last season. Desmond Bishop, Nick Bellore, Philip Wheeler and Nick Moody also were on hand.
* Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who was named in a lawsuit earlier this month, declined an interview request. Brooks and Alson Smith have been lining up at outside linebacker. Brooks’ weight has been a bit of an isue in the past. However, he’s been a regular participant in the offseason program this offseason and looks to be in good shape.
* With Glenn Dorsey working out with trainers, the "starting" defensive line looked like this: NT Ian Williams, LDE Tony Jerod-Eddie, RDE: Quinton Dial.
* At cornerback, Tramaine Brock was present but didn't take part in team drills. The first-team cornerbacks were Marcus Cromartie and Dontae Johnson. Cromartie also played nickel cornerback -- Jimmie Ward still is coming back from last year's foot injury -- as did Keith Reaser, who is as fast as advertised. Leon McFadden also took some snaps at nickel cornerback.
* Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw touchdown passes to Chuck Jacobs and Vernon Davs (twice) during 7-on-7 drills. He also hooked up on a deep pass -- 45 yards? -- to receiver Quinton Patton that had safeties Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid grumbling afterward.
* Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (hamstring) and tight end Derek Carrier (foot/ankle) did not participate. Tight end Vance McDonald, who dealt with a back injury last year, has been full go and does not seem to be hindered at all.