The 49ers are a run-first offense, however they’ve additionally assembled a large receiver group that is quietly one of many NFL’s finest. Now they go into coaching camp seeking to set up some extra depth they have been missing over the previous couple of years.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan calls for lots from his receivers, and flexibility mixed with the power to run block will get and preserve gamers on the sphere.
Over the previous couple of years the WR depth chart has been comparatively prime heavy with largely particular groups contributors filling out the depth chart. That appears on monitor to alter this 12 months although with a slew of gamers within the combine who may legitimately contribute on offense this season.
On account of that, we may see some fierce battles play out in camp for roster spots on the again finish of the WR depth chart. Let us take a look at that group going into coaching camp:
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Even when Samuel’s “wideback” position will get erased, he is nonetheless rising as one of many NFL’s elite broad receivers. That may very well be extra evident now with Trey Lance below heart the place his massive arm may assist Samuel exhibit as extra of a menace down the sphere. He’s so good after the catch although that it might not matter the place he’s getting the ball – he’s going to create yards and touchdowns.
(AP Photograph / Aaron Doster)
A gradual begin to 2021 held Aiyuk again from having an enormous 12 months. Regardless of incomes simply 16 targets and catching 9 balls for 96 yards by means of the primary six weeks, Aiyuk completed the 12 months with 56 catches for 826 yards and 5 touchdowns. His sturdy finish of the season offers some renewed confidence that he’ll be an actual issue within the 49ers’ receiving corps, and it would not be a shock if he emerged as a favourite goal for Lance.
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Jennings is one other participant who got here on sturdy to complete final 12 months. His massive physique, physicality and talent to get open make him an ideal third-down and pink zone goal. The numbers might by no means be gaudy, however there’s an opportunity Jennings is one among San Francisco’s most essential receivers this 12 months. The WR3 spot might be his to lose going into camp this 12 months.
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There’s an opportunity McCloud is barely a significant contributor to the return recreation. Nonetheless, he put collectively a robust offseason program and may carve out a job due to his velocity and elusiveness within the open area. Enjoying with pads on will matter lots for McCloud, nevertheless it appears for now like he’ll give Jennings an actual run for the WR3 job. On the very least he ought to work properly as a down-field menace whereas additionally working as a kick returner.
(AP Photograph / Jeff Chiu)
The 49ers ’2022 third-round choose is flat out quick. His tape is suffering from performs the place small creases within the defenses flip into massive beneficial properties, and there is no coach within the NFL higher at creating creases in defenses than Kyle Shanahan. It could take a 12 months for Grey to completely become the versatile WR Shanahan wants him to be, however his lengthy velocity ought to a minimum of make him a deep menace in Yr 1. If his improvement occurs faster although there’s an opportunity he is within the combine together with Jennings and McCloud for snaps.
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Of all of the 49ers ’veteran WR additions from the offseason, Turner seems to have the most effective likelihood to make his manner into the offense. His receiving numbers throughout his 4 years with the Cowboys aren’t tremendous spectacular. He hauled in 29 catches for 414 yards and 4 touchdowns in 41 video games. Nonetheless, he has good measurement at 6-2 200 kilos, and he has contributed a lot on particular groups for Dallas. His path to a roster spot in San Francisco possible includes a heavy particular groups workload.
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It may be an uphill climb for Johnson to make the crew out of camp, and it might require him to play particular groups. He has simply 11 particular groups snaps below his belt since becoming a member of the NFL in 2019 as a sixth-round choose of the Cardinals. In 18 video games throughout two years in Arizona, Johnson caught 36 balls for 360 yards and one landing. He’ll both have to make a leap as a receiver or carve out a job with a pair particular groups items to have an opportunity.
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Johnson is true there with Turner as a doable free agent addition who could make the membership. He’s been with three groups over the past 5 years and he’s discovered particular groups work in any respect three stops. He is additionally contributed 51 catches for 839 yards and three touchdowns on offense. Particular groups work would possible be his path to the roster although.
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Mack’s lone NFL motion got here with the Giants in 2020 when he caught seven balls for 91 yards in 11 video games. He’ll be an extended shot to make the membership, however he is been with San Francisco since late final season so his familiarity with the membership may very well be sufficient to land him a apply squad spot.
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Mack is an undrafted free agent signing who was constantly productive throughout 4 years on the College of Pittsburgh, however he by no means had an actual breakout 12 months. His finest season got here in 2019 when he hauled in 63 balls for 736 yards and three touchdowns. In 4 years at Pitt he had 138 catches for two,059 yards and 9 touchdowns. His finest likelihood at sticking round will possible come by way of the apply squad.
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Martin is one other undrafted rookie addition from this 12 months. He performed three years at Washington State and one other two at Oklahoma State. Final 12 months with the Cowboys was his finest school season with 80 receptions for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns. He additionally had a giant sophomore 12 months with the Cougars in 2018 when he put up 685 yards and eight touchdowns on 69 catches. He’s one other apply squad candidate relying on how he holds up within the preseason.