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 trying to set up some further depth they have been missing over the previous couple of years.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan calls for rather a lot from his receivers, and flexibility mixed with the flexibility to run block will get and maintain gamers on the sphere.
Over the previous couple of years the WR depth chart has been comparatively high heavy with largely particular groups contributors filling out the depth chart. That appears on observe to vary this yr although with a slew of gamers within the combine who might legitimately contribute on offense this season.
Because of that, we might 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” function will get erased, he is nonetheless rising as one of many NFL’s elite huge receivers. That might be extra evident now with Trey Lance beneath middle the place his huge arm might assist Samuel exhibit as extra of a menace down the sphere. He’s so good after the catch although that it could not matter the place he’s getting the ball – he’s going to create yards and touchdowns.
(AP Photograph / Aaron Doster)
A sluggish begin to 2021 held Aiyuk again from having an enormous yr. Regardless of incomes simply 16 targets and catching 9 balls for 96 yards by the primary six weeks, Aiyuk completed the yr with 56 catches for 826 yards and 5 touchdowns. His robust 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 robust to complete final yr. His huge 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 certainly one of San Francisco’s most essential receivers this yr. The WR3 spot shall be his to lose going into camp this yr.
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There’s an opportunity McCloud is just a significant contributor to the return recreation. Nonetheless, he put collectively a powerful offseason program and would possibly carve out a task because of his velocity and elusiveness within the open discipline. Enjoying with pads on will matter rather a lot for McCloud, nevertheless it appears to be like 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 decide is flat out quick. His tape is affected by performs the place small creases within the defenses flip into huge positive factors, and there isn’t any coach within the NFL higher at creating creases in defenses than Kyle Shanahan. It might take a yr for Grey to completely grow to be the versatile WR Shanahan wants him to be, however his lengthy velocity ought to not less than make him a deep menace in Yr 1. If his growth 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 probability to make his method 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 lots on particular groups for Dallas. His path to a roster spot in San Francisco doubtless entails a heavy particular groups workload.
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It could be an uphill climb for Johnson to make the workforce out of camp, and it could require him to play particular groups. He has simply 11 particular groups snaps beneath his belt since becoming a member of the NFL in 2019 as a sixth-round decide 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 must make a leap as a receiver or carve out a task with a pair particular groups models to have an opportunity.
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Johnson is correct 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 doubtless 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 might 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 yr. 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 probability at sticking round will doubtless come through the apply squad.
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Martin is one other undrafted rookie addition from this yr. He performed three years at Washington State and one other two at Oklahoma State. Final yr with the Cowboys was his finest school season with 80 receptions for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns. He additionally had an enormous sophomore yr 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.