San Francisco 49ers: Top 5 Storylines to Watch in Training Camp
By Peter Panacy
Who Plays No. 2 Wide Receiver?
Veteran Torrey Smith is in line to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver in 2016.
That’s all fine and good, but it’s a completely opposite tale for who lines up opposite him.
San Francisco has a number of options, and few of them are proven. Outside of Smith, only three of the 49ers’ 11 other wideouts have more than two years of pro-level experience — Eric Rogers, Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington.
And don’t even get started on the number of net catches from the Niners’ receiving corps.
Should quarterback Blaine Gabbert get the nod under center — we’ll get to that storyline shortly — a favorite candidate might be Ellington.
As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted, Ellington had a strong OTA session and continued an ongoing rapport with Gabbert. Head coach Chip Kelly may elect to feature Ellington in more of a slot role when the 49ers go with three-wide receiver sets. But it’s also reasonable to assume Ellington secures a No. 2 job in base formations.
Rogers is another wild card, as is second-year pro DeAndre Smelter. And the 49ers might want to see what they have in rookie wideout Aaron Burbridge, who plays a lot like former San Francisco wideout Anquan Boldin.
So keep an eye on who gets first-team reps at this position. Based on the results, there’s a good chance this guy will be starting in Week 1.
Next: The Offensive Line