I feel the need to emphasize the importance of what the slot receiving position is going to mean to this offense and overall to the 49ers.
It is understandable if I receive criticism for not sticking to an individual member of the team construct here but, just like with the running backs, you have to understand what Kyle Shanahan is building the offense to do.
The speed over the top, all of the possession style route-runners acquired and backfield receiving threats in the offseason point to the potential of a great magnitude of yardage coming from underneath routes.
Whether it be an actual slot receiver, peeling tight end or able receiver out of the backfield, the slot-style underneath route is going to generate more yardage than any other part of the offense.
At the typical slot receiver position, the 49ers re-signed the services of Jeremy Kerley, the best at creating space in coverage, catching and gaining yardage with the ball from last years 49ers.
San Francisco followed that up with the selection of Louisianna Tech WR Trent Taylor in the draft — the nation’s leader in receiving yardage in all of college football in 2016.
Taylor has already made a name for himself in training camp and proves to be a very effective possession receiver with his quick route breaks and sure-handedness.
A great many of the “slot” routes will be executed by the fullback or halfback out of the play action in this offense.
New FB Kyle Juszczyk personifies what I am talking about. He can line up at FB effectively, TE effectively or in the slot. He can run all the same routes from any position and move the ball after the catch with the same fight that every other player that the 49ers have acquired this offseason seem to have.
Every running back in the current stable can contribute to these routes, even if one or two of them might not show great hands with the stats or tape to this point but that is because of the systems that they were playing in.
These underneath routes and receivers are numerous and will prove to be the primary asset of the new offense.