No. 4: Wide Receiver DeAndre Smelter
After redshirting his rookie season in 2015, wide receiver DeAndre Smelter still wasn’t able to get in more than just two games for the 49ers last season.
And his efforts resulted in a mere one catch for 23 yards — certainly not the production one would think a fourth-round draftee should produce.
Granted, Smelter’s injury set him back. It’s also worth noting Smelter could have been a possible fringe first-round pick had it not been for his collegiate ACL tear.
Still, Smelter will be fighting an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster this season.
For starters, the Niners made a number of serious moves to upgrade this position this offseason. Atop the ranks is veteran wideout Pierre Garcon. Right behind him is Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson.
Garcon and Robinson have the distinct advantage of knowing head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. It’s complex, and Smelter has yet to operate in a complex pro-style offense.
It isn’t as if former head coach Chip Kelly’s offense was dynamic, rather just fast.
Heading into training camp, Smelter could easily be on the weak bubble. If he makes the roster, it’s likely as a No. 5 receiver if there are no lingering effects from his ACL tear.