No. 3: Wide Receiver Aaron Burbridge
Very few of former 49ers general Trent Baalke’s picks remain under now-head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. Those that do have often found themselves on the roster fringes.
Such is the case with 2016 sixth-round pick, wide receiver Aaron Burbridge.
Given the Niners’ depth at wide receiver, Burbridge’s chances to make the 53-man roster are still precarious. He has offered almost nothing, offensively, since joining the league two seasons ago.
But his value on special teams has been pretty special.
“With Burb, it started with special teams,” Shanahan said, via 49ers.com’s Joe Fann. “When I came here and interviewed, a number of special teams coaches spoke so highly of him. He was very well respected in the special teams world around the league and when you do that, there’s usually a place for you in this league.”
To stand out, though, Burbridge would have to do more than be just a special teams ace.
He has been doing so, including this Thursday play against rookie cornerback Tarvarus McFadden (h/t Rob Lowder of Niners Wire):
Versatility is key for depth players and those on the roster fringes. Players here need to handle more than just one, even two duties. If Burbridge can cement himself as a halfway decent receiving option, all the while retaining his special teams use, he’ll have a solid chance to stick around into the regular season.