No. 2: Wide Receiver Aaron Burbridge
It was a pretty good sign the 49ers were giving third-year pro wide receiver Aaron Burbridge some offensive looks earlier this preseason. After all, the special teams ace has excellent capabilities there, so developing his offensive skill set should increase his versatility for the regular season.
San Francisco 49ers
The problem for the Niners, though, is wide receiver is pretty stacked heading into this final preseason bout. Wide receivers Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Dante Pettis are all but guaranteed roster spots. Fellow wideouts Kendrick Bourne and Richie James are certainly on the stronger side of the bubble.
Assuming head coach Kyle Shanahan keeps no more than six receivers on the 53-man roster, and the final spots go to Bourne and James, Burbridge wouldn’t appear to be capable of making the cut.
If he does get on the roster, it will be because of his special teams attributes. And those are important.
But with any player buried deep on the depth chart, the ability to double as a solid reserve option is essential to increasing stock value entering the regular season.
With San Francisco likely to rest the first four names on the depth chart on Thursday, Burbridge should see plenty of offensive field time during this particular contest. If he flashes some promise here, Shanahan might be forced to keep him on the regular-season roster.