No. 3: Wide Receiver Richie James
Yet Taylor’s 2018 back injury appears to be healed, and James’ relative lack of offensive use — he had 12 catches for 75 yards last season — could be an indication San Francisco is hoping Taylor bounces back, rather than James overtakes him.
James offered some explosiveness on special teams, even returning a kickoff return 97 yards for a crucial touchdown in the 49ers’ 26-23 Week 15 win over the Seattle Seahawks last year.
At the same time, though, James also fumbled twice. And turnovers aren’t going to improve James’ chances at all, considering the Niners coughed up the ball 32 times last season — third worst in the NFL.
Perhaps securing a return roll and maintaining better ball security will be the best ways James makes the cut, as Niner Noise’s Jeremy Wohlfart pointed out.
That said, contributing only on special teams and offering up little elsewhere won’t be a full guarantee for James’ chances at the 53-man roster.