Loser: Wide Receiver Richie James
At various points last season, it would have been fair to suggest wide receiver Richie James was a top candidate to secure the starting slot duties for the 49ers in 2019 and beyond.
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After all, James had plenty of explosiveness. His predecessor and competition at the position, Trent Taylor, was also going through a bad year.
But Taylor was one of a number of players shining during organized team activities, looking fully recovered from the back injury which hindered him for most of 2018. Similarly, the offseason free-agent pickup of wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who can serve as a big slot if needed, will likely wind up cutting into James’ chances.
James still has explosiveness, especially in the return game on special teams. And that’s one of the reasons why Niner Noise’s Jeremy Wohlfart suggested James’ best shot to crack the 53-man roster this season would be in the return game.
He’ll likely have to. The competition is both thick and talented above James, featuring players with much more success at the NFL level.
James will have a tough time making the cut.