No. 4: Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd
One can only wonder what the 49ers’ wide receiver situation would have looked like if rookie wideout Jalen Hurd had avoided his back injury suffered towards the end of the preseason.
Granted, the 6-foot-4, 227-pound Hurd remains a raw commodity, having transitioned from running back to wide receiver late in his college career. And it’s likely going to take some time for Hurd to master the transition within the pro ranks.
That said, it’s hard to overlook the sheer intangibles surrounding San Francisco’s third-round NFL Draft pick from a year ago.
Despite owning a good offense in 2019, the 49ers still finished with the 20th-best red-zone touchdown percentage in the league last year, finding pay dirt just over 55 percent of the time. A player like Hurd could help in this matter, as the Niners lack big-bodied talent.
Combined with the uncertainty the team has at wide receiver, particularly with veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders poised to hit free agency, and one can see why Hurd’s development and maturation should be a storyline to watch between now and Week 1.
Through the regular season, too, for that matter.
Hurd has yet to see a regular-season snap at the NFL level, so one can’t get overly excited about him just yet.
But that doesn’t change the notion he could be quite a unique and potent commodity this upcoming campaign.