No. 2: Wide Receiver Richie James
Precisely why Kyle Shanahan hasn’t utilized wide receiver Richie James more on offense the last two seasons is a bit perplexing. James has shown some solid playmaking ability, speed and breakaway skills.
Yet even when the 49ers were hurting for receiver production for half of 2019, James was scantly a factor.
The 2020 NFL Draft is deep at wide receiver, which is a bonus for San Francisco. And it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Niners add two wideouts within their seven current selections, one early and another on day three.
Third-year pro Dante Pettis is another player in danger of a receiver being added, yes. But he likely stick around the roster.
James, meanwhile, could be pushed off it altogether.
If James was an exceptionally reliable return man, he’d have a better shot. But some gaffes in the regular season and into the playoffs hurt his stock value, as does the fact he managed a mere 10 targets over the course of 2019 for 165 yards and a touchdown.
Those aren’t big enough numbers to suggest he’s safe regardless what happens during the draft.