49ers post-NFL Draft roster: 5 veterans who may be gone in 2020

C.J. Beathard #3 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
C.J. Beathard #3 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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Richie James, 49ers
Richie James #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

No. 5: Wide Receiver Richie James

It’s odd to think third-year wide receiver Richie James should be on this list. After all, James sure seems explosive enough when he gets the ball in his hands on offense.

Averaging 27.5 yards per reception last year points to this. But when you consider that lofty number was based off only six receptions, it’s understandable why James isn’t seen as anything more than a depth reserve and special teams contributor.

Whether or not James has fallen in Kyle Shanahan’s preference chart is anyone’s guess, but the lack of attention on offense is telling. For whatever reason, James isn’t a factor here.

And that spells danger.

San Francisco brought aboard veteran wideout Travis Benjamin as a free agent during the offseason, then added two more receivers in the NFL Draft, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.

Benjamin might also be on the roster bubble, yes. But he’s squarely joined by James, merely as the numbers game starts to pile up. Aiyuk and, to a lesser extent, Jennings will be afforded more than enough opportunities to make the roster, while players like James have an uphill fight to secure a role.