3 burning questions for 49ers wide receivers in 2020
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: What will the 49ers get out of Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd?
San Francisco could get some added reinforcements back heading into 2020 in wide receivers Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd, both of whom spent 2019 on injured reserve.
This could be a massive bonus, considering what each player could potentially offer to the offense. It’s important to acknowledge Taylor’s 2017 rapport with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, which helped propel the Niners’ then-rookie to 19 third-down receptions for a first down — a stat line tied for ninth most among all pass catchers that year.
But Taylor has been banged up for the better part of the last two seasons, and it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll be a massive factor entering 2020.
Likewise, the 6-foot-5 Hurd was supposed to provide a substantial mismatch for Kyle Shanahan, and that helps explain why the 49ers used a third-round pick on the former collegiate running back turned wide receiver.
Yet Hurd’s back injury at the end of the preseason last year was serious enough to prevent him from traveling with the team. While he’s since been cleared to work out and published a video working out with Garoppolo, it’s yet to be determined whether or not Hurd will play a significant role with San Francisco this season.
At worst, Hurd’s goal is to merely stay healthy and meet lowly expectations. Remember, he has yet to play a regular-season down at the NFL level, so the hype should be tempered a bit.
And San Francisco’s Round 7 2020 draft selection of Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings — another big-bodied receiver — could potentially spell the end of the Hurd experiment.