San Francisco 49ers: 5 best UDFAs during John Lynch era
By Robert Smith
No. 4: 49ers Wide Receiver Kendrick Bourne
Since signing with the team after a four-year career at Eastern Washington, fourth-year wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has used the underdog theme to fuel his motivation. And while some may say he lacks the overall skill set to be a top-tier receiver, confidence has never been an issue for the red-zone specialist.
In fact, while his numbers from 2018 (487 yards and four touchdowns on 42 receptions) were down slightly last season (358 yards on 30 catches with five touchdowns), a little deeper dive shows that 23 of those receptions resulted in either a score or a first down.
In other words, Bourne was sneaky effective when given the opportunity last year.
And while his postseason totals of six catches for 88 yards and a score are relatively pedestrian, five of those also went for a first down or touchdown.
Dare I say he seems to have a knack for clutch plays?
And while he has not set ablaze the league just yet, Bourne continues to set lofty goals heading into a contract year. In an interview with KNBR 680’s Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks Show, Bourne intimated as much:
"I’m trying to be one of the top-paid guys, top-tier guys. That’s what my goal has been since I was a kid. It’s so crazy that it’s here now. You’ve just got to take advantage of the opportunity, not let it slip by."
With big-target wide receiver Jalen Hurd preparing for his first full season in the NFL after a back injury sidelined him in 2019, as well as 2020 seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings out of Tennessee, the wide receiver room has gotten a little more crowded with big-body targets for Jimmy Garoppolo.
The road to becoming an essential part of the offense may be a bit bumpier for Bourne, but with another year in the same offense, more rapport with Garoppolo and his desire to be a top-tier receiver, the sky is still the limit for him.