San Francisco 49ers: 5 players who’ll struggle in 2020 training camp

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State Sun Devils, 49ers
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 49ers Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk

One could make the argument both offensive linemen and wide receivers experience the biggest difficulties in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, particularly when looking at the overall complexity of it.

And it’s almost unfair for rookies to come in and master it right away. Last year’s rookie sensation, Deebo Samuel, even struggled early for the first half of 2019 before catching fire down the stretch.

Samuel is out with a foot fracture now, meaning a lot more pressure is going to be placed on the second of the two Niners first-round NFL Draft picks, Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Aiyuk’s explosion onto the Pac-12 scene in 2019 was notable, sure. But the Sun Devils offense wasn’t overly complex, and Aiyuk wasn’t asked to run a complicated route tree there. While his yards-after-the-catch ability should fit seamlessly into San Francisco’s own offense, it wouldn’t be too shocking to see the rookie have some route-running difficulties early on.

These could have been alleviated to a point by minicamps and OTAs, but those are non-options.

Instead, Aiyuk is going to be left to whatever devices he has at his disposal before trying to put it all together once training camp begins.