No. 2: 49ers’ Lack of Proven Commodities at Wide Receiver
OTAs would have been a great time for San Francisco’s questionable wide receiver corps to shake itself out a little bit. While not always definitive, those sessions can provide some ample feedback on who’s rising to the surface and who’s not.
In the case of the Niners, who will start training camp without Richie James (COVID-19, wrist) or the presumed No. 1 option, Deebo Samuel (foot), the wide receiver depth chart seems to offer up more questions than answers right now.
Brandon Aiyuk is just one major question mark, at least in terms of how far along he’ll be once on-field practices begin on Aug. 12. Behind him, it’s a fairly open-ended concern which other wideouts will perform well enough.
Can Dante Pettis overcome last year’s dramatic regression? How will 2019 injured wideouts, Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd, look after missing all of last year? Is fourth-year pro Kendrick Bourne ready to assume a larger role? What about some of the other additions, notably Jauan Jennings? He’s going to be learning an entirely new scheme, too.
What’s likely to be the case early in training camp is some noticeably painful struggles from this unit against a defense that remains largely intact from what was seen over the course of 2019.
Those early struggles may not be a cause for panic, but they’re certainly worthy of some concern.