No. 3: Too much faith in 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd
Perhaps this problem is something created more by the fanbase than by Kyle Shanahan. But it’s important to keep in mind second-year wide receiver Jalen Hurd has never taken a regular-season snap at the NFL level.
And for whatever the reasons, many somehow feel Hurd will wind up being the biggest X-factor Shanahan and the Niners have had since, well… tight end George Kittle.
Hurd, a 2019 third-round draft pick, spent all of his rookie season dealing with a serious back injury. True, he did impress with a two-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys’ third-stringers in the 49ers’ preseason opener a year ago. And certainly, his 6-foot-4 frame is enticing.
Yet it’s more than important to note Hurd’s back injury shouldn’t be overlooked.
Even more significant, however, is the fact Hurd is awfully inexperienced for a player at his position, and that doesn’t mean just being a second-year pro. Remember, he was a converted running back in college and only spent essentially one year at Baylor working as a wide receiver.
Hurd’s goal this season should be to stay healthy and learn the complex intricacies of Shanahan’s system, not to be pegged as someone who could deliver top-end wide receiver production.