No. 2: 49ers lack a go-to threat at the position
San Francisco hurt for an above-average wide receiver duo for some time, but at least it had some possession-type receivers in the mix over the years.
It’s likely Deebo Samuel would have emerged as that player this season, especially after he finished with 802 receiving yards last year following his upburst during the second half of 2019. And while it’s still possible Samuel returns to form after recovering from his injury, there aren’t exactly going to be too many key impact pass-catchers for Kyle Shanahan during training camp.
Simply put, it’s going to be difficult for anyone to establish himself as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s No. 1 target.
Trent Taylor could be, based on his already-established 2017 rapport with Garoppolo. But that’s based much more on third downs than anything else. Rookies Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings could be, too. But they’re still rookies. And a lack of spring workouts, minicamps and OTAs already mean both players are developmentally behind the curve.
This essentially means Dante Pettis is the lone player with any sort of real connection with Garoppolo, and that’s not something Shanahan should feel too excited about in camp this year.