The 49ers have some depth questions at wide receiver in training camp, signing veteran wide receiver Jaron Brown, according to reports.
The San Francisco 49ers have been tinkering with the back end of their wide receiver room in training camp, previously adding veteran wideouts Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson to bolster the depth behind Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor.
Yet with the presumed No. 1 wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, out until at least Week 1 and in the wake of second-year pro Jalen Hurd tearing his ACL, the Niners are going to make another move to reinforce the unit by adding former Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals wideout Jaron Brown.
News of the deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter after San Francisco worked out Brown earlier this week:
Brown, 30 years old, spent the last two seasons in Seattle where he appeared in 30 games and recorded 30 receptions for 386 yards and seven touchdowns. The former Clemson wideout was initially an undrafted free-agent addition of the Cardinals back in 2013.
One of the attributes the 49ers most likely saw in Brown was his size. At 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds, Brown is a bit more imposing than many of the shorter-statured wide receivers head coach Kyle Shanahan has at his disposal. And while Brown isn’t quite the same stature as Hurd (6-foot-4 and 225 pounds), it’s not hard to draw a conclusion the Niners were looking to add size to the position.
49ers wide receiver room is hurting, literally
Samuel (foot), Hurd and fellow wide receiver Richie James (wrist) are all dealing with injuries, while slot receiver Trent Taylor is returning from a year-long absence on injured reserve in 2019.
Brown figures to compete alongside the new additions, Austin and Nelson, while working with returning veterans Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis. Bourne, who has been one of San Francisco’s most consistent wideouts in training camp, figures to be a starter early in the year if Samuel is unavailable.
Pettis, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from what was otherwise a forgettable sophomore campaign in 2019.
Despite the addition, Brown is still on the weaker end of the depth chart, perhaps little more than a bubble-watch player who might impress just enough to hang on if additional injuries take their toll between now and Week 1.
Still, the signing illustrates some of the injury problems Shanahan and the 49ers are facing here, and one can hope the team won’t need to add any more wide receivers anytime soon.