49ers Wide Receivers
Lock: Brandon Aiyuk*, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor
Strong Bubble: Jauan Jennings*, Dante Pettis, Richie James, Deebo Samuel
Weak Bubble: Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown
Long Shot: Shawn Poindexter
Ah, some conflict.
Richie James and Deebo Samuel still need to work their way back from offseason injuries. Samuel could potentially return in time for Week 1 from his Jones fracture in his left foot, but it’s also possible he winds up on the PUP list and misses at least the first six weeks. It’s all dependent on his recovery and availability, putting him on the bubble for now.
Rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk has been one of training camp’s best stories, and the former Arizona State standout has already impressed with some savvy route-running skills. Based on those early efforts, he’ll start potentially alongside Kendrick Bourne if Samuel is unable to go.
Slot receiver Trent Taylor, meanwhile, appears as if he’s fully bounced back from his own foot injury a year ago.
Things get interesting lower down the depth chart, however.
Third-year pro Dante Pettis has started to bounce back in camp after somewhat of a sluggish start and forgettable 2019 effort. While he’s nowhere close to being a lock, it’s a reassuring sign to see him stand out for the right reasons in camp.
Depth receivers like Tavon Austin, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson are going to have a tough time making the cut and are likely camp bodies to guard against any further injuries.