SF 49ers: 5 smart decisions Kyle Shanahan made with 53-man roster

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jauan Jennings, SF 49ers training camp
Jauan Jennings #17 versus Jamar Taylor #32 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

No. 4: SF 49ers not Using a Roster Spot on Jauan Jennings

It’s always disappointing to see a team’s pick from an NFL Draft not make an initial roster his rookie season, even if that pick was selected on day three.

Such was the case for seventh-round rookie wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who broke 30 tackles on 59 receptions last season for the University of Tennessee. A big-bodied receiver, Jennings was projected to be a viable possession receiver and red-zone threat.

Only it didn’t translate over into the regular season.

Jennings had a handful of notable plays during training camp. Otherwise, however, he was often running incorrect routes and displayed a general lack of athleticism Kyle Shanahan and his staff would have otherwise preferred. If anything, it was clear Jennings was hurt by the lack of spring workouts — rookie minicamps and organized team activities — which are so vital for first-year players.

There’s a chance San Francisco tries slipping Jennings onto the practice squad for further development. But not using a 53-man roster spot on him was smart, opening up placement for one of the other receivers in whom the 49ers have much more invested.

And in this case, it’s better to go with the known commodity than the relatively unknown, underperforming rookie.

Speaking of wide receivers…