SF 49ers: 3 positions with most concern after roster cuts
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Wide Receivers
53-Man Roster: Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James, Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel and Trent Taylor
Practice Squad: River Cracraft, Jauan Jennings, Kevin White
If there are two big question marks about San Francisco’s wide receiver room entering 2020, they’re the level of experience and the depth to guard against injury.
Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring), Deebo Samuel (foot) and Richie James (wrist) are all returning from injuries suffered either during training camp or the offseason. Latest reports state all three should be available for Week 1, although the capacity for each player isn’t yet known.
But perhaps the bigger issue is the level of experience. Out of the above group, Kendrick Bourne has the most field time out of any of the 49ers players on the 53-man roster, and he’s projected to be little more than a red-zone specialist and situational wideout to complement the presumed starters, Aiyuk and Samuel.
It’s good, however, slot receiver Trent Taylor has resumed his impact after missing all of last season following a Jones fracture in his foot during 2019 training camp.
Of the three practice squad players, River Cracraft and Kevin White have the most practical experience. Cracraft, a notable slot receiver and return specialist, could back up both Taylor and James in their respective roles, while White is trying to resurrect his own disappointing career after being selected by the Chicago Bears in Round 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Rookie wideout Jauan Jennings should require at least a year to develop and is likely to stay on the practice squad for the duration of the upcoming season.