SF 49ers: 10 wide receivers to target in 2021 NFL Draft
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Target No. 5: Sage Surratt, Wake Forest
One of the elements Kyle Shanahan has explored with his offense is to feature a big-slot wide receiver instead of the prototypical small-bodied pass-catcher in this spot. It’s what he did with veteran wideout Mohamed Sanu back with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.
Sanu is back on his second stint with San Francisco, likely to compete for this same role again, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt the SF 49ers to explore younger options to groom.
As far as big slots go, going after Wake Forest wide receiver Sage Surratt would be an excellent idea.
Surratt, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, has the size-mismatch abilities to create problems against smaller nickel defensive backs at the pro level. And while Surratt sat out his 2020 campaign, going back to his impressive 2019 numbers, his 1,001 yards on 66 receptions for 11 touchdowns showed he is more than capable of being productive.
What’s keeping Surratt from being a clear-cut day-two prospect, however, is his relatively pedestrian speed and somewhat limited route tree. Surratt isn’t the most polished route-runner, and he’s primarily relied on his size and strength to win matchups. While it worked at the college level, it’ll be much more difficult to achieve this against more savvy defensive backs within the NFL.
But if a team like the Niners is able to hone Surratt’s route-running efforts, he could turn into a legitimate pass-catching threat.