The 49ers recently added veteran wideout Marqise Lee, and his presence could potentially shake up the team’s depth chart heading towards Week 1.
The San Francisco 49ers ultimately elected to pass on adding one of the many promising wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft, instead focusing on grabbing quarterback Trey Lance while upgrading other areas of need, such as the offensive line, running back and the secondary.
Perhaps this helps explain why the Niners onboarded veteran wideout Marqise Lee to a one-year deal earlier this week, adding some veteran savvy to a group that’s predominantly young and inexperienced.
Lee could make the cut, particularly if he reverts back to the kind of campaigns he enjoyed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 and 2017 where he netted more than 700 receiving yards in each of those seasons. But his recent history of knee injuries, plus a 2020 opt-out, prevents this from being absolute.
San Francisco is essentially looking for a replacement to fill the void left by wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who left via free agency for the New England Patriots this offseason.
While neither flashy nor a true starting-caliber wideout, Bourne was a key third-down weapon capable of handling two or three receptions per game and complementing the ideal starting tandem of Aiyuk and Samuel.
The 49ers have plenty of bodies at wide receiver on their offseason roster. Yet only two, Aiyuk and Samuel, are essentially guaranteed spots at this point, meaning there’s plenty of room for predictions heading towards training camp.
Let’s start by looking at who’s there now.