49ers roster: 4 best candidates for No. 3 wide receiver

Richie James #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Richie James #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Mohamed Sanu, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (14) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Option No. 2: Mohamed Sanu

There’s a thought the Niners would like to insert either third-year wideout Jalen Hurd or the undrafted rookie, Austin Watkins, into the void at No. 3 on the depth chart. But given Hurd’s significant injury history and Watkins’ lowly pedigree at this point, it’s much more likely San Francisco goes with a veteran presence.

That’s probably the reason why the 49ers brought back soon-to-be 32-year-old wide receiver Mohamed Sanu after he had a brief three-game stint with the team a year ago where he caught one pass for 9 yards before being let go.

Yet Sanu has his history with Kyle Shanahan, namely from the Atlanta Falcons days, and Shanahan has never shied away from going with a big-bodied slot receiver.

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At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Sanu fits the bill.

The problem, however, is injuries and a drop in production have relegated Sanu to being something of an afterthought. He appeared in 25 games the last two seasons with four different teams but had a mere 187 yards between the Niners and Detroit Lions last year.

It’s anyone’s guess if Sanu is hitting that rapid-decline point of an otherwise solid NFL career.

Perhaps San Francisco is banking on a bounce-back campaign from the veteran, made easier by the fact he’ll be able to fully participate in the 49ers’ offseason program, which wasn’t the case in 2020.

Far from ideal, but it’s a possibility.