No. 2: SF 49ers Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd
There’s still a solid portion of the 49ers fanbase eagerly awaiting the NFL impact of third-year wide receiver Jalen Hurd, who has still yet to play a regular-season down at the pro level.
A serious back injury delayed this during the pass-catcher’s rookie season in 2019, then Hurd tore his ACL before Week 1 a year ago.
Despite all this, there’s still the thought Hurd can somehow come in and offer up a sizable level of contributions in 2021.
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Granted, he’ll have the opportunity. The Niners’ wide receiver depth chart behind the two starters, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, is anything but set. And Hurd’s 6-foot-4, 227-pound frame offers up a unique blend of size and strength not necessarily apparent with other players at the position.
But it’s important to remember Hurd is still a converted running back, who spent only one year as a wide receiver at Baylor before going pro. In terms of his development, Hurd is still raw as a player and missed out on two years of vital acclimation time because of injury.
If there’s a simple goal for Hurd in 2021, assuming he stays on San Francisco’s roster, it’s to merely stay healthy. Anything above that would be a bonus.