49ers news: 5 biggest takeaways from 2021 OTAs

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jauan Jennings, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers’ third wide receiver battle is narrowing down to 2 players

One of the big focal points this offseason was how San Francisco would replace its third wide receiver on the depth chart the last four years, Kendrick Bourne, who joined the New England Patriots on a free-agent deal.

The 49ers didn’t do anything to address this during the draft, and there were only modest additions during free agency, too.

While it’s still an open-ended question, the competition for the third wideout on the depth chart appears to be boiling down to two players: the veteran, Mohamed Sanu, and the second-year pro, Jauan Jennings.

Just check out what Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn said about the two players from one practice session open to the media:

"Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Led all players with five catches during scrimmages. Sanu is only 31 years old, and seems motivated to win the No. 3 receiver job, because it’s wide open. And as of now, he seems like the favorite to win it. His only healthy competition is Jauan Jennings, who spent last year on the practice squad. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings. Beat starting nickelback K’Waun Williams with a 12-yard out from the slot during 11-on-11s, and later caught a 15-yard pass over the middle from Lance during 7-on-7s. If Jennings stays healthy, he will make the team and contribute."

Both are bigger-bodied players who don’t necessarily epitomize the traditional short-statured slot receiver role.

But Shanahan has never totally stuck to that tendency, and Sanu being used as a big slot under Shanahan with the Atlanta Falcons back in 2016 is a perfect example.

While there’s still a lot of fluidity at this spot on the depth chart, and plenty of time to see shakeups, it’s looking more and more like Jennings and Sanu are the current favorites to emerge as the player to replace Bourne in 2021.