49ers roster predictions: Who’s in, out at wide receiver in 2021?
By Peter Panacy
In: 49ers WRs Richie James and Trent Sherfield
We’re getting to the very back end of the Niners’ wide receiver depth chart for the regular season here, and the predictions are almost going to be more of a wild guess than an educated assessment.
San Francisco knows what it has in wide receiver/return specialist Richie James. And while it’s a bit of a curious question why Kyle Shanahan hasn’t featured James more on offense — he has regularly delivered when been given the rare opportunity (see last year’s Thursday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers as an example) — the good news is James is fully acclimated with the offense. He can serve as a traditional slot-type receiver while also contributing on special teams if need be.
Newly acquired wide receiver Trent Sherfield, meanwhile, is a bit more of a long shot. The decision essentially came down between him and veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin, who opted out last year after joining the 49ers and hasn’t played a full season since 2017.
Since the Niners are going to keep one savvy veteran, Mohamed Sanu, the guesswork would suggest Shanahan goes with Sherfield’s youth and durability over Benjamin’s experience and veteran prowess.
Even if Sherfield winds up being a regular game-day inactive.