49ers training camp: 4 players with most to lose entering 2021

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jalen Hurd, 49ers
Jalen Hurd #17 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

While every player on the 49ers offseason roster needs to thrive in training camp, these four stand to lose a lot as the team prepares for the 2021 season.

It’s one thing to make San Francisco 49ers 53-man roster predictions after the padless and less-intensity sessions during organized team activities.

Yet the real test will come during training camp, when those on-field practices ramp up and the Niners coaching staff begins to put more pressure on players and positions to perform at their highest possible levels.

True, the majority of starting positions have already been determined, and a good number of reserves are probably safe, too. And while there will be some serious jockeying for the back end of the 53-man roster in 2021, there shouldn’t be too many big-time competitions out there.

That said, there are players on the offseason roster who stand to lose a lot during training camp if they fail to perform adequately enough or are simply outplayed by their competition.

Particularly these four.

No. 4: 49ers Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd

Yes, there’s still time for San Francisco’s third-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, wide receiver Jalen Hurd, to make a sizable impact at the pro level.

But that time is running out.

Hurd impressed during the preseason his rookie year, but a serious back injury thwarted the rest of his 2019 campaign, and then he suffered a torn ACL during training camp a year later. And while the 49ers have sizable concerns about the wide receiver depth behind the two starters, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, it’s still anyone’s guess whether or not Hurd can finally make a dent in a regular-season campaign.

Unfortunately, Hurd spent the bulk of OTAs rehabbing on the sidelines and didn’t separate himself from the multitude of other wide receivers vying for one of arguably four remaining spots on the depth chart behind Aiyuk and Samuel.

If Hurd doesn’t impress during camp, it’s likely he won’t make the cut. And it’s hard to see too many teams out there willing to take a flier on a player who has yet to take a regular-season snap over the last two years, meaning he easily could be out of the league in a short amount of time.

Yes, there’s a lot at stake for Hurd in the coming weeks.