49ers training camp: 1 key battle to watch at each position
By Peter Panacy
49ers training camp battle: No. 3 wide receiver
While no one would truly care about the No. 3 tight end, fans should care about who winds up winning the job to be the Niners’ No. 3 wide receiver.
Especially considering how tertiary wideouts are effectively starters amid the prevalence of three-wide offensive formations today.
In the wake of losing its former No. 3 wide receiver, Kendrick Bourne, in free agency this offseason, San Francisco is looking at a lot of candidate names but not necessarily someone who has an edge to separate himself over the rest of the pack.
It could be Richie James, who has been an effective offensive weapon before when given the chance. But bigger-bodied wideouts, Mohamed Sanu and Jauan Jennings, appeared to be the ones who were separating themselves the most during organized team activities.
That’ll all change during 49ers training camp, though, as defensive backs will finally be able to bump receivers off their routes after initiating contact, which is typically prohibited during OTAs.
Also in the mix are depth wideouts like Trent Sherfield, Travis Benjamin, Kevin White, River Cracraft and the undrafted rookie, Austin Watkins.
However the depth chart at wide receiver shakes out, it’ll be critical for the Niners to identify the complementary piece to their starting two wideouts, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, this season.