49ers: 5 bottom-of-the-roster players to watch this preseason
By Peter Panacy
49ers Player to Watch No. 1: Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd
Early indications from training camp appear to suggest Trent Sherfield is the budding favorite to emerge as the Niners’ best candidate to secure the No. 3 wide receiver role in 2021.
On paper, this isn’t necessarily great news for third-year pro wideout Jalen Hurd, whose injuries the last two seasons have prevented him from taking a single regular-season snap up to this point, and his recovery has ultimately limited him to one-on-one drills and personal workouts in camp thus far.
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That said, Hurd remains a major player to watch once the preseason rolls around, and for two specific reasons.
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First, it’ll be inherently necessary to see how far along he’s come in his recovery from last season’s ACL tear and whether or not he’s fully reacclimated to the rigors of route-running, physical contact and separation.
Second, Hurd’s 6-foot-4 frame still presents a physical mismatch, and the former collegiate running back’s prowess on the field could go a long way in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Provided Hurd has recovered and has learned some of the nuances of a position he’s not entirely experienced with.
Hurd had success his first preseason back in 2019, scoring two touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys, so it’s understandable why fans will be watching to see if he can replicate that kind of success again this go-around.