49ers roster: 5 players who must get off to hot start in 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Trent Sherfield, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Trent Sherfield (81) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: 49ers Wide Receiver Trent Sherfield

Like Talanoa Hufanga, wide receiver Trent Sherfield became something of a 49ers preseason hero, quickly displaying the chemistry between both quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, and proving he was much more potent a weapon on offense than his previous team, the Cardinals, ever exploited.

It’s one thing to be a preseason hero. It’s another to carry that over into the regular season.

Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are already cemented as the Niners’ top two receivers heading into 2021, but the prevalence and necessity of a tertiary wideout is also a vital cog in offensive game plans.

This is where Sherfield, who had five receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown over three preseason games, needs to put his stamp on the offense.

True, Sherfield wasn’t always matched up against starting-caliber defenders during the preseason. Yet he did showcase the playmaking abilities necessary to make San Francisco’s pass-catching corps look far more explosive than it was initially anticipated to be heading into the 2021 offseason.

The trend needs to continue, especially with the 49ers looking at their offense to shoulder a greater burden this year.