49ers free-agent WR target No. 4: Zay Jones, Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Zay Jones was a bit of a Niner Noise crush when he came out of East Carolina in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Yet the Niners didn’t exactly get a chance to take him, trading back up into Round 1 to land linebacker Reuben Foster and sacrificing their second-round pick, subsequently leading to the Buffalo Bills grabbing him in Round 2 at No. 37 overall.
Nevertheless, the 6-foot-2 and 200-pound Jones was offloaded to the Raiders after two-plus seasons in Buffalo, and he enjoyed a productive enough contract year in 2021 with 47 receptions for 546 yards.
Jones might not become a prolific wideout at the NFL level, but he does have the versatility to line up as a big-slot weapon, which is a strategy head coach Kyle Shanahan has tried to use, first with veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and then second-year pro Jauan Jennings last season.
It’s likely Jones would be an upgrade over Jennings, and the fact the former has put together decent (not great) seasons over his career likely points to him being a relatively bargain-friendly free-agent target.