The 49ers have brought aboard a couple of wide receivers via free agency and before the NFL Draft, so let’s break down the current positional depth chart.
The San Francisco 49ers have shown a lot of interest in wide receivers this offseason, both through free agency and by also attending pro days and meeting with other prospective wideouts ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Two specific transactions — signing former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud while also bringing aboard former Tennessee Titans speedy wideout Marcus Johnson — suggest this position was in focus for head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
And with nine picks in the upcoming draft, it’s surely possible the Niners aren’t done.
Granted, the McCloud and Johnson additions suggest San Francisco might not place as big an emphasis on wide receiver help in the draft. McCloud, while primarily a return man, is an option out of the slot, while Johnson’s speed makes him a gadget-type weapon and deep threat.
Still, it’d be useful to know and understand the current and recently revised wide receiver depth chart the 49ers have before potentially picking up more wideouts in the NFL Draft this April.
49ers depth chart at wide receiver ahead of 2022 NFL Draft
Currently, the Niners have eight wide receivers on their offseason roster:
- Brandon Aiyuk
- Jauan Jennings
- KeeSean Johnson
- Marcus Johnson
- Austin Mack
- Ray-Ray McCloud
- Deebo Samuel
- Connor Wedington
Samuel’s situation and (probable) contract-extension standoff with San Francisco has gotten a little weird. But for now, let’s just go ahead and assume the fourth-year pro isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Same with Aiyuk, who broke out of his proverbial Shanahan “doghouse” early in 2021.
After that, though, the depth chart is a little questionable. Yes, Jennings had only 24 catches for 282 yards last year. But his five touchdowns, along with plenty key grabs both during the regular season and in the playoffs, suggest he’s also more than safe.
His role, though, is yet to be determined. Understanding Shanahan values speed over size for his offense, it’s possible someone like Marcus Johnson winds up pushing Jennings for playing time, potentially down the depth chart.
KeeSean Johnson, Mack and Wedington are all going to be in a fight to make the team’s 53-man roster once Week 1 rolls around.
While the 49ers could feasibly add another wideout in the 2022 draft, the likelihood of them doing so probably takes a bit of a dip with Marcus Johnson now in tow. Assuming both he and McCloud have no trouble making the roster, and in tandem with Samuel, Aiyuk and Jennings, that would provide five options right there.
And with teams rarely carrying six-plus wide receivers on a regular-season roster, the Niners could potentially be finished addressing this position.