No. 2: 49ers add wide receiver speed with Marcus Johnson
San Francisco’s wide receiver depth is questionable, yes. Behind Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and, to a lesser extent, Jauan Jennings, the 49ers don’t exactly boast names who’d inspire fear in opposing defenses.
However, one might expect things to change a bit with quarterback Trey Lance under center, especially with his strong-arm abilities capable of hitting targets deep down the field, unlike his predecessor, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Grabbing former Colts and Tennessee Titans wideout Marcus Johnson isn’t going to pop up on the radar in a big way, but it does make a difference. After all, Johnson has awfully fast downfield speed, having run a 4.39 40-yard time back at his pre-draft pro day in 2016.
Johnson, who has averaged at least 16 yards per reception over the last four years, has nevertheless failed to reach 300 receiving yards in any of his seasons at the pro level. But one should think of him solely as a field-stretching gadget weapon, someone capable of taking at least one defensive back with him deep down the field, thereby opening up chances underneath for players like Aiyuk and Samuel.
Those efforts may not always show up on the stat sheet, but they’ll still be important.