49ers roster: 53-man bubble watch with 2022 minicamp in the books

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
9 of 11
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers bubble watch: Wide receiver

Lock: Brandon Aiyuk, Danny Gray*, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deebo Samuel

Strong bubble: Malik Turner

Weak bubble: KeeSean Johnson, Marcus Johnson, Austin Mack

Long shot: Taysir Mack*, Tay Martin*

It’s good to at least have Deebo Samuel back in the picture, which means the first three spots on the wide receiver depth chart are all but set: Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings. And while Aiyuk struggled with some drops in OTAs and minicamp, he’ll still have a featured role.

The same can’t be said about the third-round rookie, Danny Gray, however. True, his roster spot is safe, but a hamstring injury kept him out of minicamp, and that could potentially impact his role as a speed threat in year one.

Instead, the field-stretching prowess during minicamp went to former Pittsburgh Steelers return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud, who easily makes the cut because of his special teams prowess but might see an uptick in offensive use, too, provided he’s healthier and more reliable than Gray.

As for the back end, there should be a juicy battle for spot No. 6 on the depth chart, assuming the Niners keep that many, and the early indications are Malik Turner, a free-agent pickup from the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, has been separating himself from the rest of the pack.