49ers training camp: 5 position battles that demand you watch

San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Jauan Jennings, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers training camp battle No. 4: Wide receiver

Unlike the situation at running back, the Niners are probably set with who winds up securing the first three spots on the wide receiver depth chart: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and last year’s unsung hero, Jauan Jennings.

After that, though, it’s anyone’s guess.

San Francisco threw plenty of resources at its wide receiver depth during the offseason, inking former Pittsburgh Steelers return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud while also grabbing depth receivers in Marcus Johnson and Malik Turner, both of whom could also provide an impact as both tertiary options and special teams contributors, should they make the cut.

Equally intriguing, though, was the third-round NFL Draft addition of the speedy SMU wideout, Danny Gray, whose 4.33 40-yard speed gives Kyle Shanahan an element his offense hasn’t truly had since Marquise Goodwin was on the roster back in 2018.

Gray could easily be challenged by McCloud, and to a lesser extent, Turner. And Gray’s questionable hands could result in him falling out of favor early, leading to a Trey Sermon-like disappointing rookie campaign.

So, while most fans will be monitoring what Samuel, Aiyuk and Jennings are doing in camp, keep an eye on the back end of the wide receiver room.

That’ll be a hot battle.