49ers vs. Broncos: 4 Niners who must perform well in preseason game (or risk being cut)

A few of the 49ers players suiting up on Saturday against the Broncos need an impressive preseason performance.
San Francisco 49ers defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw (99) and Kerry Hyder (92)
San Francisco 49ers defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw (99) and Kerry Hyder (92) / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Las Vegas Raiders, Drake Thomas, Cameron Latu
San Francisco 49ers tight end Cameron Latu (81) is mocked by Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Drake Thomas (57) / Michael Owens/GettyImages

No. 1: 49ers tight end Cameron Latu

While Nick Zakelj had all kinds of problems, few players experienced more difficulty last Sunday than rookie tight end Cameron Latu.

Latu, one of San Francisco's three third-round picks from this year's NFL Draft, does have some modest protection being a day-two draft pick, but that'll only go so far. Plus, like Zakelj, Latu struggled aplenty during training camp and had a particular problem holding onto passes.

Against Las Vegas, Latu actually held onto one catch for 9 yards, but he ultimately fumbled the ball away, and the Raiders eventually scored a touchdown off the 49ers turnover.

Read more: Why Trey Lance rebounds when 49ers host Broncos

In addition to having issues blocking, Latu had more problems catching passes during the week's practices in between preseason games.

Unless he winds up making some serious progress on Saturday, Latu's dismissal might be one of the easier decisions Kyle Shanahan will make in advance of Week 1.

The Niners and Broncos kick off on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET from Levi's Stadium.

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