5 San Francisco 49ers we can safely call busts after 2023 season

Not every player the Niners sign, draft or trade for can be a home-run hit.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Drake Jackson
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Drake Jackson / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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No. 2: 49ers wide receiver Danny Gray

Wide receiver Danny Gray, the speedster selected in Round 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft, found himself in an odd spot when then-San Francisco quarterback Trey Lance suffered a broken ankle in Week 2 of Gray's rookie year.

After all, Gray was supposed to be the team's deep threat. No one else on the 49ers roster had the arm strength to take advantage of the receiver's speed, and he offered little else by way of skill set.

Gray's rookie year saw only one catch on seven targets. That was it. Heading into 2023, Kyle Shanahan noted that the wideout had made notable strides in year two and was threatening for a spot on a deep and talented depth chart that already included stars like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

But injuries and other factors kept Gray from seeing the field at all during the regular season.

After a lengthy stint on injured reserve, the Niners opted not to activate Gray after opening a practice window late in the season, instead going with veteran wideout Chris Conley to round out the depth chart.

It's not a good future for Gray.