Don't be shocked if Chris Conley makes 49ers' final 53-man roster

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Journeyman wide receiver Chris Conley has an excellent chance of making the 49ers' final 53-man roster. Let's take a look at why.

It's almost that time of year again for the San Francisco 49ers to trim their roster down to their best 53 men. The final 53-man rosters for all teams need to be in by Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. ET, and the Niners should be holding five wide receivers again this season.

The top three wide receiver spots were basically a lock and going to be filled by 2021 All-Pro selection Deebo Samuel, up-and-coming star Brandon Aiyuk and consistent slot receiver Jauan Jennings.

The fourth and fifth wide receiver roster spots were very likely going to be filled in 2023 again by return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud III and speedster Danny Gray.

Fate would have a different plan though.

A wrist injury to McCloud in training camp and a sprained shoulder joint for Gray in a preseason game put the 49ers in a position where they need some additional fresh bodies at wide receiver for Week 1.

The seventh-round selection for the Niners in the 2023 NFL Draft, Ronnie Bell looks to be playing himself into the No. 4 WR spot. He leads the 49ers in receiving yards and kick return yards through two preseason games.

The No. 5 spot, though, looks to be up for grabs, and journeyman Chris Conley could very well grab it. The nine-year veteran is now on his fifth team. The bulk of his career, his first four seasons, were with the Kansas City Chiefs.

His best season, though, was with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 when he had 47 receptions, 775 yards receiving and five touchdowns.

Now fast forward to the 2023 preseason. Conley was right behind Bell in the receiving yards against the Las Vegas Raiders. Conley had three receptions for 47 yards in that game. In his second preseason game against the Denver Broncos, he only had two balls thrown his way, reeling in one of them of 11 yards.

He was used consistently in his two preseason games, though, with a snap count of 24 in both of them. Due to his experience in the league and deep speed as stated by Larry Kruger of 95.7 The Game, Conley should have a great shot at making the final 53-man roster.

The final preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday should be a real litmus test for Conley. He has a chance to win the WR5 spot with his play, but there's also a chance for guys like Tay Martin and Willie Snead IV to step up and earn that spot.

A big game from any of them on Friday could point to a roster spot, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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