Across the network of NFL sites here at SB Nation, we have been looking at the “best newcomer” for every team. For some, it’s an easy call. After all, it’s not too difficult for our Kansas City Chiefs blog to write an ode to Kareem Hunt.
For the San Francisco 49ers, it is not quite so simple. I could probably just say it’s Reuben Foster and be done with it. Even though he’s only played part of one regular season game, his preseason work and that one game have shown a guy who is going to be an impact player on the 49ers defense. When he does return from his high ankle sprain, he could take this defense to a new level from what we’ve seen for extended stretches the past three weeks.
However, since he’s injured, I decided to shake it up a little bit. I wanted to look at the best newcomer to the 49ers that is currently on the active roster. Free agent addition Pierre Garçon is probably the easy call, but I thought it’d be more fun to talk about rookie wide receiver Trent Taylor.
The 49ers spent a fifth round pick on Taylor this past April. He has found himself catching offensive pass interference penalties, although that first one against the Los Angeles Rams I think many of us would agree was kinda BS. Through four games, Taylor has 11 receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown, and is fourth in the NFL averaging 11 yards per punt return on his nine returns.
Taylor has quickly become an impact player on offense and special teams. The 49ers have lacked consistency in the punt return game since Ted Ginn left, and it seems like a matter of time before Taylor busts one for a touchdown. In the passing game, he is showing confidence that receivers with significant experience lack. With Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson dealing with drops, Taylor is starting to emerge as the second wide receiver option behind Garçon. Taylor is currently tied with Goodwin for third on the team in targets behind Garçon and Carlos Hyde. Goodwin will remain the deep threat, but Taylor is going to be a guy that will be grow his role in the middle of the field.