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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: WR Kendrick Bourne

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

The San Francisco 49ers overhauled their wide receiver depth chart this offseason, and naturally the focus is on the veterans, including Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and the returning Jeremy Kerley. The team also added Trent Taylor in the draft to compete for slot work.

However, the team also made some intriguing additions during undrafted free agency. Eastern Washington’s Kendrick Bourne was among them, joining a group that included KD Cannon, and Victor Bolden. The 49ers subsequently released Cannon and signed UDFA B.J. Johnson.

Bourne flew under the radar at Eastern Washington, overshadowed by his prolific teammate, Cooper Kupp. Over the course of four years, Kupp was ridiculously productive. As a freshman, he had 96 receptions for 1,691 yards and 21 touchdowns, and only improved from there. He torched the FCS record book, taking down all-time records in total receptions (428), receiving yards (6,464), and receiving touchdowns (73). He was a third round pick this season, and it is not surprising that the radar focused on him.

Meanwhile, Bourne developed into a very solid receiver alongside Kupp. He had a quiet freshman season, with seven receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore he finished with 52 receptions for 814 yards and ten touchdowns. He followed that with 73 receptions, 998 yards, and eight touchdowns as a junior. He capped his time at Eastern Washington this past season with career highs in receptions (79) and receiving yards (1,201), and finished with seven touchdown catches.

Bourne is not a traditional speedy receiver, running a 4.68 at the Combine. But he brings solid size, which is something the 49ers don’t have a lot of right now at the wide receiver position.

Scouting reports

Appeared in 53 games (32 starts) and totaled 211 receptions for 3,130 yards and 27 TDs during his four-year career at Eastern Washington. As a senior, earned Second-Team All-Big Sky honors. Started all 13 games and registered 79 receptions for 1,201 yards and 7 TDs. In 2015, appeared in 11 games (10 starts) and recorded 73 receptions for 998 yards and 8 TDs to earn Second-Team All-Big Sky honors. As a sophomore, appeared in all 14 games (9 starts) and earned All-Big Sky Honorable Mention honors after totaling 52 receptions for 814 yards and 10 TDs. Saw action in 14 games as a freshman in 2013 and notched 7 receptions for 117 yards and 2 TDs. Attended Milwaukie Arts (Portland, OR) Academy, where he was a first-team All-Northwest Oregon Conference selection in 2012 after totaling 54 receptions for 1,292 yards and 18 TDs. Born 8/4/95 in Portland, OR.

Basic info

Age: 21 (22 on August 4)
Experience: 1 accrued season
Height: 6’1
Weight: 203 lbs

Cap status

Signed three-year rookie contract, with league minimum base salaries. No word on his signing bonus or guaranteed base salary.

What to expect in 2017

He’s got a solid shot among the UDFAs, but he is more likely to open the season on the practice squad or claimed by another team after final roster cuts. If he does make the roster, I would expect him to split time either inactive or focused on special teams. He could very well match the huge leap in competition. He wouldn’t be the first UDFA to make a big splash as a rookie. I am not setting high expectations for the time being however, as I think we see the focus on the veteran receivers.

Odds of making the roster

The wide receiver depth chart is going to be a tough one to crack. Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, and Jeremy Kerley all seem like locks. The 49ers spent a fifth round pick on Trent Taylor, and while that does not guarantee him a roster spot, I think he is a strong bubble guy at worst for the time being. That leaves one or two roster spots, although my guess is two makes more sense.

Aldrick Robinson seems like a decent bet to make the roster, but if anybody is going to get knocked off by someone further down the depth chart, Robinson would seem to be that candidate. The position competition includes Bourne, Robinson, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, Aaron Burbridge, Victor Bolden, DeAndre Carter, and B.J. Johnson, are all competing for one or two roster spots.

Although Bourne is a UDFA with a steep hill to climb, I’d put him in the weak bubble side of things. I’d put most of the wide receivers (other than the first four mentioned) in the weak bubble position for the time being. It’s a toss-up from there who claims those roster spots.