The San Francisco 49ers got solid work out of punt returner Trent Taylor last season, but they might have other ideas for the 2018 NFL Draft. The team worked out Pitt return specialist Quadree Henderson on Wednesday, according to Pro Football Weekly columnist Eric Edholm.
Henderson as listed in college as a wide receiver, but is a return specialist who can do a little bit of everything. This past season, he had 36 rushing attempts for 251 yards and 17 receptions for 186 yards. As a returner, he had 21 punt returns for 243 yards (11.6 average) and 25 kick returns for 524 (21.0 average). He stands 5’8, 190 pounds and scouting reports point to a player with rapid acceleration.
This would be the second notable returner the 49ers have met with, at least based on initial public reports. They brought in Washington receiver and returner Dante Pettis earlier this week for one of their 30 pre-draft visits. Pettis is viewed as a day two prospect, while Henderson is viewed as more of a late round or priority free agent option. Pettis seems to have more of a skillset to play wide receiver, while Henderson would seemingly be a return man with a hope that he could provide some return as a gadget player.
Trent Taylor did solid work as a punt returner last year, but the 49ers have made it clear they want more competition. In a vacuum, Pettis would be the preferred choice over Henderson, but obviously there’s a drastic difference between a day two pick and a potential seventh round pick or UDFA.