When the San Francisco 49ers drafted Dante Pettis in the second round one thing was clear—the dude can return punts. This of course raised a question: What happens to Trent Taylor?
Trent Taylor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft and made his presence known the moment he stepped on the field. Due to his play, Jeremy Kerley was handed a pink slip during training camp. When the regular season began, Taylor became the go-to guy on third down and a decent target for all 49ers quarterbacks, Brian Hoyer to Jimmy Garoppolo.
He also was a decent punt returner, and that’s what we need to focus on. He was basically the punt returner. With the Pettis drafting, those two may compete on the open field.
Or they may not.
Taylor will be competing with Richie James for some slot work. At the moment it looks like he may be in line as the slot guy. With the Pettis selection, it may be that the 49ers simply want to pull Taylor off of special teams duty altogether so that he can focus on the offense entirely. It’s not uncommon, once a player makes themselves useful in other ways, the first place to pull them is special teams. This isn’t a standard, but it may be that Taylor will be needed elsewhere.
Or that the 49ers’ expectations are so high that even Taylor’s production last year just wasn’t enough.
We don’t know how this will shake out. What do you think the plan is for Trent Taylor in 2018?