The hardest position to make decisions on had to be wide receiver. With all the talent the San Francisco 49ers brought in for 2017, along with everything for 2018, some people not only were going to lose their jobs, but probably play for another team.
The first person to go was Aldrick Robinson, Robinson was more than just someone on the roster, he was a wide receiver familiar with Kyle Shanahan’s system and brought veteran presence. From there, things got more difficult. The result: the 49ers went younger with their wideouts.
Probably the most difficult decision was what to do between Aaron Burbridge and Kendrick Bourne. Burbridge was a holdover from the Trent Baalke era and had a great training camp along with bringing special teams value, but Bourne was an acquisition from the John Lynch regime displaying a lot of promise in 2017. The tie went to the younger player, and maybe the one taken by the current regime. Richie James, a seventh round pick in the 2018 draft probably didn’t help Burbridge’s chances either.
Beyond that were the locks you knew from before the draft: Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, and Trent Taylor. After the draft, Dante Pettis was seen as a lock as well unless something would go horribly wrong in training camp (nothing did). Some thought due to Garçon’s age he would get cut, but combining what the 49ers have to pay him in 2018, and their No. 1 pass catcher still up in the air, Garçon is a necessity.
It wouldn’t have been a bad guess to think the 49ers would take more than six wide receivers in 2018, but they took the same amount as 2017, six.
2017 WR depth chart: Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson, Victor Bolden Jr., Kendrick Bourne
2018 WR depth chart: Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James
Note: Victor Bolden Jr. is listed on the NFL reserve/suspended list, but remains with the team.
The 49ers wide receiver group was laughably bad in previous years, now it’s an underrated corps dripping with talent. This bunch has a capability to offer an answer to anything the defense gives them. The one thing I want to see? Just put Goodwin, Taylor, Pettis, and Bourne on an all-go and have Jimmy Garoppolo let it rip.
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Are the 49ers better, worse, or same at wide receiver compared to the start of 2017?
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