I have pretty much hated on Kendrick Bourne for the entire time he has been a 49er. He joined the team as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2017 and I never expect much from UDFAs so he went under my radar. Then his sophomore season came around, and an injured WR corps forced him into the spotlight, but he did practically nothing with the opportunity. I decided to write him off after that. 487 yards as any team’s leading receiver just won’t cut it.
Going into this last offseason I was adamant that he would not make the roster again, but the cutdown to the 53-man roster happened and he actually managed to make it. That was when Bourne’s very vocal fanbase decided to dole out I-told-you-so’s. My very prideful ego just couldn’t handle it. Instead of applauding the young man, I dug in deeper and internally justified the move by citing the injuries to Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd, thinking he’d be the first one cut when they needed a roster spot.
Well ladies and gentlemen, I am finally ready to admit that I was wrong about Bourne. He didn’t really have good stats (30/44, 358 yds, 5 TDs), but as the third receiver, he doesn’t need big stats. People may key in on his boneheaded drops, but 23 of his 30 catches went for a 1st down or TD. For an UDFA to continue to develop and be able to carve out that sort of role is something to be celebrated.
Bourne is scheduled to be a Restricted Free Agent this offseason, and the potential return of Hurd and Taylor could slow his further development, but Bourne has worked hard to get to where he is. I fully expect to see his smiling face lighting up the field in a 49er uniform next season.
On to those links...
“Repetition is the father of learning”— TheSFNiners (@TheSFNiners) February 17, 2020
Want to know why the 49ers WR group looked completely different after they acquired Emmanuel Sanders?
Watch this video of the veteran WR and you’ll see why. His presence and impact was crucial to the growth of the teams young WR’s. pic.twitter.com/DgLlpNjfMx
- Kendrick Bourne developed into vital piece of 49ers’ offense (Kyle Madson, Niners Wire)
- Why Marquise Goodwin, 49ers parting ways this offseason makes sense (Dalton Johnson, NBC Sports)
- 49ers’ George Kittle has been embarrassing defenders since Pop Warner (David Bonilla, 49ers Webzone)
- How 49ers can add more picks in 2020 NFL Draft, according to Peter King (Dalton Johnson, NBC Sports)
- 2020 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Monday 1.0 (Keiana Martin, 49ers.com)
- Seahawks may provide a roadmap for 49ers to gain more draft picks (David Bonilla, 49ers Webzone)
- Five Positions for the 49ers to Avoid in Free Agency (Jose Luis Sanchez III, Sports Illustrated)
- 49ers roster analysis: Quarterbacks in good shape entering 2020 season (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)