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Four over/under projections for four 49ers wide receivers

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Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

The offseason is a brutal time as there is rarely ever anything to talk about. The same accounts are either arguing about a recycled topic or grasping at straws in hopes that a player achieves something that will be very difficult to accomplish. Akash Anavarathan of Fourth and Nine responded to a tweet where former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton said he thinks Kendrick Bourne could hit 1,000 yards receiving in 2020. Akash responded by saying that Bourne has just north of 1,100 yards receiving in his career and how Bourne posting every workout he does on Instagram has unrealistic expectations on Bourne, who may not be on the team in 2021.

That led to Bourne tweeting, “I love doubters been doubted all my life nothing new.” The obsession with offseason workouts is real, and I don’t think anything Akash said was too far off. I think the final part where he said Bourne not being on the roster is easy to latch onto, but even the follow-up tweets defending Bourne saying that he’ll be a 1,000-yard receiver involves more hope than anything. If that’s one of Bourne’s goals, then great. Look at the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan and the type of wideouts that are continually targeted. Does that player seem like Bourne?

I understand it’s the offseason, but, man, some of the responses were pretty harsh. Bourne is going to play in 2020, and he earned that right in 2019. Can you confidently say he’ll lead the receivers in yards? That’s essentially what you’re saying if you believe he’ll be 1,000-yard receiver. Kittle is going to get his production, and he’ll be flirting around the 1,000-yard mark—likely eclipsing it. Deebo Samuel—even if the worst-case scenario is him missing three games—is going to be in the high 800s to 1,000 yards receiving. We haven’t mentioned Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Taylor, or Jalen Hurd yet. Let’s do some over/unders.

I would say if the coaching staff felt like Bourne was a 1,000-yard receiver type, they likely don’t invest as heavily into receiver as they have in the past two seasons. If Bourne surpasses 600 yards in 2020, that would be an incredible year and likely mean the Niners offense is clicking on all gears. Do you think Bourne has more than 600 yards this season? In 2019, 16 receivers had between 600 and 700 yards. Notable names include Curtis Samuel, Sammy Watkins, Will Fuller, and promising youngsters like Dionte Johnson and Hunter Renfrow. That gives you an idea of the type of receivers in this range.

Poll

Will Bourne surpass 600 yards in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Yes
    (439 votes)
  • 56%
    No
    (571 votes)
1010 votes total Vote Now

Now let’s play the same game with Taylor, who will likely be in direct competition for Bourne’s snaps assuming all of the wideouts are healthy.

Poll

Will Taylor surpass 600 yards

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Yes
    (279 votes)
  • 71%
    No
    (693 votes)
972 votes total Vote Now

Not everyone is going to have the season we expect them to. Taylor and Bourne will exceed expectations if they surpass 500 yards, let alone 600. Talent-wise, both Aiyuk and Hurd have them beat. Taylor and Bourne are both consistent and reliable, so they’ll always have a role in this offense. Our expectations are naturally higher for higher draft picks, but we have yet to see them in a regular-season game, so let’s knock the yards down.

Poll

Will Aiyuk have more than 500 yards in 2020

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Yes
    (873 votes)
  • 11%
    No
    (110 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now

If I’m betting on a receiver not named Samuel, it’s Aiyuk. Kyle Shanahan is going to give him every opportunity to make plays. More than anyone, Aiyuk fits Kyle’s style of receiver. Last year felt like an anomaly with how many rookie wide receivers were successful. Nine rookie receivers had more than 500 yards last year.

Hurd is the ultimate wildcard. He has an opportunity to throw every projection involving the 49ers receivers off. A season where Hurd exceeds 400 yards should be looked at as a success. Hurd feels like the type of wideout that may not rack up big numbers early on but will be used in critical situations, like near the goal line.

Poll

Will Hurd surpass 400 yards?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Yes
    (786 votes)
  • 19%
    No
    (189 votes)
975 votes total Vote Now