The San Francisco 49ers have a huge need at the wide receiver position. A position that took a huge hit, once WR Bruce Ellington went down with a hamstring injury against the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers needed to add an insurance policy as they field their best 53-man roster.
Welcome, sixth-year WR/PR Jeremy Kerley. A steal for the 49ers, as they struck a deal by sending 2014 third-round pick (No. 100) OG Brandon Thomas to the Detroit Lions, the 49ers clearly won this trade.
The TCU product paced the AFC in punt-return yardage last season, amassing 411 yards on 48 returns for the New York Jets. At 5-9, 189, Kerley has the short-area quickness and burst to win one-on-one battles in the slot, but will need some time to work the cerebral portion of HC Chip Kelly’s offense.
Kerley will likely be used in slot role under #49ers HC Chip Kelly O. His size/football savvy/short-area quickness will suit that role.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) August 28, 2016
49ers GM Trent Baalke took a calculated risk on Thomas due to already having a stable interior offensive line back in 2014. A team that had entrenched starters RG Alex Boone and LG Mike Iupati, the thinking was to nurse Thomas back to health (ACL) and then groom Thomas to fight for a starting role. However, that never panned out and either did Thomas.
Thomas, who was considered a first-round pick before tearing his ACL in a private workout with the New Orleans Saints, will now get a second chance in the Motor City.