Sakamoto: 49ers Trent Taylor will shine in preseason but it won’t be enough

The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of new faces on the offensive side of the ball. The wide receivers unit is no exception. The team fielded outside talent, in hopes of shoring up their formidable passing attack for HC Kyle Shanahan

The additions of WR Pierre Garçon, WR Marquise Goodwin, and WR Aldrick Robinson will prove that. All three players will make the 53-man roster. I guarantee it. Goodwin and Robinson are burners between the 20’s, while Garçon has the short-to-intermediate game on lockdown.

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You take those players individual skill sets and combine that with slot WR Jeremy Kerley, and you quickly have a respectable quartet receiving core. 

All four will sit atop the depth chart, no doubt. But who will win the all emergency fifth wide receiver position? I believe that player will be none other than rookie WR Trent Taylor. A player who continues to shine in limited opportunities, Taylor will certainly make the roster due to his special-teams return skills

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However, his skill set is very similar to Kerley in terms of playing the slot, which further buries him on the depth chart his rookie season. That’s not a knock on Taylor at all. He certainly has the tools to be a prized asset in the team’s passing game. But with so many uncertainties in year one with this new regime, I think they want to play it safe, which makes the veteran Kerley a better option for now.

In the preseason, you will see flashes of Taylor making some big plays for himself. Whether creating space with savvy route running or using his lateral agility to side-step would-be tacklers, Taylor will certainly “wow” the Forever Faithful during preseason play. But it won’t be enough. The team desperately needs a punt returner with electrifying return ability, and Taylor fits that to a tee.

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Year two may be the year that Taylor gets his chance at the slot, but this year it’s Kerley’s and Kerley’s alone. So there you have it. The 49ers top five wide receivers, or should I say, how I see the top five wide receivers currently playing out. 

What do you think Niner Fans? Who do you see starting and playing this year? Provide your own analysis and start the discussion. 

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.