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49ers take WR Trent Taylor in round five

It took until round five, but the 49ers have added a new wide receiver to their roster.

Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor was selected with pick No. 177. The 5-foot-8 speedster caught an unheard of 136 catches, 1,803 yards, 12 TD. Because of his size, Lousiana Tech was the only college to offer him a scholarship out of high school, but he made the most of all the targets that came his way. He’s going to be given every chance to make the roster.

Remember: Shanahan loves short, shifty wide receivers. The roster already has Marquise Goodwin, Jeremy Kerley and Aldrick Robinson. Taylor’s best fit in the NFL is at the slot receiver, where Kerley will likely be his main competition. Goodwin and Pierre Garcon had been lining up as the starting receivers to begin voluntary minicamp. Taylor could be in prime position for the practice squad his rookie season, but he’ll be given a chance to make plays in training camp and the preseason.

Taylor is not a combine guy (4.63 in the 40-yard dash) but the 49ers apparently liked what they saw on tape. He will also likely compete for the punt returning role with Kerley.

Here are his strengths and weaknesses from


Above-average instincts in space. Will leak a slant up the seam if he sees safety has vacated. Makes slight alterations to routes in order to work through traffic and get to his break-point. Creates aggressive leverage points to push defender out of the pattern before stemming. Efficient in his movement. Natural ball catcher with extremely low drop rate. Throws seem to just sink into his frame. Has necessary toughness to work over the middle Explodes upfield after the catch and has enough wiggle to shake initial tackler. Willing to drop his shoulder and lay into cornerbacks who want to challenge him. Prolific pass catcher with an abundance of confidence.


Falls below desired size requirements for the position. Small, thin frame. Extremely short arms limit his catch radius. Has trouble plucking high throws and requires increased accuracy from his quarterback. Will need to pick up pace of his routes as a pro. Could struggle to uncover quickly against NFL-caliber athletes with length. Can do better job of finding softer spots in zone coverage. Caught just 21 touchdowns over his last 308 targets. Will put ball on the ground during run-after-catch. Has seven career fumbles.


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