San Francisco 49ers

Round 5: 49ers select WR, returner Trent Taylor

Louisiana Tech wide receiver Trent Taylor (5) runs for a touchdown after a catch against Navy during first half of the Armed Forces Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Louisiana Tech wide receiver Trent Taylor (5) runs for a touchdown after a catch against Navy during first half of the Armed Forces Bowl NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. AP

With their second pick in the fifth round, the 49ers selected prolific receiver Trent Taylor from Louisiana Tech.

Who is he?: Taylor led the nation in receiving yards last year with 1,803 yards on 136 catches. His catch total was second in the nation behind East Carolina receiver Zay Jones' 158 receptions. Taylor is only 5-8, 181 pounds with short, 28 3/4-inch arms and small hands, but he has great instincts and obviously knew how to get open on the college level. Taylor said he’s heard all sorts of comparisons to slot receivers like Wes Welker, Cole Beasley and Julian Edelman, but “I’d like to go into the NFL and be my own guy.” Taylor also spent the last four years catching punts, handling 17 for 178 yards last season.

How he fits: Taylor fits best as a slot receiver where Jeremy Kerley shined last season and where Bruce Ellington, a former fourth-round pick, also figures into the mix. After adding three receivers in free agency, the 49ers have a lot of bodies at the position but will be starting over under Kyle Shanahan. Taylor also catches punts, something Kerley did last year and Ellington handled the year before that. Ellington has been slowed by injuries in recent years -- including in the team’s recent minicamp -- and will be pushed by the rookie among others.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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