San Francisco 49ers

49ers training camp preview: Slot receiver holds best competition

SANTA CLARA As Kyle Shanahan said (in so many words) earlier this year: The spring is for learning the playbook, the summer is where the roster jockeying begins. With that in mind, here's how the depth chart looked when the spring sessions ended as well as some of the storylines to come when training camp gets underway. Players report on Thursday; the first practice is Friday.

Next up: receiver

WR1: Pierre Garçon, Aaron Burbridge, DeAndre Smelter, B.J. Johnson, Kendrick Bourne

WR2: Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, DeAndre Carter

Slot WR: Jeremy Kerley, Trent Taylor, Bruce Ellington, Victor Bolden

Storylines:

* The four receivers who signed new contracts with the 49ers in the offseason -- Garçon, Goodwin, Kerley and Robinson -- are the safest bets to win roster spots. Throw in fifth-round selection Trent Taylor and that leaves perhaps one more spot.

* The best competition is for slot receiver. Despite arriving just before the regular season last year, Kerley led the 49ers in receiving and showed tenacity and professionalism throughout. Taylor was the most prolific receiver in college football in 2016 and was a reliable target in the spring. Ellington may be the most physically gifted of the three but has had trouble staying healthy, even in non-contact portions of the NFL calendar. All three also return punts.

* Ellington, Burbridge and Smelter are the only receivers drafted by Trent Baalke. All are longshots to make the roster, underscoring the former general manager's blind spot at the position

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

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