In April, the 49ers used a first-round draft pick on Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and a seventh-round choice on Tennessee’s Jauan Jennings.
This, just a year after using a pair of high picks to get wideouts Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd. So, as the 49ers look toward 2020, their pass-catching corps could be a deep, talented and young bunch, that also includes Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis and Richie James.
But Kendrick Bourne wants to make sure he plays a larger role, too. A much larger role.
Bourne, who signed a one-year restricted free-agent tender in April that will provide him with about $3.2 million in 2020, is heading into his fourth season with the 49ers.
After signing as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Bourne played all 16 regular-season games the past two seasons. He had 42 catches for 487 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 and 30 catches for 358 yards and five scores in 2019.
The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder has proven to the team to be a playmaker who can successfully compete with defensive backs for tough catches since emerging from Eastern Washington. In 2019, 23 of his 30 catches went for a first down or touchdown.
He’s had some trouble with drops in the past, but said earlier this offseason that every, single one is painful. He had three in 2019, but said those three “felt like 10,” and he’s studied them to see what he did wrong.
Now, Bourne has revealed some big goals for 2020.
On his Instagram account, Bourne posted photos of his recent workouts, along with his goals for this season, which include becoming a starter and having 1,000 receiving yards. Also: to be a leader, win a Super Bowl and “be legendary.”
Bourne knows the 49ers wanted him back because he showed this past season he can make big plays in big games. He had six catches over three postseason games, including two in the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. But, he’ll have to take his game to a higher level to win a starting job against the likes of Samuel, Aiyuk and the rest of the group.
He knows he’ll have to be at his best every day of training camp.
“You can just tell it’s going to be a big year, competition-wise,” he said recently, in an interview on KNBR.
Bourne can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.