If first impressions mean anything, Trent Taylor may have a future with the 49ers.
San Francisco’s second choice in the fifth round of the recent NFL draft has looked good so far in the 49ers’ organized team activities.
The 5-foot-8, 181-pounder led the NCAA in receiving yards last season at Louisiana Tech, with 1,803 on 136 receptions. He’s not physically imposing, but as a wideout operating out of the slot, he’s already shown he can get open.
As Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted Tuesday, Taylor had a big day in seven-on-seven drills, making several nice catches. He was a favorite target of the team’s quarterbacks.
Taylor not only is short in stature, but he has small hands and his arms aren’t long, two qualities that sometimes cause NFL teams to have doubts. Yet the 49ers are high on his potential, and head coach Kyle Shanahan liked what he saw of Taylor Tuesday.
“Trent’s a guy who is very good at separating,” Shanahan told the media. “He’s very quick. He’s a very tough player. His feet are usually under him. So, he always can make a couple moves in a short area, which is a quality that a lot of people look for in a slot receiver.”
Taylor said Shanahan’s remarks give him confidence as he tries to learn the system and adjust to pro football.
He’s eager to play out of the slot – or anywhere else Shanahan wants to put him.
“They’ve got me in the slot position now, but as coach said, as you learn, as I learn more positions, I can switch to the x or the z (outside wide receiver spots).”
For now, Taylor figures to be behind veteran Jeremy Kerley as the primary slot receiver. Also in contention should be Bruce Ellington, who was ticketed for the slot last season before he was knocked out by an injury. Taylor also could be in contention to return punts, which he did this past season for Louisiana Tech.