The 49ers snagged Jauan Jennings in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but based solely on his collegiate production, he certainly wouldn't have lasted that long.
Character concerns caused Jennings to fall in the draft, but the 49ers felt comfortable adding him to their receiving corps, and he could be a significant part of the offense moving forward.
That time might have to wait, as Jennings is on the bubble to make the 53-man roster out of training camp and might be destined for the practice squad. Regardless, the 49ers have high hopes for Jennings, whose size and physicality show up on tape.
Jennings is a fit to fill the "big slot" role in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, as he doesn't have breakaway speed, but would be an awfully tough matchup for smaller defensive backs on the interior. And with the 49ers, he's under the tutelage of one of the best slot receivers in recent memory in Wes Welker.
Jennings surely can learn plenty from Welker, and recently explained why on his first day in the 49ers facility, he was most excited to see his new receivers coach.
"Man, when I tell you I was hyped, I was through the roof excited that he's now my coach," Jennings wrote in documenting his first NFL training camp. "I remember meeting him for the first time at the Combine. He was sitting off to the side and I was staring from afar like, 'is that THE Wes Welker?' I googled photos of him on my phone just to be sure, so I wasn't looking like a crazy person when I approached him. But it was him -- Wes Welker. I remember watching him growing up -- an undrafted Pro Bowl, All-Pro slot receiver who broke a ton of records throughout his 12-year NFL career. So, I walked over to him and said, 'what's up?' I had to.
"And fast forward, he's now my receivers coach. I really enjoy being around him and picking his brain. I feel super lucky to be able to learn from one of the best to do it. I definitely have learned to rely on him while we're facing this 49ers defense. Man, they're ultracompetitive."
Jennings will never be confused for Welker from a physical standpoint, but the hope is that he can develop to be similarly effective. The rookie receiver happened to fall into a fortuitous situation, and now arguably couldn't be in a better spot.