49ers

49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker

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USATSI

49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker

As a short, slot receiver, Trent Taylor has been compared to All-Pro wideout Wes Welker for his entire life.

Now, Taylor will have the chance to learn from Welker directly, after the 37-year-old reportedly will become one of the newest members of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's staff.

Taylor didn’t hold back when asked what his thoughts were when he first heard about Welker heading to the Bay Area.

“I thought it was freakin’ sick,” Taylor told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s been a baller in the NFL for 10 plus years and it’s always just cool having a guy like that coaching you. A guy with that type of experience and the guy people have compared me to my whole life.”

With only an inch difference in height between the two -- Taylor is 5'8", Welker is 5'9" -- Taylor is more than ready to learn from Welker. Tips from the receiver who led the league in receptions in three different seasons and racked up over 1,000 yards five times will be very valuable.

Even more than Welker’s physicality, Taylor believes his mental approach to the game is even more powerful.

“It’s going to be a cool opportunity to be able to work with him and hear what he has to say to me, what kind of advice he has, and I just know he has that ‘dog mentality’ that you want in a football player," Taylor said. 

“It’s cool to have that in the coaching position, and it will be cool to see the way that he coaches us and the fire that he brings into work every day. I think it’s going to be great.”

While Taylor knows what his new coach is capable of, he can’t wait be in the same room with the five-time Pro Bowler to watch Welker’s own game film.

“I haven’t been able to just sit down and break down his film,” Taylor said. “But I feel like we will have the opportunity to do that. I’ll probably press that subject pretty hard. I feel like he’s going to try to be humble about it but we need to see his film. That’s for sure.”

Welker’s level of productivity is the gold standard for a slot receiver, and that’s the goal for Taylor and the rest of the receivers room. Taylor understands its immense value.

“I think it will be good to be able to ‘learn’ somebody who played the same type of position with the same body type,” Taylor said. “You don’t run into to many guys like that in the NFL. So it will be an interesting perspective to hear from.”

Welker reportedly will be joined by former Cowboys wideout Miles Austin in the receivers room, who was hired as an offensive quality control coach. Taylor appreciates that both coaches are not that far removed from the game, which helps them be even more relatable.

“Two guys who played a long time in the NFL, and haven’t been out of the league for that many years,” Taylor said. “They’re still pretty fresh in it. It’ll be great. I think it’s going to work out great."

[RELATED: Why 49ers can't miss out on Brown or Beckham Jr. this year]

Taylor, however remains inspired by Welker's mental toughness and looks to get everything possible out of his new coach.

"I think he always wanted it more than the guy across from him," Taylor said. "And that’s what made him so great. that’s what makes anybody great. Just having that 'want to' and that fire that you’re never going to stop. That you’re not going to give up."

Former 49ers assistant analyzes how Emmanuel Sanders will enable Kyle Shanahan to open playbook

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Former 49ers assistant analyzes how Emmanuel Sanders will enable Kyle Shanahan to open playbook

The addition of veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will provide 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan with infinite options, according to a member of last season’s coaching staff.

“It’s going to allow for Kyle Shanahan to open up the playbook a little more,” said Nick Ferguson, a former NFL safety and an assistant on the 49ers staff last season.

Ferguson, who works in Denver as a host on 104.3 The Fan, spoke on the 49ers Insider Podcast about the impact of the 49ers’ trade on Tuesday to acquire Sanders, a 10-year NFL veteran.

“He can take the top off defenses,” Ferguson said. “Also, his route-running, crisp route-running. If you want to put him outside the numbers, he can do that. If you want to put him in the slot, he can do that, as well. If you want to run gimmick plays, jet sweeps, kind of like what Andy Reid does with Tyreek (Hill), he can definitely do that.

“So he gives them another element to their offense that they haven’t had.”

Sanders, 32, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl champion, comes to the 49ers along with a fifth-round pick from the Denver Broncos in exchange for the 49ers’ third- and fourth-round selections in the 2020 draft. Sanders is signed only through this current season.

Sanders provides an immediate upgrade at wide receiver for the 49ers. Tight end George Kittle is far-and-away Jimmy Garoppolo’s most reliable target in the passing game.

Rookie Deebo Samuel, who missed Sunday’s game at Washington with a groin strain, leads the 49ers wideouts with 15 catches for 168 yards. Marquise Goodwin has 11 catches for 181 yards, while Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis have nine catches apiece for 139 and 83 yards, respectively. Richie James has five receptions for 108 yards.

“No disrespect to guys they have on the team, like Pettis, Bourne, Richie James, no disrespect, but now you have a savvy veteran coming in and you can say he’s 32, coming off some injuries,” Ferguson said. “All I know is he’s a gamer and the problem here in Denver was they were not getting him the ball. I don’t understand how do you not feature a guy like Emmanuel Sanders in your offense?”

Sanders sustained a torn left Achilles last December. He also had offseason surgery on his right ankle. While he made a strong return from those surgeries, he was not satisfied with his role in Rich Scangarello’s offense. Scangarello, the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, is the Denver offensive coordinator under first-year head coach Vic Fangio.

Sanders caught 30 of the 44 passes thrown his way for 367 yards and two touchdowns for the Broncos (2-5). He joins an undefeated 49ers team that ranks No. 2 in the NFL in rushing. Ferguson said he believes Sanders’ presence will benefit Garoppolo, Kittle and the team’s ground attack.

“It’s going to open up things for Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman in the run game because with Emmanuel Sanders, his route-running, and his ability to catch the deep ball, it’s just going to open run lanes and passing lanes,” Ferguson said.

What 2020 NFL Draft picks 49ers have following Emmanuel Sanders trade

What 2020 NFL Draft picks 49ers have following Emmanuel Sanders trade

The 49ers’ trade Tuesday to acquire wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos means, as of now, the 49ers can sleep in on the second day of the NFL draft.

The 49ers still own their first-round draft selection in 2020. But the club traded away their second-round pick to acquire edge rusher Dee Ford from Kansas City. And the 49ers gave up picks in the third and fourth rounds to get Sanders, who is under contract only through the end of the season.

The first round of the NFL draft will be held Thursday, April 23. The following day, the NFL will conduct the second and third rounds. The final day of the draft, April 25, will consist of the fourth through seventh rounds.

The 49ers have six scheduled draft picks, including two apiece in the fifth and seventh rounds.

[RELATED: How Sanders trade helps 49ers battered receiving corps]

The 49ers are also not expected to be awarded any compensatory draft picks because this year they had more net gains in free agency, led by the signings of linebacker Kwon Alexander and running back Tevin Coleman.

The acquisition of Sanders could set up the 49ers to re-coup one of the draft picks sent to Denver. If Sanders plays well for the remainder of the season and signs a lucrative contract elsewhere, it could lead to the 49ers getting a 2021 mid-rounds compensatory pick.

And if the 49ers, as expected, finish among the top teams in the league this season, the selections sent to the Broncos will be in the late portions of the third and fourth rounds.

49ERS 2020 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: Own pick
2. Fifth round: Denver pick from WR Emmanuel Sanders trade
3. Fifth round: Own pick
4. Sixth round: Own pick
5. Seventh round: Own pick
6. Seventh round: Detroit  pick for LB Eli Harold, 2018

Original picks traded:
Second-round pick traded to Kansas City for LB Dee Ford

Third- and fourth-round picks traded to Denver for Sanders