Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke's draft picks that red-shirted as a rookie.
But the 49ers pass catcher feels he benefitted greatly from being able to sit back and learn from a couple of established veterans at his position in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.
"It was very beneficial just to see how they worked," Smelter told the local media in May. "I learned how to be a pro out here and how to handle yourself."
Smelter, a 6-foot-2, 227-pound receiver, averaged 18.9 yards per catch at Georgia Tech, finishing with 1,060 career receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 22 games.
His yards-per-reception average in his final year in 2014 ranked 8th across the entire NCAA field.
Smelter will have a chance to compete for a starting job against the likes of Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton, Eric Rogers, DeAndrew White, and Aaron Burbridge.
Pac-12 products in Bryce Treggs (Cal), Devon Cajuste (Stanford), DiAndre Campbell (Washington) and Dres Anderson (Utah) are also in the mix.
"It's been a long process. It's been a lot of rehabbing, a lot of working out, but it's been good," Smelter said. "It felt good being able to do everything with the team out on the field instead of being off to the side rehabbing. I feel great. I just want to keep it up."