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The 49ers have a little bit of a hole in their wide receiver depth chart and a number of candidates to fill it. One player in particular, 2019 third-round pick Jalen Hurd, stands out as a favorite if he’s healthy enough to play. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Wednesday in a radio interview expressed his excitement over Hurd’s potential return.

Hurd hasn’t been healthy in either of his two professional seasons. A stress fracture in his back during the 2019 preseason sidelined him for the entire year. Then last season he tore his ACL at the start of training camp and went on season-ending Injured Reserve.

Garoppolo on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco told Damon, Ratto and Kolsky that Hurd has developed well and that he’s excited to get him on the field.

“Jay’s come a long way. He really has in his route running, just developing his body and becoming a pro,” Garoppolo said. “I mean, the guy does it the right way. I’m dying to get him out there right now, I really am. He’s such a physical freak, just the things he can do in his route running, with the ball in his hands, it’s very impressive. So, hopefully we’ll get to put those on display and get him out there as soon as possible.”

Hurd was drafted as a wide receiver after playing the position for one year at Baylor University. Prior to that he was a running back for three years at the University of Tennessee. His dual-threat skill set put an extremely high ceiling on him, although there were questions about whether he’d be able to play receiver at the professional level.

It appears per Garoppolo’s comments that he’s come along nicely despite his injury issues.

With Kendrick Bourne’s exit in free agency, the 49ers have a void at the No. 3 WR spot on the roster. Hurd’s combination of size and speed could make him an effective replacement as long as he’s able to stay on the field. If he is available, it could quickly become clear why Garoppolo was so excited to get him back.


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