Shanahan Believes Taylor Will Regain Rookie Form

As a rookie in 2017, Trent Taylor gave the 49ers a glimpse of promise. The former Louisiana Tech standout, a fifth-round pick, looked terrific as a slot receiver when injuries to the receiving corps gave him opportunities, especially late in the season.

Taylor, a 5-foot-8, 180-pounder, caught 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns and became a reliable clutch option, with 34 of those catches coming on third or fourth down.

So, bigger things were expected in 2018.

Yet because of offseason surgery to remove bone spurs from his lower back, Taylor had to sit out the team’s offseason program and never really felt 100 percent in his second season. He just didn’t have the quickness he showed as a rookie.

Said head coach Kyle Shanahan late this past season: “Trent just hasn’t been the same guy this year. He knows that.”

But as the 49ers work toward 2019, Shanahan believes Taylor will regain his fitness and quickness and be a bigger contributor.

Shanahan says Taylor has stayed in the Bay Area this offseason to work out and it’s going to pay off.

“I’m very hopeful for Trent to come back,” Shanahan told Joe Fann of “Right now, he’s around all the time. I see him outside my office on the field working out every single day. He wasn’t here this time last year. He decided to stay here this year.

“He’s healthy. He’s going in the right direction and he’ll give himself a chance to be like his rookie year.”

But Taylor also will have to compete and produce, as the wide receiver corps has been strengthened. Taylor is part of a group that includes holdovers Dante Pettis, Richie James, Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne and recent free-agent Jordan Matthews. The 49ers also are likely to bring in another receiver via the draft or undrafted free agent.


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