Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jeremy Kerley has the inside track to earn the slot role within head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. Kerley was one of the few scheduled free agents who the 49ers made a point to retain once the new regime headed by Shanahan and general manager John Lynch was brought in.

Wide receiver Trent Taylor was selected in the fifth round of the draft. The 5-foot-8 rookie out of Louisiana Tech looks like a good fit for the slot role as well. However, he has a larger learning curve since he has no NFL game experience. Taylor has been leaning on Kerley as he works to learn how to play the position on the pro level. On Thursday, the veteran receiver said that he is not worried about Taylor possibly taking his job and is comfortable helping him in any way possible.

"I'm not worried about my job being [taken] or nothing like that," Kerley said. "I've been doing the same thing for seven years. (I'm a) fifth-round pick. Nothing's ever been set in stone for me. I feel like every year, I'm fighting for something.

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"He's a good, young kid. He can play ball. He can catch. So whatever it is, I'm just going to make sure that I can help him as much as I can. Give him that knowledge just from what I've been through because I see a lot of potential in him. It's another piece to this puzzle that we're trying to put together. As much as I can help him, he can help the team."

Among Kerley's goals for the 2017 season include, once again, getting over 600 yards receiving and over 50 catches. He also wants to finally have the opportunity to reach the playoffs.

"A big personal goal for me is just try to make it to the playoffs," Kerley said. "Seven years and not going to the playoffs is really tough. So, hopefully, just fight and make it into the playoffs."

In 2016, Kerley was acquired by the 49ers via a trade with the Detroit Lions in late August, just prior to the team's final preseason game. Last season, Kerley led the 49ers in receiving with 64 catches for 667 yards and three touchdowns.