Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


ESPN names Jauan Jennings as 49ers’ surprise offseason standout

Jun 27, 2022 at 9:27 AM--


ESPN's 32 NFL beat writers looked at each of their teams and identified one offseason standout player. For the San Francisco 49ers, that is third-year wide receiver Jauan Jennings, a seventh-round pick from the 2020 draft.

"It wasn't until Week 14 that Jennings began to emerge as an option in the Niners' pass game last season," wrote Nick Wagoner, "but once he did, he became one of their most reliable targets on third down and in the red zone. Jennings had 16 catches for 212 yards over the final five games with 11 of those receptions going for a touchdown or a first down."

Jennings finished the regular season with 24 receptions for 282 yards and five touchdowns. He also hauled in six receptions for 43 yards during the 49ers' three playoff games.

"That momentum has carried into the offseason," Wagoner continued, "where Jennings and quarterback Trey Lance have displayed an easy chemistry that has made Jennings one of Lance's favorite red-zone targets. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Jennings has had his best offseason since he entered the league, a good sign his role will only continue to grow in 2022."

Shanahan isn't the only one who is impressed with Jennings' offseason. The 24-year-old receiver caught one new 49ers cornerback off guard.

"Jauan kind of surprised me a little bit," Charvarius Ward admitted earlier this month. "He got a lot more talent than I thought he had. ... He's a great route-runner. He knows how to work his leverage. He does what the coaches tell him to do. He's just a gamer. Once he puts on the helmet and straps those shoes on, he's a good player."

A breakout season from Jennings, paired with George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel—assuming Samuel's contract situation gets resolved—bodes well for second-year quarterback Trey Lance. He is preparing to become the 49ers' full-time starter, replacing Jimmy Garoppolo.



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