Friday, February 8, 2013
49ers looking for No. 2 WR
By Tim Kavanagh
In Michael Crabtree, the San Francisco 49ers have a wide receiver to whom QB Colin Kaepernick likes to throw. But you may have noticed something during the Super Bowl: Kaepernick's final three passes were all sent in Crabtree's direction, which is not surprising considering the Niners did not have another WR with more than 42 catches during the regular season.
This offseason, then, could be another period where they look to bolster their corps of wideouts. They tried to do so last offseason, but injuries short-circuited one signing (Mario Manningham) and age caught up with Randy Moss. Manningham and Kyle Williams are both coming off torn knee ligaments heading into 2013, while Moss and Ted Ginn are impending free agents (and neither seems likely to re-sign). The wild card in this situation is 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, whose rookie campaign consisted of merely 37 offensive snaps, one drop and zero catches, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Niners can hope for improvement out of Jenkins, as well as successful rehabilitation from Williams and Manningham, or they can actively pursue some other options. They're tight to the salary cap at this point, so they're unlikely to target one of the big name free agents, but using another draft pick on the position may be a wise choice, as Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc. suggested in his latest mock:
Todd McShayMock Draft V2.0
"Nose tackle is a possibility here, but wide receiver is a legitimate need for the 49ers with both Randy Moss and Ted Ginn scheduled to hit free agency. The team would like A.J. Jenkins to become a difference-maker in the slot, but San Francisco needs another outside weapon who can take advantage of QB Colin Kaepernick's strong arm. Justin Hunter's hands are a bit inconsistent, but he is a smooth athlete who runs good routes and can make plays downfield."