ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers scorers a touchdown on a fake field goal attempt against St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 34-27. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Granted we haven't even played our first playoff game, and wont for over a week...it IS NFL draft season with college bowl games winding down. If you're like me you look forward to this time of year and can't wait to get started discussing the possibilities.
One of the first things we usually do is identify "positions of need", that is, positions on the roster that are in need of new blood whether it be a stud or depth. Generally draftniks like to start looking at the first few rounds to begin-with and go from there. This means you start with positions of greatest need (or those that warrant an early pick at least).
For much of the season Wide Receiver (WR) has been one of the top listed positions of need for the 49ers. Earlier in the season, after Braylon Edwards got nicked-up and Michael Crabtree was just starting to get back to full strength, it seemed like WR was a HUGE position of need.
With what I would call the emergance of Kyle Williams, in terms of his playing-time increasing and in-turn his numbers, coupled with Crabtree's recent breakout (of consistency, at least)...I wonder if this is still the case?
Personally I feel like Crabtree and Williams make a formidable duo, especially after another off-season is under their belt in the new system, with Alex Smith, etc. I also hope that Joshua Morgan returns to prior form after most expect him to re-sign with the team this off-season.
Granted none of these guys are established superstars...they're not Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson (or Big Johnson from those t-shirts)...I think they will only get better, which minimizes the need for a big-time WR in my eyes.
Now, sure, if someone falls to us at draft-slot #32 (see what I did there?!?) a-la-Crabtree...then yeah, it's a no-brainer. Heck, I'm even ok with spending a second round pick on a guy...just not sure I see the need as the top position anymore.
What are your thoughts? Can Crab, Morgan and K-Dub be a good group going forward or do we need to put all our eggs into a first-round pick's basket?
Or what about Free Agency? Guys like Marques Colston and Vincent Jackson look primed to hit the market. Will they help the team enough to warrant their price-tag? The 49ers aren't known for entering into bidding-wars, which seems like what would happen with these premium FA WR's. That's mostly why I reference the draft in terms of building this team with elite talent.