2011 49ers Grades: Brett Swain/Joe Hastings

We're fast approaching the end of our rundown of the entire roster. We've got a couple low key players left, with none being quite so much as Brett Swain and Joe Hastings. I have not included a grading poll because it really seems unnecessary. Is there much to make beyond the obvious here? Brett Swain is a restricted free agent and fairly unlikely to return in 2012. Joe Hastings is actually under contract for two more years.

Swain could come back on a minimal deal if he can't find any interest, but while one or both could get their chances in training camp, I would be pretty surprised to see either survive final cuts later this summer. The 49ers basically head into free agency and the draft with Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams. Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker operate in wide receiver roles on occasion, but the 49ers obviously need to find themselves some tight ends wide receivers.

This may be a "power rushing" type of team that will build around the ground game and the tight ends, but it is very clear more wide receiver talent is needed. I remain hopeful the 49ers re-sign Joshua Morgan. That puts the team at three receivers plus Joe Hastings. I'd still love to see the team land Mike Wallace, but I won't exactly hold my breath for that. Just spit-balling, but maybe instead, sign Robert Meachem and score Marvin Jones a little bit later.

In reality, I don't know that the 49ers necessarily need to find that high impact number one receiver outside the roster. I think guys like Meachem and Jones bring some additional skills that complement the rest of the receivers. If Meachem can stretch the field a bit, opening up the middle of the field for Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis could open the passing game up enough for it to become a more consistent threat. As Davis showed in the playoffs, he can be that high impact player. He is so key to the blocking, but if the offensive line could gain some consistency, and the passing game could open up with a singular deep threat, maybe Davis becomes even more of a number one-type.

That would of course require Meachem show more than he has in his first four seasons. It is not a fool-proof plan by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it could make things work. It is not the big sexy play of adding Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson in free agency, or a big name receiver in the first round of the draft, but I think it could conceivably work. Am I off base?

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