We all know the 49ers receiving corps has a knack for going down with injuries. In 2011, the injury bug bit Josh Morgan (broken leg), Ted Ginn Jr. (ankle), and Braylon Edwards (knee). Last year it took out Mario Manningham (torn ACL) and Kyle Williams (torn ACL). This year it snagged Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles). You'd think this was an annual sacrifice to the football gods for letting us have Jerry Rice for all those years, but such thoughts only tempt the superstitious.
Anyways, the situation is so bad, we're testing out the most versatile tight end in the game as a wide receiver and potentially kicking the tires on burnouts like Laurent Robinson and Austin Collie. So what am I proposing to fix this? Draft 5 wide receivers with the top 5 picks.
Ah, but you're thinking 'That's ridiculous!' I know it is, but factor in all the injuries and that Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham will be free agents after this season AND that guys like AJ Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, and Quinton Patten are unproven products AND then you begin to see the need for more WR depth.
So here's my semi-serious 3-round MOCK draft to address the red & gold's annual WR shortage. Since Marqise Lee and Sammy Watkins are regularly projected as top 15 picks, I presume they'll be off the board by the time the 49ers 1st pick. Also, I'd like to see the 49ers go after bigger/physical receivers than we have now. You can click on their names for scouting reports.
Round 1 (own pick): Brandon Coleman WR (Rutgers) 6'6 / 220lbs
Round 2 (own pick): Jordan Matthews WR (Vanderbilt) 6'3 / 205lbs
Round 3 (own pick): Jalen Saunders WR (Oklahoma) 5'9 / 160lbs
Now of the five picks above, I predict two of them will go down with injuries, one during training camp and the other during the regular season as befitting our cursed tradition. So that leaves three functional rookie receivers along with any surviving veterans that return next year. For a full list of 49ers draft picks next year, click here.