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49ers to sign Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins per reports

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The 49ers are reportedly signing Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins. The wide receiver competition just go a lot more interesting.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Only a few hours after holding a workout with Austin Collie, Laurent Robinson and Lavelle Hawkins, the 49ers have made their choice. Mike Garofolo is reporting the 49ers have decided to sign Collie. The 49ers had worked out Collie multiple times over the course of the offseason.

Fooch's Note: After finishing this, word also came out from Ben Volin that the 49ers are going to sign Lavelle Hawkins as well.

The 49ers wide receiver corps took a monstrous hit in the offseason when Michael Crabtree went down with a torn Achilles. The team went into camp with Anquan Boldin as the number one, and a mix of players competing for time after that. Kyle Williams was projected as the number two, but suffered a hamstring last Saturday, and has not practiced since. A.J. Jenkins was going to get plenty of opportunities to claim a spot, but he has struggled with consistency, and suffered a hamstring injury earlier this week. Marlon Moore and Chad Hall have both seemingly impressed, but they have not done much in their careers to date, so it is not surprising to see the 49ers go to an outside option.

Collie will compete primarily for the slot receiver position. This is not exactly a vote of confidence for A.J. Jenkins, but for now, it brings in competition at a position that needed warm bodies. I don't think the team is prepared to give up on A.J. Jenkins, but hopefully this gives him the kick in the butt he seems to need.

There are plenty of concerns with Collie, as he has suffered multiple concussions, and lost last season to a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee. While his recovery from the knee injury is pertinent, the concussions concern me more. There are reports of up to three concussions, but as we have heard from players in the past, not all concussions show up as such. And even if he has not had any additional concussions, it is still concerning.

I realize he is a grown man who can make his own decisions, but as I've said repeatedly now, it does not make me any more comfortable with this. Every time he takes a big hit, I will cringe.

As for Hawkins, he has struggled to make an impact in the league, but provides another body to compete and push the rest of the wide receivers. Earlier this week, Hawkins was cut from Patriots camp, after signing with the team in May. That is not exactly inspiring, but we'll see what he can do in short order with the 49ers.