The San Francisco 49ers have a whole bunch of wide receivers competing for opportunities behind Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Jerome Simpson, Quinton Patton, and Bruce Ellington all qualify as the veterans of the group, with a mix of recent UDFAs filling out the competition.
Last week, we looked at some comments wide receivers coach Ronald Curry made about the 49ers wide receivers. Specifically, we discussed his thoughts on Jerome Simpson and DeAndrew White. However, Curry also chimed in on a fan favorite, Quinton Patton. The 49ers drafted Patton in 2013, and he has yet to emerge into a weapon. He has shown signs at times, but injury and other reasons have kept him from taking a sizable step forward.
Curry spoke with the media two weeks ago during the final media session of minicamp, and he said the one thing missing from Patton's game is an opportunity. Curry said Patton will get an opportunity this year.
"Quinton Patton has always flashed," Curry said. "He's going to get a real opportunity to go out there and see what he can do. I've been here since he was a rookie, and just to see him grow as a player and a person is great to see. He's always been dedicated, he's always been focused, he's always worked hard, he's smart and it's going to be interesting to see how he does in this camp."
Curry seems like a big Patton fan, and it makes some sense given that they arrived to the team at the same time. Patton looked good in the preseason his rookie year, and flashed a play or two here or there. However, he has never emerged, and he is running out of time to carve a role for himself. Colin Kaepernick has Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith as his top two receivers, along with Vernon Davis, and potentially Reggie Bush out of the backfield.
The offense could find a third wide receiver in the bunch, but it is going to be a tough competition. Bruce Ellington flashed some skills as well, and provides more versatility than Patton. DeAndrew White and Dres Anderson have both gotten strong reviews through the offseason workout camp. All of these things provide them with momentum, but we can't overlook Patton's quasi-endorsement by the wide receivers coach.