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49ers training camp preview: How will the wide receiver reserves shake out?

The San Francisco 49ers have their two starting wide receivers set. The question now is who will emerge as the third receiver, and if any of the young UDFAs will catch on.
WR: Bubble watch | Salary cap
Other questions: QB | RB | TE | OL | DL | OLB | ILB | CB | S

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers welcome rookies and quarterbacks to training camp on Monday, July 27 and veterans on Friday, July 31. They then kick things off in earnest when they hold their first practice on Saturday, August 1. The team's first preseason game is not until August 15, but in the meantime, some semblance of football is almost back in our lives!

Thus far we have looked at the depth chart bubble watch, and salary cap questions about each position. I wanted to close out the offseason by figuring out the questions left to answer for each position as we head into training camp. We won't get all the answers we seek in training camp and the preseason, but we will get a much better handle on what this team looks like heading into the 2015 season.

The idea behind this is just to figure out what we are going to be looking for in training camp reports and preseason games. When final roster cuts are made, we will look back at these questions, and ahead to questions for the regular season.

We wrap this up with the wide receiver position. I would have done this one after the running backs, but we were in the midst of a lengthy run of wide receivers in the 90-in-90 series. And so, rather than double or triple up on one of those days, I decided to save it for last.

We know Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith will be the starting wide receivers. After that, it is entirely up in the air. Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton and Jerome Simpson are the primary competitors for snaps after Boldin and Smith. Simpson is competing as a deep threat, Patton as a more traditional possession guy, and Ellington as a potential multi-threat option. And of course, we cannot forget about the rookies that had some buzz in minicamp.

Here are some of those questions for the wide receivers heading into camp.

1. In what roles will the 49ers use Bruce Ellington during the preseason?

2. Will DeAndre Smelter be activated off the NFI list before the end of the preseason?

3. How much work will Jerome Simpson get in the preseason?

4. Who will be the initial third receiver on the depth chart?

5. Can Chuck Jacobs work his way out of just garbage time snaps?

6. Which, if any, of the young UDFAs emerges as a threat for a roster spot?

Feel free to throw out any of your own questions for the group. We won't address every one of these position group questions every single week, but I do plan on checking back on these as August moves along. Again, this is not about what questions face the group in the regular season. Rather, it is about what we can learn from the six weeks of training camp and preseason games.