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Free agent WR John Brown thinks Jimmy Garoppolo is the next Tom Brady

Wide receivers might start lining up to play with Jimmy G.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate offered up praise for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Thursday, and suggested free agent wide receivers would probably enjoy the chance to catch passes from the quarterback.

We might be able to add Arizona Cardinals wide receiver and soon-to-be free agent John Brown to the list.

Brown finished up his rookie contract this past season, and will hit free agency in March barring a contract extension. He is coming off a disappointing 2017 season in which injuries limited him to ten games. He finished the season with 21 receptions for 299 yards and three touchdowns. His peak came in 2015, when he finished with 65 receptions for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. Injuries have been a problem since, and he’s never been able to build on that season.

The 49ers have a ton of cap space to work with, and can likely expect a lot of interest from around the league. Any player and his agent will see a chance for big bucks from the 49ers, and of course, getting a chance to join a rising team with a potentially great quarterback will add further incentive.

For the wide receiver position, is there any reason to sign anybody that does not offer the potential to be a No. 1 receiver? Just to be clear, I am saying focusing on that as opposed to adding depth pieces. I do think there is room to add some competition for the rest of the depth chart, but the team needs a No. 1 at the position more than anything else.

Heading into 2018, the 49ers wide receiver depth chart could include Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, and Trent Taylor as their starting trio. Kendrick Bourne will compete for an opportunity along with Aldrick Robinson. There is plenty of room to improve, but I saw enough this past season to think that this group provides a lot of solid depth as is.

I would certainly love a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver, but I don’t see any need to over-pay for someone who would be no better than a No. 2 or 1a at this point. Given the current set-up at the position, I am curious to see how the 49ers address the position this offseason. Do they focus on landing a long-term No. 1? Or do they see the current depth chart a little different than I do?