After Johnson pickup, receiver not as dire of a need

After Johnson pickup, receiver not as dire of a need
May 9, 2014, 9:15 pm
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He’s a guy who’s lined up in the slot quite a bit through his career, but he’s also lined up outside and performed at a high level.
Trent Baalke on Stevie Johnson

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers' acquisition of veteran Stevie Johnson on Friday meant a wide receiver was not nearly as big of a need for the team on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

“It certainly makes you think and it’s part of the equation, but you’re still looking for good football players at every position,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “Competition is good. And the more competition you can create, the better it is for everybody.”

Through two days of the draft, the 49ers have not chosen a wide receiver. But with a scheduled seven draft picks on Saturday, the 49ers can still add some wideouts with speed. Fifteen wide receivers have already been chosen.

[RELATED: 49ers acquire WR Johnson in trade with Bills]

Baalke said the trade came together after the Bills made a call to the 49ers on Thursday. The 49ers sent Buffalo a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft. The selection can be upgraded to the third round if Johnson meets unspecified performance levels with the 49ers.

“They reached out to us yesterday when they made the pick for Sammy (Watkins),” Baalke said. “(They) floated a couple of options at us and we took a hard look at it. And it made sense. He’s a good football player, and you can never have enough good football players. We’re glad to have him.”

Johnson battled back, groin and hamstring issues last season. He caught 52 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns after a string of 1,000-yard receiving years with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.

“He’s a guy who’s lined up in the slot quite a bit through his career, but he’s also lined up outside and performed at a high level,” Baalke said. “Three of the last four years he’s been a thousand-yard receiver in the National Football League, which isn’t easy to do.”

Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin are projected as the 49ers’ starting receivers. Johnson is expected to compete with Brandon Lloyd and Quinton Patton for the No. 3 job.

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