Patton's competition for No. 3 likely to come from rookie

Patton's competition for No. 3 likely to come from rookie
March 18, 2014, 8:00 am
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Quinton Patton had three catches for 34 yards in six regular season games as a rookie. (USATSI)

The 49ers appear to have all 11 offensive starters in place. They did not lose any and they didn’t add any during the first week of the new league year.

The 49ers showed some interest in adding a veteran wide receiver even after securing Anquan Boldin to a two-year, $12 million extension. But they certainly were not going to pay big money for any receiver -- especially because it’s a deep draft of wideouts and the 49ers own five of the top 94 picks within the first three rounds.

The top remaining free-agent wide receivers available are Santonio Holmes, Lance Moore, Miles Austin, Sidney Rice, Kenny Britt, Damian Williams and Jerricho Cotchery.

Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Quinton Patton are currently as the 49ers’ top three wide receivers. It’s reasonable to expect competition for Patton’s No. 3 job to come from a draft pick. Patton experienced setbacks as a rookie in training camp with a broken finger and in the regular season with a fractured foot. The 49ers believe he can develop into a future starter.

The 49ers will be vigilant on the secondary free-agent market, but their key offensive pickups thus far have been via trades. They landed their backup quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, and a possible backup tackle, Jonathan Martin, in trades for late-round draft picks.

Here’s a look at the 49ers’ offensive depth chart with the next major additions expected to come May 8-10 in the draft:

QB -- Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson
RB -- Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore, LaMichael James
FB -- Bruce Miller, Will Tukuafu
WR -- Michael Crabtree, Quinton Patton, Devon Wylie
WR -- Anquan Boldin, Jon Baldwin, DeMarco Sampson
TE -- Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Derek Carrier
LT -- Joe Staley, Jonathan Martin
LG -- Mike Iupati, Adam Snyder, Joe Looney
C -- Daniel Kilgore, Adam Snyder
RG -- Alex Boone, Adam Snyder, Joe Looney
RT -- Anthony Davis, Jonathan Martin
Only players with NFL regular-season experience and draft picks are listed.


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