The 49ers will be without two of their wide receivers for the entire offseason program.
Kyle Williams, who sustained a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament, is on pace to be cleared to participate at the beginning of training camp in late-July. However, Mario Manningham faces a longer rehabilitation because he sustained tears to his ACL and his posterior cruciate ligament. He is not expected to be ready for the start of camp.
Injuries to Williams and Manningham late in the season left the 49ers lacking any quality depth at wide receiver for the playoffs and Super Bowl. Manningham missed four games but was still the 49ers' second-leading receiver last season with 42 catches for 449 yards. He took a significant pay cut in March to remain with the club.
The 49ers have some players with talent, but there's no proven depth. Sure, the 49ers selected wide receiver A.J. Jenkins in the first round of last year's draft. But he remains a question mark after failing to catch a pass as a rookie.
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Who's here: Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Mario Manningham, A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette, Chad Hall, Marlon Moore, Joe Hastings
Draft needs: Crabtree's contract expires after the 2014 season. The 49ers had a difficult time signing Crabtree to his rookie contract, as he missed his first five NFL games in a contract dispute. If that's any indication, it will not be easy signing Crabtree to a new deal now that he's an established No. 1 receiver. Anquan Boldin, Manningham and Williams are scheduled to become free agents after the upcoming season. There is definitely room for a draft pick to enter the picture and compete for a long-term job.
Good fits: Might the 49ers select a wide receiver early in this draft? It's possible, and there are likely to be several options available. Two players from Tennessee provide the speed the 49ers would likely seek on the outside. Cordarrelle Patterson has good size (6 foot 1 7/8) and good speed (4.42 in the 40-yard dash). Justin Hunter is 6-4, and just as fast. Keenan Allen (Cal) might also be available when the 49ers pick. Allen does not have great speed, but he is tough and has good hands. He is in the Boldin-Crabtree mold. Ryan Swope (Texas A&M) could compete for immediate playing time in the slot. Swope ran an impressive 4.34 at the combine. The 49ers showed some interest in Tyrone Goard (Eastern Kentucky), who is an intriguing athlete due to his size (6-3 3/4) and 4.5 speed.