49ers' Wide Receiver Love Affair: Past, Present and Future

Matthew Yazo@@matthewyazoContributor IMarch 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

From R.C. Owens to Jerry Rice.

From The Catch I to the myriad of wannabe "Catch II's" that never caught on.

The 49ers and the Faithful have an almost borderline, unhealthy obsession with wide receivers.

And this is all fine well and good.

But are these the same 49ers of old?

A run-first, defensive juggernaut that missed the Super Bowl because of two special teams fumbles?

Sure, the WCO is back and there's talk of balance and depth and playmakers, but at what point is enough wide receiver talk enough?

The 49ers' brass would openly admit that they're looking for solid depth at just about every position.

They also openly admit that the wide receiver core was and has been an area of weakness.

But for a front office that also openly admits that their philosophy is "building through the draft and supplementing through free agency," are more receivers really the answer right now?

After all, Mike Martz is nowhere near the facility nor is there any sliver of his once failed philosophy left behind.

And even in the glory days, the 49ers were simply set and spoiled with The GOAT and JT holding court.  Were Nate Singleton and Ed McCaffrey really that necessary?  

Maybe, maybe not.

All we do know is that, for the most part, the 49ers' wide receiver core looks like this:

The Infamous Kyle Williams

The Diva Michael Crabtree

The Once Great Randy Moss

Would it behoove the 49ers to add another WR through free agency?

If so, where would this player play?

Rarely do teams pick up free agents as backups at this time of the signing period.  But it does happen. However, with names like Manningham and Lloyd popping up now, a backup or even a slot role seems a little illogical.

Or does it?  

What does Harbaugh have in mind?

How will all these new faces affect the already intensely cerebral Alex Smith, who we all know needs as many practice reps as he can possibly get in order to be able to properly execute plays on Sunday...and even then, sometimes there's still plays left on the field.

Would an entire new core of wideouts be almost if not just as daunting as yet another offensive coordinator?

Apples and Oranges?  Perhaps.  Probably.

Yes, the 49ers need help at the wideout position.  And with all of this snooping around in free agency, what does that tell you about their draft board?

Do all these other names like Fleener, and Toon and McNutt mean nothing to ol' Baalke?

As the old and now long gone saying goes, all this speculation adds up to:

"Things that make you go hmmmmm."


    Last-Minute Draft Risers Up Big Boards

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    Last-Minute Draft Risers Up Big Boards

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Jackson Could Be the Draft's Best Bargain

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    Jackson Could Be the Draft's Best Bargain

    Sean Tomlinson
    via Bleacher Report

    Miller's Top QB Ranking for the 2018 Draft

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    Miller's Top QB Ranking for the 2018 Draft

    Matt Miller
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    Garoppolo Holding Private Throwing Sessions with Receivers

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    San Francisco 49ers

    Garoppolo Holding Private Throwing Sessions with Receivers

    via sacbee