Heading into the inevitable next round of organized team activities, the San Francisco 49ers will, for the first time in a long time, have a bona fide battle at the wide receiver position.
The 49ers will have 12 players competing for a roster spot.
This was exactly what Trent Baalke envisioned after the 49ers fell in the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants.
That game was infamous for a lot of reasons, and one of them was the lack of production at the wide receiver spot. Meanwhile, we can rewind even further to a season that had all sorts of bumbling mishaps on offense, especially in the red zone.
Baalke and Harbaugh knew that in order to keep players like Michael Crabtree consistently productive, they would have to elevate the level of competition at the position. Granted, it would also help if Alex Smith would deliver the ball accurately and on time, but that's another story for another day.
These "Majestic 12" include a future Hall of Famer / first-round draft pick and four additional first-round draft picks. However, they do not include any notably, unarguable, dominant talents, like a Megatron or a Larry Fitzgerald, for example. The 49ers will most likely cut this sample size down in at least half by the start of the season, reserving the right to call up any one of the castoffs as practice squad fodder throughout the season.
The current list is as follows in order of NFL glory:
- Randy Moss
- Mario Manningham
- Michael Crabtree
- Kyle Williams (there was a 15-minutes-of-fame moment that we all remember where poor Williams was the belle of the headline ball)
- Ted Ginn, Jr.
- A.J. Jenkins (rookie)
- Chris Owusu (hey, a Stanford guy! He's the first one, right?)
- Brett Swain (they did throw to him in the Championship game if I recall)
- Joe Hastings
- Nathan Palmer
- Brian Tyms
OK, fine, a fair amount of that chunk o' list is undrafted free agents (thanks, Matt Maiocco).
But that doesn't mean it's not potent or won't raise the level of competition for the first time in...well...jeeze...
Competition at the wide receiver spot for the San Francisco 49ers?
There you go, folks: When was the last time the San Francisco 49ers had legit competition at the wide receiver position?
Talk amongst yourselves.