The San Francisco 49ers identified a major weakness on their 2011 roster. Their wide receivers had trouble getting open against tough man-to-man or press coverage. This issue became abundantly clear in the playoffs when the 49ers' wide receivers virtually disappeared.
When the 49ers rolled up points against the Saints in their first playoff contest, it was tight end Vernon Davis who made the big plays for San Francisco. The wide receivers combined for seven catches for only 48 yards, although Michael Crabtree did grab one touchdown.
Against the New York Giants in the NFC title game, the production was far worse. The Niners' wide receivers combined for one catch for a measly three yards. The Giants DBs were able to blanket the 49ers' wide receivers and take them completely out of the game.
GM Trent Baalke and head coach Jim Harbaugh were very proactive to correct the problem. They made aggressive moves to upgrade the position and provide some explosiveness to the offense. Now, it will be up to quarterback Alex Smith to find these receivers and get them the ball, so they can make plays.
Let's take a look at the wide receivers currently on the roster and I will provide an analysis on the relative merits of each player.