The San Francisco 49ers finished the 2011 regular season with a record of 13-3. They defeated the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs and advanced to the NFC championship game. The 49ers ultimately fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants, 20-17, in overtime.
The biggest weakness the 49ers had was in their passing game. They averaged 183.1 yards per game passing, which was ranked 29th in a 32-team league. The 49ers wide receivers made only one reception for three yards in their defeat to the Giants.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke knew they had to upgrade the passing game. The 49ers signed free agents Mario Manningham and Randy Moss in an attempt to bolster their receiving corps. In addition, they selected wide receiver A.J. Jenkins with their first-round selection in the draft.
The 49ers focused on offense this offseason. They brought in a lot of speed and explosiveness on offense, while maintaining their stellar defense.
Quarterback Alex Smith had his best season as a pro. Under Harbaugh, Smith became a competent NFL quarterback. He completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards, both career highs. He also threw 17 touchdown passes against only five interceptions.
Harbaugh and the 49er faithful are expecting even more from Smith in 2012. The offensive weapons are much more potent and the 49ers should have a much improved passing attack.
Let's take a look at the 49ers' receiving corps and see who will be Smith's "go-to" receiver this year.