49ers Log Jam at Wide Receiver
Currently their are 10 receivers on the roster. They include Mark Bradford, Maurice Price, Michael Spurlock, Dominique Ziegler, Brandon Jones, Jason Hill, Josh Morgan, Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, and rookie Michael Crabtree.
Bradford, Price, and Spurlock are all undrafted rookie free agents with very little, if any NFL game expierence. They appear to headed for the practice squad again this year.
In the slot you have incumbent Jason Hill. Pressing him will be second year player Dominique Ziegler an undrafted rookie free agent. While Hill has the speed to stretch the field, Ziegler has a three inch height advantage and softer hands. But Hill was a third round draft choice and this is his third year.
Unless Hill has some sort of major collapse in his performance, he should retain his spot over Ziegler.
The X receiver is where the Niners are the deepest, and where the best and most competition will take place. Currently Isaac Bruce is penciled in as the starter with Arnaz Battle. Newly acquired free agent Brandon Jones will be competing for the back up roll and possibly next year's starter.
Who ever looses this positionn battle could be the odd man out and considering how much the Niners shelled out to get Jones. It looks like that just might be Battle.
Since the departure of Owens, Battle has been the Niners most consistent receiver. So if Battle is the odd man out he shouldn't be out of work for too long. Battle may not be flashy or put up huge numbers, but he does excel at being a possession receiver. He'll make that tough catch for the first down when you really need it. That skill alone will guarantee that he finds work right away—if he doesn't make the Niners roster this year.
To me, the most interesting battle should be between last years rookie standout Josh Morgan and rookie Michael Crabtree for the X receiver spot, opposite Isaac Bruce.
So far I would have to give the edge to Morgan. One, he has a year of expierence under his belt and two, he is completely healthy.
Crabtree may eventually become the starter, but with his recent foot surgery that may slow him down for the first half of the season. By seasons end the Niners should have a good idea of what they are gonna have in Crabtree.
I can't remember the last time the Niners had this much depth at the wide reciever position.
While Bruce is the only proven veteran at the position. The rest of the receivers are all young and bursting with talent. They should provide the Niners with a deep WR talent pool for years to come.
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