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A.J. Jenkins and a bunch of unproven receivers lead the charge.
When San Francisco acquired Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens shortly prior to the start of free agency, it was concluded that he would team up with Michael Crabtree to form the best starting receiver group the franchise has had since the 1990s.
A few short weeks later, Crabtree went down with an Achilles injury.
At that point, it seemed San Francisco would be without its breakout star for the 2013 season. While things might have changed since, Crabtree is out of the equation for at least the first half of the regular season, according to CBSSports.
In addition, it seems that veteran slot guy Mario Manningham hasn't fully recovered from his own knee injury and may not return in time for the start of the season.
That leaves the injury-plagued Kyle Williams and a bunch of unknown commodities as primary competitors to earn the No. 2 wide receiver job opposite Boldin.
Can 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins step into a prominent role? Will under-the-radar 2013 fourth-round pick Quinton Patton step up? What about the talented Ricardo Lockette?
One of these players will have to show he can produce at a high level in order for San Francisco's pass offense to pick up where it left off last season under young phenom Colin Kaepernick.
It is, however, important to note that San Francisco runs the least amount of three-wide receiver sets in the entire league. This makes the necessity of finding a consistent third receiver much less important than conventional wisdom would seem to indicate.
If need be, rookie tight end Vance McDonald could be utilized in a slot role. The primary need here is to find a No. 2 opposite Boldin.
There is some encouraging news as it relates to San Francisco's wide receiver situation.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, head coach Jim Harbaugh is feeling good about the progression of San Francisco's young receivers:
I feel like they're making a lot of progress... I feel good about where that stands right now. Continued competition will continue to be good for our team and those youngsters.
Maiocco went on to say exactly who is in competition for the starting gig opposite Boldin:
A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette will line up at split end to compete for Crabtree's starting job.
For his part, Jenkins has been mighty impressive this offseason, having bulked up a great deal from his rookie campaign.
Patton was one of my favorite receiving prospects leading up to the 2013 NFL draft.
Despite receiving high praises from the scouting community, Patton is still a relative unknown as a rookie. His learning curve might also be extensive coming from a small school such as Louisiana Tech.
Short of acquiring a veteran to fill in for Crabtree, one of these youngsters will have to step up and produce on a consistent basis in order for San Francisco's offense to take off.