Receiver: The Biggest Position Battle For The 49ers

Brett SkinnerContributor IMay 11, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 21:  Shaun Hill #13 of the San Francisco 49ers passes during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers won 17-16. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Going into the 2009 season, there are two positions that will be intriguing to watch.

First is the quarterback position. With Alex Smith coming off of shoulder surgery the former No. 1 pick will look to earn the starting position back.

Smith has yet to live up to his draft position. Some of that may be the lack of stability of the playbook as he has had a different offensive coordinator each year he has been in the league.

He is a mobile quarterback who can hit the short to intermediate throws. His deep pass will be a concern coming off of surgery.

At only 25 years of age, Smith still has potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

His competitor will be Shaun Hill who posted a 5-3 record as the starter last season. Hill is not a flashy player but seems to get the job done.

He does not have a strong arm but is accurate with his throws. He is not known for running, but when given a chance, he will tuck and run.

     The second position battle going into summer camp will be at the wide receiver spot. With Isaac Bruce deciding to come back another year, they have the veteran to help lead this young group.

Although he has lost a step or two, Bruce remains as a sure handed receiver and lead the team with 61 receptions, 835 yards, and seven touchdowns.

The 49ers' first round pick, Michael Crabtree, looks to be the other receiver across from Bruce. He is a true competitor that can make the big plays, as he did in the game against Texas.

Rated as the top receiver in this year's draft and by many as the best player on the board, he will look to bring some glory back to the Bay that’s been missing since Jerry Rice.

Crabtree caught 97 receptions for 1,165 yards, and 19 touchdowns last year for the Red Raiders.

Josh Morgan, a second-year player out of Virginia Tech, had an impressive rookie season with 20 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He is a tall receiver that is capable of catching the ball at his highest point and bringing it down, such as the game winning catch at St. Louis last year.

Jason Hill is another young receiver who is starting to show positive signs. The three year veteran is coming off of his best season, in which he recorded 30 receptions, 317 yards, and two touchdowns. Hill is dangerous after the catch as he uses his speed and agility to get away from defenders.

In the offseason, they signed free agent Brandon Jones from the Titans. He is another speed threat that will look to spread the field.

Also on the roster are Arnaz Battle and Dominique Zeigler. These two players look to be at the bottom of the depth chart, but do not count them out as they both have shown that they can play.

With all this young talent, it will be interesting to see how many receivers the 49ers put on their 53-man roster.