Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco 49ers drafted former Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins in the first round a year ago, so they’re hoping he’ll emerge into a playmaker at the position.
Mario Manningham is a proven veteran dealing with knee injuries, and Kyle Williams is coming off a torn ACL in a November game against the Saints. Quinton Patton is a rookie drafted in the fourth round with a lot of potential.
But who started at the No. 2 receiver spot against the Broncos?
It was fourth-year receiver Marlon Moore.
With the way it stands now, this competition could drag out through the remainder of the preseason. You have to assume Moore won’t wind up the No. 2 receiver when the season starts.
Given that Jenkins was the 2012 first-rounder, he will likely be given every chance to earn that spot. If not, Jim Harbaugh won’t have a problem giving the position to someone else, eludes Grant Cohn of The Press-Democrat.
The 49ers do not have a legitimate split end. A.J. Jenkins was supposed to be that player – the 49ers drafted him in the first round last year – but he’s mostly passive on the field. Against the Broncos Thursday night, he fumbled the one pass he caught. It was embarrassing. Unless he turns it around fast – and let’s face it, he probably won’t – the 49ers will have to use a combination of Kyle Williams (sixth-round pick in 2010) and Moore (undrafted free agent in 2010) at split end. Between the two of them, they have 47 career catches.
Other than Anquan Boldin, the rest of the receiving options don't appear set yet. Michael Crabtree looked poised to have a huge year before tearing his Achilles, and this is one weak spot on a stacked roster.