Reassessing the San Francisco 49ers' Draft Shortcomings at Wide Receiver

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Reassessing the San Francisco 49ers' Draft Shortcomings at Wide Receiver
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

When the final book is written on the 2013 San Francisco 49ers, the story will ultimately boil down to shortcomings at wide receiver.

How the final chapters unfold have yet to be seen, but passing the ball has undoubtedly been the Achilles' heel of the 49ers so far this season. While many will point to injuries and chemistry, issues in the passing game come down to failures in an area where the 49ers have excelled in recent years: drafting.

Depth at wide receiver isn't exactly a new issue. The first miracle run of the Jim Harbaugh Era was done in by a combined one-catch performance by all wideouts in the 2012 NFC Championship Game

In fact, wide receiver has been a problem in San Francisco since Terrell Owens' departure before the 2004 season. It took until just last year for Michael Crabtree to finally break 1,000 yards receiving, the first 49er to do so since Owens in 2003. 

That said, the lack of depth hasn't been for lack of effort. The 49ers have selected at least one receiver in every draft since 2003, drafting 14 total players at the position over that span.

With that in mind, where is the production? 

In short, not in San Francisco. With only two of these 14 players currently on the roster (Crabtree and rookie Quinton Patton), it's not hard to see how so many misses can cripple a position for the franchise. 

On the following slides, we'll look back at the last five years of drafting wide receivers and what went wrong for the San Francisco 49ers. 

 

All draft information and statistics taken from individual player profiles or the Draft History page on NFL.com. 

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