When Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke took over in San Francisco, the organization was in desperate need of big-play ability at the wide receiver position. In 2010, former 49ers head coach Mike Singletary fielded Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn and Dominique Zeigler on a weekly basis.
This four-man rotation led to one of the NFL’s worst passing attacks. At the end of the 2010 NFL season, the Niners were at the bottom of the league in terms of completion percentage, first downs through the air and quarterback rating.
Not a single wide receiver on the roster that year had more than 55 catches and 741 yards receiving. Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis led the 49ers in every single receiving category including receptions, yards and touchdowns.
The subpar play didn’t sit well with Harbaugh and Baalke. So they made it a point during the 2011 offseason to add new players to the mix while coaching up the group of wideouts who had held roster spots previously.