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49ers 2014 Draft Forecast: Wide Receiver

Kelvin Benjamin is one of many WRs who the 49ers could take
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin had the first 1,000 yard seasons for a WR in back to back years since Terrell Owens in 2003. Both WRs return in 2014 for their first full season together.

The 49ers also have Quinton Patton, who was a fourth-round draft pick who spent most of last year injured with a fractured foot. His biggest play was a catch against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 which set up the game-winning field goal.

Returning from last year are special teamer Kassim Osgood and Jon Baldwin with the latter accepting a pay cut in order to remain with the team for an opportunity at the 53-man roster. Rounding out the depth chart are practice squad members Devon Wylie and Chuck Jacobs as well as DeMarco Sampson and David Reed.

In the offseason, the 49ers added veteran WR Brandon Lloyd, who didn't play in the 2013 NFL season. Lloyd, 32, was last with the Patriots in 2012 where he had 911 receiving yards and four touchdowns. While the WR position would have two starters, the 49ers will need someone for the long-term who can show the ability to be a deep threat.

Trading up for Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans are all-but out of the possibility to be a 49er, unless the team wants to trade multiple future picks to move up into the top 12. The best thing for the 49ers is how this is one of the deepest draft classes at the WR position. As many as six WRs can be drafted in the first round.

Odell Beckham (LSU) 5-11, 198 pounds: Beckham is an extremely versatile WR who could stretch the field. As previously mentioned, his returning abilities will make him even more attractive to teams. If the 49ers want him, it would most likely require a trade-up to the mid-first round.

Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State) 6-5, 240 pounds: Benjamin would be a developing WR who could be a No.1 in the future. After having an impressive season at Florida State, Benjamin has suddenly been seen as overweight for a WR and clocked some of the slowest combine numbers. His wingspan and height are incredible, making him a dangerous target at any time. Benjamin is projected to be a first round draft pick and was one of four WRs brought in for a visit.

Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) 5-10, 189 pounds: Cooks is one of the fastest WRs as he clocked a 4.33 second 40-yard dash. The reigning Biletnikoff award winner could be a future slot receiver as he is smaller than most in the draft. Cooks projects as a late first rounder or early second-round draft pick.

Davante Adams (Fresno State) 6-1, 212 pounds: Adams has reasonable speed and could win the jump balls if thrown to. He's an athletic WR who can make the difficult catches wihle being a dangerous target on the field. Adams projects as a second-round draft pick.

Allen Robinson (Penn State) 6-2, 220 pounds: Robinson has the prototypical size that Trent Baalke would want in a WR. He has great elevation and would be a perfect scheme fit in a West Coast style offense. Robinson projects as a second or third-round draft pick.

Cody Latimer (Indiana) 6-2, 215 pounds: Latimer has been moving up the draft boards with his impressive combination of size and speed. He only had one season as the feature WR while at Indiana, but continues to astonish the scouts with his leaping abilities. Latimer would be a great WR to contribute in the short to mid-range game, but could continue to develop into a deep threat down the line. Latimer projects as a second or third-round draft pick.

Martavis Bryant (Clemson) 6-4, 211 pounds: Bryant has incredible hands combined with speed to be a deep threat down the line. He can also return kicks and punts if needed. The catch? He has had off the field troubles as well as only having one year of primary production while at Clemson. Bryant projects as a second or third-round draft pick and was the second of four WRs brought in for a pre-draft visit.

Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss) 6-2, 221 pounds: Moncrief has a good ability to separate himself from coverage as he saw quality CBs in the SEC conference while at Ole Miss. He had an impressive combine where he showed he could be a deep threat with speed and leaping strengths. The biggest question mark is his hands, where he has been known to drop the ball more than other WRs. The difference of opinion among NFL teams has Moncrief projected from the early second-round to as late as the end of the third round.

Paul Richardson (Colorado) 6-0, 175 pounds: Richardson would be a WR who is fast for the vertical passing game. He has question marks off the field as well as being undersized. Declaring early from Colorado, Richardson can stretch the field, but his durability is a concern. Richardson is projected to be a third-round draft pick and was the third of four WRs brought in Santa Clara for a pre-draft visit.

Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin) 6-1, 195 pounds: Abbrederis has solid hands, but average speed as a WR. A former walk on, Abbrederis could be a decent possession receiver in the future, but would be an immediate contributor as a punt returner. on special teams. Abbrederis is projected as a mid-round draft pick.

Jalen Saunders (Oklahoma) 5-9, 165 pounds: Saunders would be drafted for special teams with his speed and returning abilities at both punts and kickoffs. He lacks the size of an NFL WR, but could be a creative WR for any offensive coordinator to utilize. Saunders projects as a late-round draft pick.

Albert Wilson (Georgia State) 5-9, 202 pounds: Wilson would be a slot receiver on offense, but the 49ers would be intrigued by his returning abilities. He has the versatility to have multiple roles which Baalke would like in a reserve. Wilson projects as an undrafted free agent and was the fourth WR to be brought in for a visit.


1. First round: Own pick, No. 30 overall
2. Second round: Kansas City Chiefs pick acquired for Alex Smith, No. 56 overall
3. Second round: Own pick, No. 61 overall
4. Third round: Titans pick acquired for a second round pick in a 2013 draft day trade, No. 77 overall
5. Third round: Own pick, No. 94 overall
6. Third round: Compensatory, No. 100 overall
7. Fourth round: Own pick, No. 129 overall
8. Fifth round: Own pick, No. 170 overall
9. Seventh round: Saints pick acquired for Parys Haralson, No. 242 overall
10. Seventh round: Panthers pick acquired for Colin Jones in 2012, No. 243 overall
11. Seventh round: Own pick, No. 245 overall


49ers Draft Forecast Series: Running Back, Tight End, Defensive Line, Quarterback, Safety, Offensive Line, Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker, Special Teams.

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