San Francisco 49ers’ GM Trent Baalke talked receivers recently to 49ers.com. What does he look for?
They’ve got a little bit of air about them, a little swagger. You’re looking for confidence. You’re looking for guys where the stage isn’t too big. You’re looking for strong men, both in how they play and how they come across. It’s a battle out there. When you’re at that position and trying to get yourself freed up in the land of the giants, it’s a battle and you have to be prepared for it, mentally and physically.
This seems all well and dandy. But for a GM who has drafted at least one receiver in each of his drafts as the 49ers’ lead man, he has very little to show for his efforts. Yes, Michael Crabtree is a beast, and Quinton Patton has had flashes of greatness, but what about his other picks? The most notable, of course, is A.J. Jenkins, whom the 49ers snagged from nowhere in the bottom of the first round. Jenkins, as we all know, ended up joining Alex Smith in Kansas City after a couple of unceremonious seasons on the 49ers’ bench.
Despite a consistent need for receivers, Baalke has not, other than Jenkins, addressed this need early in the draft. Mid-to-late round picks can blossom into something special, and hopefully Patton will, but the 49ers still need help. Brandon Lloyd could help a little bit, and Anquan Boldin was a gift, but unless Baalke, who has done reasonably well as GM, can figure out another young receiver, the 49ers will be struggling to win the big one for years to come.