San Francisco 49ers: 10 Young Linchpin Players to Watch over Rest of 2015 Season

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Oct 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton (11) celebrates with tight end Vernon Davis (85) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Ravens 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver Quinton Patton

With 35-year-old veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin a free agent after this season, the 49ers will likely be looking at youth to find some long-term solution to solidify the spot opposite fellow wideout Torrey Smith.

Wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been a virtual non-factor this season and is likely done with San Francisco after 2015. But third-year veteran Quinton Patton has found some success after missing much of the action after being selected in Round 4 of the 2013 NFL draft.

Patton has 250 receiving yards on 20 receptions plus a touchdown this season and, despite some on-field gaffes, looks to be a bona fide contributor for the offense when given the opportunity.

Even if Boldin is re-signed during the offseason, Patton provides a nice third-wideout option for the 49ers offense and is capable of making a sizable impact if he can stay healthy.

Combine that with a hopeful emergence of rookie wideout DeAndre Smelter (knee) in 2016, and the 49ers could have a nice little crop of receivers next season with which to work.