No. 9: Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon
The 49ers haven’t had a true No. 1 receiver since Anquan Boldin left the team after the 2015 season. Torrey Smith’s two-year tenure didn’t work out, and the remaining cast of wideouts has left a lot to be desired.
True, veteran wide receiver Pierre Garcon would likely be a No. 2 wideout, at best, on teams with dynamic passing offenses.
He’ll turn 31 years old this season, so questions will surround his ability to maintain the same level of contributions he’s made over what has been a solid career thus far. And reuniting with head coach Kyle Shanahan — the two spent time together with the Washington Redskins — is an added bonus.
Garcon will likely have a tough time reaching 1,000 rushing yards this upcoming season. But that’s not why he’s on this list.
Instead, the Niners can feel comfortable knowing they have a legitimate receiving threat — a player against whom opponents will actually have to scheme.
This will likely hurt Garcon’s production, but it also opens up the door for other San Francisco wideouts, Marquise Goodwin and Jeremy Kerley, to make some serious impact.
And that’s why Garcon’s presence can’t be overlooked for this year. Beyond that, the veteran can also teach the remaining wideouts the nature of a Shanahan offense.