When it comes to receiving yards, the San Francisco 49ers had an extremely poor season. Lacking a true No. 1 receiver, the Niners will need to look to the 2019 NFL Draft as well as free agency to remedy this situation.
While the San Francisco 49ers ranked 15th in the NFL for passing yards, they were the only team not to have a wide receiver surpass 500 receiving yards for the 2018 season.
Something that, quite frankly, should not happen.
Out of all wide receivers, it was Kendrick Bourne who finished with the most yards, recording 487 receiving yards from 47 receptions. Rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis came in a close second with 467 yards from 27 receptions.
Pettis had a slow start to the season, adjusting to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense and hampered by injury early in the season. Once healthy, Pettis proved why the 49ers drafted him earlier than he was expected to go in 2018. With his great speed and ability to separate from defenders, he proved to be quite the threat.
Now with one season under his belt, expect Pettis to come back even bigger and better in 2019. While not yet at the skill level of a No. 1 receiver, he does show promise of future things to come. And given time, he may one day indeed be the go-to receiver for the 49ers.
Marquise Goodwin saw limited snaps, mostly due to the fact he only played in 11 games owing to injury and an unknown family issue. He racked up only 395 yards from 23 receptions, down from 962 receiving yards in 2017.
Veteran receiver Pierre Garcon also saw limited game time suffering from injury throughout the season. From eight games, he produced 286 receiving yards from 24 receptions. Garcon will unlikely remain on the 49ers’ 2019 roster.
There has also been extensive talk of Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wanting a trade, due to end-of-season issues with the Steelers. The 49ers have been pegged as one of hot favorites to land Brown, with the receiver showing recent interest in the 49ers on social media.
While Brown certainly would solve the 49ers’ problem of a No. 1 receiver, there is the matter of whether or not he would be a good fit in the Niners locker room, as well as the potential cost to the Niners in a trade agreement with the Steelers.
With the 49ers currently holding a high second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, it still remains unknown what position they will look to address. However, it will likely fall between either a much-needed cornerback — something I looked into in my recent five top cornerbacks the 49ers can pursue in the 2019 NFL Draft article — or their other top need, a wide receiver.
With the draft providing a decent spread of wide receivers, here’s the top-five ranked receivers the Niners may look to in order to help fill the void and boost their 2019 production.