No. 1: 49ers Wide Receiver Trio Is Plenty Good Enough
The Niners may still not have a true No. 1 wide receiver threat on their roster. But with tight end George Kittle among the ranks, they don’t necessarily have to.
Instead, the 49ers are fielding a solid trio of second-tier wide receivers, and it’s more than clear who has earned both Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan’s trust down the stretch: Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne.
Sanders, who finished the game with three catches for 61 yards, of course had that crucial 46-yard reception on the second of San Francisco’s two 3rd-and-16 conversions on its game-winning drive.
But one could make the argument Bourne’s 3rd-and-16 grab for 18 yards was even more impressive, especially considering the level of traffic around him:
Samuel, meanwhile, has emerged as a dual-threat weapon, both through the air and even on the ground, evidenced by his 19-yard end-around rush for a touchdown in the second quarter.
None of these three receivers is truly considered elite, no. But they’re contributing enough. And as was the case against the Rams, at the most crucial times, too.
Those are the kinds of efforts Shanahan and Co. will need from his wide receivers, both in Week 17 in Seattle and into the postseason.