4 free-agent wide receivers 49ers can target not named Calvin Ridley

Calvin Ridley #18 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Calvin Ridley #18 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers free-agent WR target No. 3: Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons

One of the beneficiaries of Calvin Ridley’s absence for much of last year was arguably one of only a handful of other “wide backs” in the NFL alongside Deebo Samuel, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

Not unlike Samuel, the Falcons used the 31-year-old Patterson in a variety of ways, lining him up as a receiver all over the field while also taking advantage of his abilities to run the ball, too, which led to him amassing a career-best 1,116 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns, 618 of which came on the ground.

Read More: Too-early look at 5 free agents 49ers can target in 2022

While Patterson is nowhere near the caliber of player Samuel is, San Francisco could nevertheless find a number of ways to use Patterson on offense, perhaps even assisting in making Samuel even more explosive if teams have to focus on Patterson as well.

Kyle Shanahan reportedly went after Patterson in NFL free agency before, including just before 2021, so we know there’s interest there.

At this stage of his career, though, Patterson might be more inclined to accept an offer from the 49ers instead of taking on a more featured role with a bad team in 2022.