• Matt Woolsey

How Big of a Need is Wide Receiver for the 49ers Heading Into the Draft?

Now that Rob Gronkowski has retired from the NFL, George Kittle can take his rightful place as the best tight end currently playing the game (*wink wink*) But as good as Kittle is and as amazing head coach Kyle Shanahan is at getting the most out of the running back position, they cannot be the entire offense.

People have said Gronk is a first-ballot hall of famer and the best tight end to ever play the game, but even he wasn’t the entire offense. Brady still relied on Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola while he was in New England. If Gronk can’t do it all, then neither can Kittle. How important is it for the 49ers to address the wide receiver position in the draft?

My original take was that the 49ers needed to focus solely on the defensive side of the ball in this year’s draft. The defense was a liability last season, not creating pressure on the quarterback and the back half leaving receivers wide open was infuriating to watch. And yes, the defensive side of the ball is still important and hopefully the additions of Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander will help, not to mention the prospect of drafting Nick Bosa, but the 49ers should draft a wide receiver maybe as early as their second-round pick.

The team moved on from Pierre Garçon and I don’t think there is a fan out there upset by this. Yes, I believe Dante Pettis can be the number one for the 49ers, but he can’t be the only one. As much as I love Marquise Goodwin, he has problems with staying healthy and is also dealing with personal issues that go beyond football and quite frankly are more important. Trent Taylor was not the same wide receiver last season as he was in 2017 but he also was dealing with injuries.

The 49ers signed Jordan Matthews but are any of them thinking he solves all the problems with the receiving corps? The 49ers need someone else if anything to be the successor for Goodwin and I’m not sure if the 49ers have a receiver currently on the roster to be that successor. They need to find another receiver that can take the top off the defense and be the downfield threat that will create the big plays and open the underneath passing lanes.

The 49ers should absolutely address this position in a few weeks, probably as early was their second pick in the draft. Let’s get back to the unstoppable offense the 49ers used to have that was very maddening for opposing defenses.

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