Three Reasons Why 49ers Draft Wide Receiver In First Round

When the San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent WR Torrey Smith to a five-year deal, many Forever Faithful thought they would now move on to more pressing needs. However, not so fast as they may draft a wide-receiver with their first-round pick.

Below are three reasons why I believe they could go that route. And while many fans think they should target a cornerback or offensive lineman, it may not be so simple when looking at who will be available at No. 15.


In a rich draft class filled with wide receiver talent, the 49ers could get a top three player at the position as Alabama’s WR Amari Cooper and Louisville’s WR DeVante Parker could potentially fall to them.

A scenario that makes sense only if the Minnesota Vikings or St. Louis Rams pass up on one of those prospects, the 49ers would be wise to draft WR Anquan Boldin’s heir apparent if they are available.

Boldin isn’t getting any younger and if the 49ers opt not to re-sign him at season’s end, having a young wide receiver to pair with Smith would be an ideal situation.

It seems like every off-season the 49ers are scrambling to find wide receivers. Whether signing veteran free-agents who are passed their prime or drafting one in mid-rounds, the 49ers haven’t had much luck in that department. By drafting a wide receiver you will not only give him the needed time to groom but he will be learning the tricks-of-the-trade from one of the best in Boldin.

A win-win for a young kid coming into the NFL, you can see why it would make sense to draft a wide receiver since the ‘positional need’ would come up once again next season.

I’m not saying draft the kid and have him ride the pine–but slowly incorporating him into the offense as he learns the nuances of the game may not be such a bad idea as others should be given their chance to shine with WR Quinton Patton and WR Bruce Ellington patiently waiting.

Another reason why I believe the 49ers should go pass-catcher is due to the fact that no cornerback would be worthy of a top 15 selection outside of Michigan State’s CB Trae Waynes. The cornerback draft class is weak to say the least and if Waynes is off the board they shouldn’t draft a cornerback just because the need is there.

The same could be said of the guard position as I believe only Iowa’s G Brandon Scherff  to be worthy of being drafted in the first-round. However, if Scherff is there don’t think that GM Trent Baalke won’t take him as that would be selecting the BPA while also filling a need. So he could be in play here.

Finally, why I believe the 49ers could go wide receiver in the first-round is due to the fact that they are stacked at defensive line. They have five players who are all but locked in on the 53-man roster with DE Quinton Dial, DE Darnell Dockett, DE Tank Carradine, NT Glenn Dorsey and NT Ian Williams.

And while this is a deep defensive line class filled with edge rushers, I don’t see where drafting a player like DT Malcom Brown, DE Arik Armstead, or DT Eddie Goldman would provide an immediate impact as others have already staked their claim.

With the 49ers looking to be ‘movers’ on draft day, do not be surprised if they draft a wide receiver with their first-round pick. Whether drafting Parker or trading down for Missouri’s WR Dorial Green-Beckham, do not count out Baalke as he will do what he thinks is best for this football organization.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.