Wide receiver has been a severely lacking position for the San Francisco 49ers ever since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over in 2017.
It hasn't been through a lack of effort at addressing the position. Five wide receivers have been selected by this current regime. Three of them were taken in the last two-years in the first two rounds.
San Francisco already has invested more draft capital at wide receiver than any other position. And that's not including the third-round pick they traded to the Broncos midseason for Emmanuel Sanders. Yet, the 49ers have only productive wideout -- Deebo Samuel.
That is exactly why the 49ers need to address wide receiver with the No. 13 pick.
There needs to be another player opposite Samuel so the 49ers will be set for years to come. While I understand there will still be quality wide receivers after day one of the NFL Draft, it behooves the 49ers to take the more polished and immediate-impact player at 13.
Sure, there is Kendrick Bourne, who finished the season on a strong note. But is he really ready to take that next step as a starter opposite of Samuel? That may be a stretch.
Having someone, like a CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, who can step onto the field and be an instant threat to a defense would benefit the offense to extraordinary heights. Here are three reasons why:
1) Jimmy Garoppolo would get another playmaker, which would aid his development and limit the excuses made for him.
2) Defenses would not be able to account for Samuel and the newly drafted receiver AND tight end George Kittle.
3) Kendrick Bourne would continue to flourish in his role since he wouldn't be considered the No. 2 receiver.
Drafting one of the top wide receiver prospects at No. 13 makes too much sense. Shanahan and Lynch have been exhausting their options in the draft just so they can finally have their ideal playmaking receiver.
Dante Pettis was believed to be that player, but he has found himself in the doghouse after 2019. I would not be shocked if the Niners ended up cutting him prior to the 2020 regular season.
There is still the looming potential of Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor that can help bolster the ranks. However, notice how I said "looming". These two players cannot be reasons why the 49ers would avoid a receiver at 13. Both of these players had severe injuries that cost them their 2019 seasons. They could end up as damaged goods next season. Who knows if they will be the same, especially when it comes to Hurd and his back injury?
As it stands, this is how the wide receiver position should be viewed for the San Francisco 49ers. It is Samuel and Bourne, that is it. The position is essentially a variable for the Niners. A variable that they can convert into a constant should they select a receiver at pick No. 13.