The 49ers know they need to add a playmaking wide receiver in the upcoming draft, and many analysts speculate the team will do it in the second round.
For now, the Niners have Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Jordan Matthews, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James as the most likely wideouts on the 2019 roster. But head coach Kyle Shanahan no doubt wants another front-line pass catcher to attack defenses.
According to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, one of two wide receivers could fill that need when the 49ers use the 36th overall choice in the draft (which begins April 25) on one of a pair of wideouts, N’Keal Harry of Arizona State or Deebo Samuel of South Carolina. Iowa’s Hakeem Butler is another candidate, proposed by USA Today’s Draft Wire.
Kirk Larrabee of 247Sports noted that 49ers coaches worked with Samuel at the Senior Bowl and met with him at the NFL combine. This past season, Samuel – who is 5-foot-11 and weighs 214 pounds -- had 62 catches for 882 yards and 11 touchdowns and also made a big impact as a kick returner. He had some problems staying healthy at South Carolina, but was a major playmaker when he was on the field. He also is known as a tough competitor.
Harry, who is 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, was scouting by 49ers GM John Lynch at his school’s recent pro day. In his final season for the Sun Devils, Harry had 73 catches for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns, following up on an 82-catch, 1,142-yard stat sheet the previous season. Harry is especially dangerous after the catch, able to make defenders miss and pull away from them with a burst.
Butler, 6-foot-5 and 227 pounds, averaged 22 yards per catch in 2018 for the Hawkeyes on 60 catches. He’s a matchup problem for defensive backs, according to NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein. And, over the past two seasons, Butler had eight touchdown plays of more than 40 yards.