With the 15th overall pick in Thursday’s NFL draft, the 49ers may or may not select a wide receiver.
If they choose to pass on a pass-catcher – going instead for, say, a pass rusher, a cornerback, an inside linebacker or a defensive lineman – they’ll be able to come back with their second pick, No. 46 overall in the second round, to take a wideout.
But, even then, they might go another direction.
Sooner or later, however, the 49ers will select a wide receiver. Though general manager Trent Baalke says he’s happy with the makeup of his corps of wide receivers as it now stands, the 49ers have spent quite a bit of time this offseason scouting receivers. There’s definitely an interest in bringing in some new talent, even if it may not be first- or second-round talent.
And the 49ers go into this draft with nine selections – one in the first round, one in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.
As Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com noted recently, the 49ers met with or worked out 25 players leading into this draft – including 10 wide receivers.
Cooney says those receivers are Sammie Coates of Auburn, Stefon Diggs of Maryland, Chris Dunkley of South Florida, Ricky Collins of Texas A&M-Commerce, Devin Funchess of Michigan, Dorial Green-Beckham of Oklahoma, Deontay Greenberry of Houston, Vince Mayle of Washington State, DeVante Parker of Louisville and Devin Smith of Ohio State.
Those players are all over the draft map, with Parker and Green-Beckham projected to be first-rounders and a player such as Greenberry projected as a seventh-rounder or possible free agent.
Greenberry, for instance, is a player who appears to have the talent to make an impact but showed inconsistency in his college career. At 6-foot-1, he has the long arms Baalke likes to battle for catches and get leverage on defenders and is physical after the catch. But – like former first-round bust A.J. Jenkins – Greenberry doesn’t have a lot of upper-body strength. Still, he caught 72 passes as a junior after an 82-catch sophomore season in which he was first-team all-conference.
So, while most 49ers fans are hoping the team lands an immediate-impact receiver with a big name in the first or second round, it’s possible Baalke could address other needs first and bring in an intriguing receiver in later rounds to add to the mix of veterans headed by Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.