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Wide receiver is most improved position group

Wide receiver is most improved position group

The 49ers’ offense is in an interesting spot heading into the 2024 season. They’re returning virtually all of their starters on that side of the ball from 2023, but they had a couple of glaring weaknesses on their depth chart that didn’t get addressed as much as they might’ve liked in the offseason. Ideally San Francisco would’ve dramatically improved its offensive line or its tight end room in free agency and the draft, but instead its their receiving corps that looks like the most improved offensive group on the roster.

It’s easy to find the starters at receiver since Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are both returning. They’ll be the team’s top two options again. In 2024 there should be some dramatically improved depth though.

Jauan Jennings figures to be the third WR again, particularly since he’s such an effective blocker in the run game. This year though there could be some legitimate competition for snaps for Jennings though after a couple years of nobody really emerging as a credible offensive threat behind him at receiver.

The 49ers used the No. 31 overall pick to select WR Ricky Pearsall from Florida, and then they went back to the WR well with the final pick in the fourth round to take WR Jacob Cowing from Arizona.

While leaning on two rookies to help improve the receiving corps would typically come with some sizable question marks, it’s worth noting the bar for production isn’t high.

Five 49ers WRs outside of Aiyuk and Samuel caught passes last year. They combined for 42 catches, 551 yards and four touchdowns.

There’s a chance that even in a low-volume passing offense we see Pearsall eclipse the combined numbers by himself. He and Cowing together should certainly surpass them.

There’s always a chance the 49ers whiff on both picks and neither player is effective in the NFL, which would leave their receiving corps in a similar spot it was in last season when Ray-Ray McCloud, Ronnie Bell and Chris Conley were seeing targets.

On paper for now though the receiving corps is dramatically improved from last season, and that’ll continue to be true even if just one of their two draft picks pans out.

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