The San Francisco 49ers have made it a point of emphasis in the offseason to improve their wide receiver options. They signed a veteran in Randy Moss and added a guy in Mario Manningham who could be primed for a breakout role should he be given the opportunity. Despite these additions, could the 49ers be looking at selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft?
The guys over at Mocking The Draft have been going through each pick of the first round. They recently discussed the 30th overall pick with Niners Nation, our excellent 49ers blog.
The San Francisco 49ers have put themselves in a position where they can with the long-term future in mind, as opposed to getting immediate big production. The 49ers added Mario Manningham and Randy Moss this offseason, but even if they both play well this year, the only receiver signed beyond 2013 is Michael Crabtree. Stephen Hill is a very raw prospect, but the 49ers are in a position where they can develop him without rushing him. At the same time, his performance at the Combine and his YAC this past season show a guy who can make significant contributions at the next level. The 49ers are looking for Moss to stretch the field, but if the veteran receiver shows his age, Hill could be the guy who can stretch things out. Other possibilities at this spot include Coby Fleener, offensive line help, or trading down.
Certainly an interesting pick, and it does seem like the 49ers are strong enough at most positions around the field that they could afford to take a chance on Hill. There is a pretty weak crop of wide receivers available this season, so there is a chance that Hill is not on the board by the time San Francisco's pick arrives.