The San Francisco 49ers might be running that read option with Colin Kaepernick a lot more in 2013 then they did last year. The reason is he simply has no one to throw too. Yes, he’s got Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis but that’s it. Thanks to injuries to Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham there’s nothing behind them two but a bunch of nobodies. The Niners released their unofficial depth chart and it paints a sad picture. It lists 12 receivers which means they’re throwing darts and hope something sticks.
Currently they have Kyle Williams starting on the opposite side from Boldin. Over his three seasons he’s averaged just over one catch again but did average about 13 yards per reception. He’s got two knocks against him though the first is that he just came off the PUP list after having a torn ACL in 2012. The other is that he has a history of concussions.
After Williams you’ve got four guys listed on the second team and another four listed on the third team. All guys who haven’t done anything in their careers. The best of the bunch by far is Austin Collie who also missed 2012 with a knee injury and has his own issues with concussions.
Collie was just added to the team yesterday so obviously the team isn’t liking what they see from the group they had. I wouldn’t be surprised if they brought in more receivers if the unit struggles in the first two preseason games.
This also explains why the Niners have toyed with the idea of using Vernon Davis as a wide receiver more often.
My concern at the end of the day is going to be the health of Kaepernick. The team ran a lot of read option last year, he himself ran the ball 63 times. With the lack of quality receivers opposing defenses are going to be able to key on the running game, especially if the Niners start to lean on it even more.
Kaepernick’s a big guy but at the same time there is only so much punishment he’ll be able to take. For his sake hopefully someone from the scrap heat steps up.
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