49ers wideouts locked in starting battle


Nobody can claim the current incarnation of the San Francisco 49ers is anything short of entertaining, even gossip-worthy at certain moments.

And though we’re still a long month away from training camp, the competition at wide receiver in Niner off-season workouts is as interesting as though it were the heat of football season.

From the looks of things, starting wide receiver jobs could still go to anybody. SFGate’s Eric Branch reports this week all candidates have shown sparks of greatness along with lackluster moments.

San Francisco’s big off-season pick-up, Randy Moss, not only had a stellar tryout with the franchise back in March, but has shown what Branch calls “I’m-a-first-ballot-Hall-of-Famer” prowess. ESPN’s Mike Sando reminds us though that Moss has a history of showing great potential when trying out, only to burn out on the field.

Niners’ first-round pick A.J. Jenkins has had impressive moments, but has also shown “first-year inconsistency.” One moment he’ll master a difficult catch, then later he’ll stop mid-route and miss his pass completely.

First year jitters? Jenkins will have to iron out those wrinkles if he wants much time beyond special teams this year.

Returning receiving corps veterans remain in the starting mix. Michael Crabtree is engaged and performing with what Coach Harbaugh has previously called “the greatest hands he’s ever seen.” But Crabtree has an affinity for disappearing during games. Time will tell if heightened competition for a starting job fuels his fire.

Kyle Williams has been trying his hardest to make good on his promise to workout as intensely as possible in the off-season and, as Branch reports, “looks like the smoothest and most explosive wide receiver on the roster…”

Okay okay, so it’s only OTAs — football-paramilitary speak for organized team activities — and technically nobody can win a starting job yet.  Heck, the players don’t even practice in pads yet.

But that doesn’t mean that these team drills can’t give Señor Harbaugh and his corral of coaches an idea of what is in store for the team.

The fight for that starting spot is still fierce, sports fans! Which makes things more competitive for the players, and — of course — more entertaining for us football faithful.

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