The 49ers obviously need some help at Wide Receiver. That much was evident in their 29-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Once Michael Crabtree went down with an Achilles injury many fans were worried about the position, and they were current in doing so. And in response, the 49ers then went out and drafted Quinton Patton in the fourth round of the draft. So where is Quinton Patton?
After sitting out of the first two games of the preseason with a finger injury, Patton showed some explosiveness and seemed like he would be a playmaker at the position. In only two games with limited snaps, he caught six passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
The coaching staff is notorious for not playing rookies until they believe they are ready. If you don’t show that you are capable, the coaches have no problem with keeping you on the bench. This is not the case for Patton. Patton has the talent and the ability to be on the field.
In the season opener against the Green Bay Packers, Patton very few snaps because he wasn’t needed very much. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis were having monster days, and were Kaepernick’s first reads. They were getting open easily, so why not throw the ball to them? Why put the ball in the hands of a rookie when the veterans were doing so great?
On Sunday night against the Seahawks, Patton found his way onto the field for more snaps due to the fact that the 49ers offense was struggling mightily against the stout Seattle defense. The 49ers were trying anything and everything to try and get something going, but nothing was working. On one play in the red zone, it appeared that Patton was open in the end zone but either Kaepernick didn’t see him or he thought the defender could cut in front of the ball. Either way, it is soothing to even see him on the field because 49ers fans remember how first round pick A.J. Jenkins was not able to make his way onto the field in his first year.
49ers fans shouldn’t be worried about the lack of Patton in the offense after only two games. So far, the team has either not needed him or has struggled as a whole. It is too early in the season to be concerned about Patton being nonexistent in the offense. As the season goes on, we should start to see a lot more utilization of his skills, especially with Mario Manningham and hopefully Michael Crabtree coming back from injury.