San Francisco 49ers: Who Will Be the Number Three Receiver?

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Quinton Patton

Aug 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers receiver Quinton Patton (11) runs past San Diego Chargers defensive back

Marcus Cromartie

(35) for a touchdown during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Like Ellington, Patton was a fourth-round draft pick, but he is entering his third NFL season. Despite being in the NFL for one more season than Ellington, Patton still doesn’t have much NFL experience. He’s played in only 10 games, he’s been targeted only 13 times, and he’s caught only six passes for 78 yards.

Based on the what we’ve seen from Patton in the small sample size of games that he’s played, he’s a pretty solid route runner and has the ability to get open. He simply just hasn’t been targeted that much, perhaps because of lack of playing time or potentially lack of chemistry with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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The likely answer is that he just hasn’t had the chance to prove himself, as he dealt with injuries in his rookie season and had to play behind Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, and Brandon Lloyd (in addition to Ellington) last season.

Like Simpson, Patton was impressive in the 49ers’ offseason workout programs, but he will have a lot to prove in this upcoming training camp. This season will most likely be a make-or-break season for Patton, because he needs to clearly prove that he deserves more playing time over both Simpson and Ellington in order to solidify a spot on the 49ers’ roster.

Now that we’re done breaking down each player’s qualifications, let’s try to figure out which player will earn that third receiver spot.

Next: Conclusion