49ers receivers ranked middle of the pack by Pro Football Focus

49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers’ offseason improvements at wide receiver seem to have paid off.

The San Francisco 49ers had arguably the worst wide receiver group in the NFL just two short years ago. But in those two years, general manager John Lynch and company have done an excellent job of rebuilding the position.

Never forget that in 2018, no 49ers wide receiver managed more than 500 yards on the season. Their leading receiver — excluding George Kittle, of course — was Kendrick Bourne who amassed 487 yards on the year.

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It doesn’t get much worse than that.

But in just two offseasons time, the 49ers have taken what was arguably their biggest weakness and turned it into a very reliable position on the team. And recent rankings released by Pro Football Focus seem to agree.

PFF recently posted an article ranking all 32 wide receiver depth charts in the NFL and the 49ers — somewhat surprisingly — ranked directly in the middle of the pack at No. 16.

Here is part of what they had to say about the 49ers’ receivers.

"“Deebo Samuel made an immediate impact as a rookie, instantly becoming one of the top after-the-catch threats in the NFL. Those are the kind of players San Francisco has targeted, and guys like Brandon Aiyuk, Jalen Hurd and possibly even Jauan Jennings have a chance to carve out similar success for themselves.”"

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The 49ers should credit their head coach for their wide receivers’ success.

As much as John Lynch deserves credit for giving the team the talent to work with, head coach Kyle Shanahan arguably deserves just a much, if not more credit for the work he has done with the receiving corps.

Without a true No. 1, Shanahan still managed to field one of the more efficient and effective wide receiver groups in the NFL last season. That’s a credit to his offensive scheme that manages to get the most out of players who likely wouldn’t fare nearly as well in different systems.

Nonetheless, it’s not as if the 49ers are lacking talent altogether at the position. Deebo Samuel burst on to the scene as a rookie in 2019 and is quickly developing into one of the best young receivers in the NFL.

And behind him, 2020 first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk has all the potential in the world. The lightning-quick Aiyuk will likely see his fair share of manufactured touches in Shanahan’s offense early on with the potential to develop into a true difference-maker on offense.

And behind them, there’s the reliable Kendrick Bourne and some promise in young receivers like Jalen Hurd, Jauan Jennings, and Dante Pettis if the latter could find a way out of Shanahan’s doghouse.

The 49ers have talented pass-catchers aside from Kittle and their placement in PFF’s latest rankings is further evidence of the growing respect they’ve received from analysts around the league.

Next. 49ers: Complete grade and analysis of the 2020 offseason. dark

Look for more young receivers to step up in 2020 and hopefully help the unit climb up the rankings on next year’s list.