The San Francisco 49ers are still somewhat of a mess at wide receiver. After their number one target Michael Crabtree ruptured his achilles, putting him out for an extended period of time, the 49ers have been in a battle to get their depth chart straightened out to a point where quarterback Colin Kaepernick is comfortable with what he has to work with.
Swapping one young receiver for another with the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco received Jon Baldwin in exchange for A.J. Jenkins. Both regarded so far in their careers as busts, it is widely believed the change of scenery will do them each some good.
For San Francisco, Baldwin presents an opportunity to get themselves a legitimate number two wideout with a big frame and still some potential in front of him. The former first-round pick 41 career receptions for 570 yards and two scores in his first couple of seasons.
Baldwin currently sits behind Marlon Moore on the depth chart, giving him a sure shot to bust into the starting spot opposite Anquan Boldin in the near future. As I said before, their wideouts are very limited and even tight end Vernon Davis has gotten some run at the position lately.
In respect to his fantasy football value, Baldwin will be a deep sleeper in most leagues, especially if he finds himself as a starter sooner rather than later — which I believe will happen. Kaepernick is desperately longing for just one more guy he can feel confident in throwing the ball to, and Baldwin could be that guy.
Kaepernick is a quarterback who will make his receivers better, which is a great thing to like about Baldwin’s situation. For a mobile quarterback, Kaepernick is sure accurate with the majority of his throws; making some passes that quite honestly could not be thrown any better at times.
With the opportunity on the table and chances looking good for Baldwin to start soon enough, folks should be targeting him as a late-round sleeper pick in deeper — 12-14 teams — leagues. In standard — 8-10 teams — leagues, he may wind up proving to be a guy worth watching on the waiver wire throughout the first few weeks.
In any event, Baldwin’s chance to make a real impact on the 49ers is a good one. San Francisco is desperate at the position and Baldwin has looked good so far in the short amount of time he’s spent on the team.