As the first week of preseason games approaches, depth charts are starting to pop up. Though for some teams they’re minefield of misinformation, it’s the first tangible sign of how camp is shaking out.
With Michael Crabtree gone until the middle of the season at the earliest with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Anquan Boldin becomes the obvious choice for the team’s top receiver. The other starter listed on the initial depth chart is Kyle Williams, who recently was activated from the PUP list after suffering a torn ACL in 2012.
Technically, the 49ers have four second-string wideouts, with A.J. Jenkins and Charly Martin behind Boldin, and Chad Hall and Marlon Moore behind Williams.
Ditto at the third string, with Ricardo Lockette, Lavelle Hawkins, Kassim Osgood, and Quinton Patton taking up what otherwise would be two spots. Newcomer Austin Collie and Chuck Jacobs are on the fourth team.
Gone from the list are Crabtree and Mario Manningham, who’s still on the PUP list while recovering from his own ACL tear.
Lockette’s status as, at best, No. 7 on the depth chart doesn’t bode well for his ability to make the team, despite his close friendship with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The recent arrival of Hawkins and Collie suggests that the Niners aren’t satisfied with their current corps of pass-catchers. More veterans could be added, in theory, if the current receivers don’t step up in the preseason. Likewise, Vernon Davis could end up at receiver from time to time (or more often), too.
Elsewhere on the depth chart, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is listed behind Tarell Brown and ahead of Perrish Cox at right cornerback, and rookie safety Eric Reid is behind C.J. Spillman at free safety.