With Chip Kelly now inserted as the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, roster evaluation can begin as the team has bigger issues than the quarterback spot. The 49ers are in need of several upgrades as they prepare for free agency and the NFL Draft and one of those is the wide receiver position that failed to do much of anything in 2015. Will the 49ers make the position a priority in the upcoming draft?
Last season the 49ers gave Torrey Smith a nice pay raise in free agency. However the tandem of him and Anquan Boldin did not necessarily work out. As the quarterback position struggled, so did the receiver play and that could factor into offseason spending. The talent drop off was steep between Boldin and Smith when compared to the rest of the receiver group. Quinton Patton had some big moments along with Bruce Ellington, but no one really stepped up. To make matters worse, Boldin is set to be a free agent this offseason.
According to SFGate.com, there is a good chance that Kelly opts to bring back Boldin on a smaller contract if he accepts it. At 35-years-old, Boldin led the way this year with 789 yards and four touchdowns. As a savvy veteran, his presence would be ideal for a rebuilding team. Boldin already stressed he wants to return.
"I like it here," Boldin said, via the team's website. "I like the people here. The organization has been great to me. I love my teammates. I enjoy them. And I have roots here, a lot of relationships that I've built in this community. When we cross that bridge, we'll cross that bridge. ... No matter what age you are, you want to win a championship. That goes without saying. [But] it's deeper than that especially when you have been somewhere for a certain amount of years. You have roots."
The 49ers could also eye a draft upgrade. With the No.7 pick, the 49ers would be in prime position to select Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss or Josh Doctson from TCU. Both wide receivers would be ideal to put in the offense and help whoever is under center. That is the lingering question that could determine if the 49ers select someone like a receiver with the No.7 draft pick or if they have to take a quarterback.
Everyone is waiting to see what the hiring of Kelly means for Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback was assumed to be released this offseason after Blaine Gabbert replaced him as a starter, but that might no longer be the case. According to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, Kapernick might not only be back with the team, but he might be the starter under the mobile offense the head coach will likely install. Kaepernick does have the skillset to excel in Kelly's offensive plan. He is a better quarterback for it than Sam Bradford. There is a very real chance that the 49ers enter next year with Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert. If not, the team will target someone like Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch and Carson Wentz.