49ers release former Baalke draft pick, Bruce Ellington.

December 20, 2014:  The  San Francisco 49ers vs San Diego Chargers. The 49ers lost to the a San Diego Chargers 38-35 at Levi's Stadium. Santa Clara, Ca (Photo © 49ers 2014) (49ers Photos)

 

And then there were two. When John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan arrived in Santa Clara and took a long (and not so long in some cases) look at the roster they had inherited former general manager Trent Baalke, they knew there work was cutout.

 

The GM/Head Coach tandem, who are tied at the hip for the foreseeable future made the conscious decision to turnover more than half the 49ers roster from last season. This was not without good reason of course, as the team’s defense was historically atrocious in 2016 and the offense led by Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick didn’t fare much better.

 

One of the most glaring areas of need as Lynch took over the roster was at wide receiver. Baalke, if nothing else in his tenure with the 49ers proved to be horribly inept at either drafting or even signing free agent receivers. The latter of which he did once in signing Torrey Smith to a contract that was well above his ability to produce.

 

The receivers who were drafted under the Baalke regime include,

 

Kyle Williams – 2010 – Released after the NFC Championship game in 2011.

 

Ronald Johnson – 2011 – Released before the 2011 season began. He is currently playing Arena League football.

 

A.J. Jenkins – 2012 (First Round) Never caught a pass for the 49ers and ended his career with one reception for six-yards.

 

Quinton Patton – 2013 – Was not retained this offseason, signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets. He hurt himself in OTA’s and was released with an injury settlement.

 

Bruce Ellington – 2014 – Released 8/3/2017

 

DeAndre Smelter – 2015 – Currently taking part in training camp

 

Aaron Burbridge – 2016 – Currently taking part in training camp.

 

With the release of Bruce Ellington today, there are two receivers left who were selections of Baalke, Smelter and Burbridge. Ellington became expendable once the 49ers resigned Jeremy Kerley, signed Aldrick Robinson as a free agent, and when they took Shanahan draft crush, Trent Taylor in the 5th round.

 

His inability to stay healthy and contribute to the offense along with the new front office having no ties to him spelled certain doom for Ellington’s days in a 49ers uniform. The two holdovers, Smelter and Burbridge will most likely be preseason cuts as well.

 

The paring down of players drafted before this year continues, as Lynch and Shanahan mold this team in their own image. It’s an image where players are going to be required to prove themselves, regardless of where they were taken in previous drafts.  

 

I know it’s early but here is how I see the 49ers receiving corps shaping up for this season.

 

Pierre Garcon

Marquis Goodwin

Jeremy Kerley

Trent Taylor

Aldrick Robinson

 

The team could also elect to keep six receivers this season, if that happens I believe the Victor Bolden Jr. will be that man.