Michael Crabtree's replacement on 49ers not set


Coach Jim Harbaugh quickly shot down speculation that the San Francisco 49ers might turn back to Randy Moss in the wake of Michael Crabtree's Achilles tendon surgery. The coaching staff intends to give the 49ers' young wide receivers a chance instead.

Specifically, the 49ers will throw 2012 first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins, 2013 fourth-rounder Quinton Patton and former undrafted free agent Ricardo Lockette into the mix opposite Anquan Boldin.

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"We'll put Jenkins, Patton, Ricardo Lockette at the same position and let them compete and emerge," Harbaugh said Friday on KGMZ-FM. "The good news is somebody will emerge because they have to. ... I very much anticipate that will happen."

Patton was productive at small-school Louisiana Tech, but he appeared to be "nowhere close to being ready" at rookie camp. Although Harbaugh is "fired up about" perennial offseason all-star Lockette, Jenkins should be viewed as the heavy favorite. He has a clear edge in pedigree, and the 49ers reportedly are expecting "big things" after a redshirt rookie season.

If Jenkins does win out, he will have to fend off veterans Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams once they recover from their respective anterior cruciate ligament surgeries. There's a good chance the 49ers will end up using a rotation of players opposite Boldin by the time Crabtree finally returns.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.