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Jim Harbaugh predicts 'breakout' year for Kaepernick

A lack of depth and game-changing talent at the wide receiver position arguably cost the San Francisco 49ers a repeat trip to the Super Bowl last season.


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Coach Jim Harbaugh believes that won't be an issue come September, telling reporters Wednesday that the roster -- for the first time on his watch -- has "firepower" and "ammunition" at the position.

After predicting a "breakout" campaign for Colin Kaepernick, Harbaugh pointed to the additions of veterans Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd and the drafting of burner Bruce Ellington.

"Kap said it the other day. He feels like he has a stable of receivers and maybe that's the first time we've said that since we've all been here together," Harbaugh said. "I concur. It feels that way."

Last year sunk into bleak territory. With Michael Crabtree out for most of the season, Anquan Boldin was the only 49ers wideout to catch more than 19 passes. San Francisco's third-leading target was fullback Bruce Miller. The lack of depth forced coordinator Greg Roman to roll out a heavy dose of two-receiver sets as the 49ers pounded people with the run.

With a healthy Crabtree alongside Boldin, Johnson and tight end Vernon Davis, San Francisco has instant scheme versatility. We're not convinced Lloyd makes this roster, but Harbaugh showered him with praise Wednesday as a guy who doesn't look like he's "had a layoff from football for a year."

Add it all up, and we agree with NFL Media's Bucky Brooks, who ranked San Francisco with the fourth-best crop of wideouts in the NFL. That's not a claim anyone would have pounded the table for one year ago.

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