San Francisco 49ers new head coach Kyle Shanahan prefers speed over size at the wide receiver position. Shanahan’s Niners will likely begin the 2017 season without a receiver over 6-feet tall.

The 2017 San Francisco 49ers may have the quickest group of wide receivers in the NFL, and they definitely have the shortest.

It’s no secret that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has an affinity for short and speedy receivers — last season, his Atlanta Falcons offense had over 80 receptions from receivers under 6-feet tall. However, Shanahan also had 6-foot-4 Julio Jones and 6-foot-2 Mohamed Sanu as his top two wide receivers.

Shanahan’s number-one wide receiver for the upcoming season is just 6-feet tall, and his next four receivers measure up between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10. Shanahan and 49ers general manager John Lynch have created a 2017 version of the “Smurfs.”

Pierre Garçon – 6’0″
Marquise Goodwin – 5’9″
Jeremy Kerley – 5’9″
Trent Taylor – 5’8″
Aldrick Robinson – 5’10”

In the early 1980s, the Washington Redskins’ Smurfs were the team’s trio of wide receivers under 5-foot-11 — but the Redskins supplemented the Smurfs with wide receiver Art Monk, who was three inches taller than the 49ers’ Pierre Garçon.

The 2017 49ers don’t have a wide receiver that tall on their roster. Barring injury, the Niners likely have just one remaining wide receiver spot to fill, and 6-foot-2 DeAndre Smelter is the only receiver over 6-feet tall with a reasonable chance of making the final roster.

Bruce Ellington – 5’9″
Aaron Burbridge – 6’0″
DeAndre Smelter – 6’2″
DeAndre Carter – 5’8″
BJ Johnson III – 6’0″
Victor Bolden Jr. – 5’8″
Kendrick Bourne – 6’1″

The Niners could always add a receiver to the roster prior to the beginning of the season, but a single addition is unlikely to change the fact that the 49ers have the shortest group of wide receivers in the NFL.

About the Author: Chris Wilson

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