Consider this an addendum to the Kevin Jurovich story that ran in Sunday's Bee. In a typical year, the 49ers would keep five wide receivers on the active roster. This year could be different, especially if the NFL has expanded rosters. But for the sake of this post, let's assume the team sticks with five. As of now, the 49ers have eight wideouts on the roster with a slew of undrafted free agents likely to be signed when the lockout ends.
Let's also assume that veterans Michael Crabtree (no, they're not going to trade him), Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn each make the squad. That would leave two spots for Ronald Johnson, Kevin Jurovich, Lance Long, Kyle Williams and Dominique Zeigler.
The most intriguing battle may be between Williams and Jurovich. During the 2010 draft, the 49ers were eying both players in the sixth round. They went with Williams, but then acquired Jurovich when he was released by the Eagles during training camp. The 49ers see both as slot receivers. Williams also returned punts last summer, although he was not able to wrest that job from Ginn during the regular season.
Here's where things get interesting.
Williams and Jurovich were roommates during the 2010 season and became very good friends. I asked Jurovich if it would be awkward to compete against someone with whom he's so close. "Not at all," he said. "Kyle's one of my best friends. We're helping each other all the time about football things, about girl situations, about all that stuff. He's a great guy and a great talent. And I think if he's able to stay healthy, 49ers fans are going to see a really good player."
When I stopped at San Jose State on Thursday to talk with Jurovich for the upcoming story on him, he wasn't there. He had spent the morning throwing with Alex Smith and then had gone to the airport to pick up Williams, who was flying in for this week's minicamp. Jurovich also was the one who contacted Johnson shortly after the draft and encouraged the rookie to fly to San Jose to workout with Smith and some of the other receivers.
Should you really be aiding your competitors like that?
"I don't see it that way," Jurovich said. "We want to have the best group (of receivers) we can get. You can't be afraid of competition in this league."
-- Matt Barrows