The 49ers may not draft a wide receiver with the No. 13 pick.
Or the No. 31 pick.
But they will draft a wide receiver next month.
That’s not guaranteed to happen because it’s such an obvious need: It’s guaranteed to happen because it always happens.
Yes, the 49ers are certain to extend their obscure NFL-leading draft streak in April by selecting a wide receiver for the 18th consecutive year.
If that sounds like a lot, well, there’s a reason for that. The Steelers (eight years) have the second-longest streak and only two other teams (Washington, Kansas City) have selected a wideout for more than four straight seasons.
During their 17-season streak, the 49ers have selected 23 wideouts and those pass-catchers’ overall lack of success (Looking at you, Rashaun Woods, Jason Hill, A.J. Jenkins …) at least partly explains why they’ve had to try and try again.
Of the 23 wide receivers, 14 of whom were selected in the first four rounds, only Michael Crabtree had a 1,000-yard season with the 49ers and none was voted to a Pro Bowl.
Here’s a recent example: The 49ers appear to have hit on wide receiver Deebo Samuel, a second-round pick last year, but the failure of Dante Pettis (second round, 2018) to develop is a reason the position still needs to be addressed.
Here’s a look at the 49ers’ NFL-leading streak:
Consecutive years a team has drafted a wide receiver:
17: San Francisco
5: Kansas City
3: Arizona, Carolina, Denver, Tampa Bay
2: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, New England, Las Vegas
1: Detroit, Minnesota, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tennessee
0: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami, New Orleans, New York Jets
Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Eric_Branch