According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, A.J. Jenkins has "what appears to be a slight lead" over the likes of Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette heading into training camp as they all vie to become the 49ers' starting split end. They are competing for the spot vacated by Michael Crabtree when he tore his right Achilles' tendon one month ago. Anquan Boldin is already guaranteed one starting spot. Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham , both of whom are recovering from ACL surgery, will also be a factor once healthy. Williams might be ready for the start of training camp while Manningham, who also tore his PCL, may not be healthy until weeks into the regular season.
Take this for what it's worth. A slight lead in a position battle doesn't mean much of anything in June, especially among a bunch of players who haven't earned the benefit of the doubt at the NFL level. None of these guys are more than a WR5 heading into drafts, and while I think Patton will end up being the youngster here with the most fantasy value in 2013, this competition could be turned on its ear if the 49ers add another veteran wideout during training camp.