49ers add WRs Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins to injury-plagued receiving unit
Collie and Hawkins spent their entire NFL careers with the team’s that drafted them out of college.
A fourth-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Collie spent the past four seasons as a receiver with the Indianapolis Colts. He played in 42 regular season games (16 starts) for the Colts, making 173 catches for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns. Collie also appeared in three postseason games, contributing 17 catches for 241 yards and two touchdowns for the Colts.
The 6-foot-0, 204-pound Collie played collegiately at BYU, where he holds several receiving records for the Cougars. Collie holds the school record for most receiving yards (3,255 yards) and is also the Cougars’ touchdown leader with 30 career TDs.
However, teams were cautious around Collie this offseason as he has a long history of being injured. Collie 2012 season ended after just one game, following a patellar tendon injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. The 27-year-old Collie has also suffered multiple concussions during his NFL career.
Hawkins, who was selected in the fourth-round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, played 52 career games (four starts) over the past five seasons, while recording 71 catches for 117 yards and one touchdown. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Hawkins also spent some time on the special teams, adding 14 kickoff returns for 335 yards. He was released by the Titans on May 1 and picked up by the New England Patriots only a week later. However, was again on the hunt for a new team after being released by the Patriots on July 31.
The 27-year-old Hawkins played at University of California, where he logged 136 career receptions for 1,748 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hawkins also returned 49 kickoffs for 1,051 yards and one touchdown for the Golden Bears.
Both Collie and Hawkins auditioned on Friday for the 49ers’ injury-plagued receiving unit on Friday, before being signed by the team. Former Jaguars receiver Laurent Robinson also worked out for the 49ers, in front of team general manager Trent Baalke, coach Jim Harbaugh and several other personnel staff.
The 49ers are already down proven starters Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, both of whom are recovering from torn ACL. Shortly after losing Crabtree on in mid-to-late May, the 49ers’ newly signed receiver Brandon Carswell also went down with an ACL injury. Receivers Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins and Kassim Osgood have also missed this week's practices because of apparent hamstring injuries.