Head coach Jim Harbaugh spent a good portion of his media availability gushing about some of his wide receivers that are embracing the challenge of replacing Crabtree.
"Quite a jump with Quinton Patton where he came in very strong and elevated himself. Marlon Moore, as we said, had a great camp. Kassim Osgood really has been a pleasant surprise at the receiver position. Chad Hall has done a remarkable job. Ricardo Lockette, another perfect attendance guy along with (A.J. Jenkins) and Chad, doing a really fine job.
It's fierce competition in there. They understand what's at stake and what the team needs from them. They are rising to the occasion and that's something that bodes very well for our team," Harbaugh said at Thursday's conclusion of minicamp.
It was a slow build up for the offense over the three days, highlighted by Thursday's final 11-on-11 session that saw Colin Kaepernick hit a number of receivers at various spots on the field.
Vance McDonald stood out, making grabs in traffic and down the field, using his size to make catches at the high point and warding off defenders.
Chuck Jacobs, wearing No. 1, also made a few nice plays, including a tough, leaping catch down the sidelines where he elevated nicely, but came down out of bounds. Patrick Willis was covering him on the play.
Moore had perhaps the best day of any receiver Thursday, making catches tough catches over the middle, earning praise from Harbaugh afterwards.
Anquan Boldin made a very good impression in OTAs and early in minicamp. He watched most of the team drills Thursday as Harbaugh wanted to get more reps for the other wideouts.
Osgood has very good size (6'5", 220 pounds) and has a great chance at making the roster because of his ability to play special teams. He was a first-team selection in 2009 with the Chargers and has been to three Pro Bowls as a special teamer. But according to Harbuagh, he had a great week on offense. The 49ers signed him June 4.
"Basically he showed up and we're telling him the plays, where to line up, what route to run, what his blocking assignment was, every single play," Harbaugh said.
"Then over the weekend, he must have just locked himself in his hotel room and studied playbook all weekend because he came out here on Monday and didn't have to tell him anything. He got the play in the huddle with the correct alignment, the split, the route, depth, everything was really good like he had been here all offseason. An example of a real professional and guy who works at his craft."
Both Harbuagh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman mentioned the evolution of Jenkins, who is far more advanced at this point that he was as a rookie in 2012, when he did not make a single catch. They said his last week was his best as a professional.
"He's leaps and bounds ahead of where he was last year," Kaepernick said before Thursday's practice. "We just need to get him on the field now."
Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams continued to rehab from their ACL injuries that ended their 2012 seasons prematurely. Williams did individual work on the field and ran sprints. He should be ready for training camp at the end of July. Manningham is further behind and his status going forward remains unclear. He may miss the start of the regular season.
Other players that didn't participate in minicamp were Joe Staley, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Justin Smith, Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Cornellius Carradine, Quinton Dial, Carlos Rogers and Marcus Lattimore.
Carradine is continuing to rehab from a torn ACL he suffered in November and might not be ready for the start of training camp. Dial is coming off a toe issue and his prognosis is also unclear. Lattimore's situation remains the same, as he continues to work his way back from his horrific knee injury. But he was running and has made an imprint on the team and coaching staff.
Hunter is continuing to rehab his torn Achilles, but was working out on the side field and running sprints. His prognosis for training camp appears positive, but there has been no official indication from the team.
Staley, the Smiths, Gore, Brooks and Rogers are expected to be ready to go for training camp.
Linebacker Darius Fleming didn't participate in minicamp after suffering an injury in last Tuesday's practice. He went down in looked to favor the same knee that sidelined him in his rookie season. But it doesn't appear serious. The 49ers drafted Fleming in the fifth round in 2012 out of Notre Dame.
First round pick Eric Reid was originally slated to take reps with the first team defense Thursday, but didn't participate in team drills because of a physical ailment.
"Got a little minor thing he's working through," Harbaugh said.
Free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha participated fully in minicamp and experienced some ups and downs. He intercepted a pass in 11-on-11s, but there was also a blown coverage on his side of the field that allowed Jacobs to run free for a long gain down the right side of the field. It's unclear if Asomugha or the safety blew the coverage.
Asomugha is slated to earn a perfect attendance certificate, along with 31 others who attended every practice and weight lifting session in the team's offseason program.
One of the highlights of minicamp was reserve offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore making a juggling grab over a defender for a touchdown on a fake field goal during Wednesday's session. The team erupted and Kilgore pretended to sign the ball and handed it to an official.
Defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye, the famed British Olympian playing football for the first time fully participated in minicamp. But without pads, it remains unclear how effective he can be with NFL linemen blocking him. For now, he's familiarizing himself with the schemes. His true test will come in training camp.
One of the most intriguing players on the 49ers roster has been seventh-round draft pick B.J. Daniels out of South Florida. Taken as a quarterback, Daniels has run routes as a receiver, worked with the running backs out of the backfield and even fielded punts. He also has a good arm. And in one-on-one drills, he's was one of the team's most explosive players with the ball in his hands. He has very good lateral quickness and is shifty enough to make players like Willis miss in the open field.
The competition between Daniels and Scott Tolzien for the No. 3 quarterback job will be one to watch in training camp. Daniels is the type of player that could garner a specialized package on game days given his versatility.
Following this week, the team has off until it reports to training camp in late-July, although the start date hasn't been confirmed by the team.
Harbaugh said he isn't sure how many players will remain at the facility in the meantime. But he did mention he will be spending some of his time off vacationing in Peru.