• Matt Woolsey

Bad Reception: Do the 49ers have a WR Problem?

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

After seeing what Minkah Fitzpatrick has done for the Steelers’ defense and known that he only cost Pittsburgh a first-round pick, I was a little bummed. Fifty percent of the first-round picks hit, and the chances of finding a star drops the higher in the first round you go. So, for a team to spend a first-round pick on a star that transforms the team instantly is a no brainer.

But if the 49ers had traded for Fitzpatrick they would not have traded for Emmanuel Sanders. Why not? The 49ers do not have a second-round pick next season because they traded for Dee Ford. Dee Ford has not played in a lot of snaps, but the ones he has played in he has been disruptive.

I would have gladly not had a first-, second-, third-, or even a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft if it meant having Fitzpatrick, Ford, and Sanders. Then the Seattle game happened. I was wrong, it’s a good thing the 49ers did not trade their first-round pick because in the 2020 draft they will need to draft a wide receiver.

Last Monday, the 49ers’ offense moved the ball well despite not having George Kittle. That is, until Emmanuel Sanders went out with his rib injury. The offense became stagnant after that.

I was very impressed with Jimmy Garoppolo taking blame for the drops his receivers had, but we have to face facts. The receivers let Jimmy and the team down. Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin were held without a catch on six total targets. Six targets and they couldn’t pull anything in. Goodwin is not long for the 49ers, and I wonder how much longer Kyle Shanahan is going to keep giving Pettis chances.

"He's had a number of opportunities," Shanahan said on a conference call. "And I'm one of the guys who believe in him the most. That's why he's here. He's had his opportunities. The more he doesn't take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets."

As good as the 49ers have been this season, they still have a weak spot at wide receiver. Arizona made a commitment to stop the run a couple weeks ago and Garoppolo had to put the game on his shoulders. Seahawks made the same commitment and once again Jimmy had to put the game on his shoulders, but this time his receivers failed him. I can’t deny that Garoppolo made some bad throws, but the 49ers should have won that game.

They still have a receiver problem and hopefully they address that next season in a 2020 draft full of good wide receivers. But that’s next season; hopefully the current room of pass catchers step up or the second half of the season could be a long one.

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