Breaking Down WR Performance Through the 2019 Season
Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Gauging the 49ers wide receivers is like eating a Hot Pocket not cooked properly. When they were on point, they were hot enough to burn the defense. And then there were times where they were cold enough to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the 49ers Faithful.
One bright spot this season was former second-round pick Deebo Samuel. Samuel had nearly 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns. He was used not only in the passing game but in the running game as well. When he had the ball in his hands, he ran with George Kittle-like intensity.
A steal for the 49ers this season sending what are now late third- and fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft and received Emmanuel Sanders and the Broncos’ fifth-round pick in return. When Sanders became acclimated to the season you could see the not only the offense take a step forward but also the wide receivers corps as a whole.
Kendrick Bourne took another step forward in 2019 and was reliable target on first down and in the red zone. He led all the receivers in receiving touchdowns with five this season and another one in the playoffs. He signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent three years ago is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason. Bourne has done enough for the 49ers to match any offer he may receive and bring him back into the fold.
Like everything in life there is an opposite. For every right way there is a wrong way. For every northbound, there is a southbound. And for every good there is a bad and that was no different with the 49ers’ wide receivers.
Going forward it appears that Deebo Samuel has cemented himself as the number-one wide receiver, but going into the season 49er fans thought they already had a number-one wideout in Dante Pettis. However, his lack of effort in training camp and in the preseason gave him a permanent home in Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse. And now people are questioning whether the former second-round pick is even in the 49ers’ future moving forward.
Marquise Goodwin’s life has been a roller coaster over the past few years after the death of his son. Some people have questioned whether Goodwin still loves the game or if he’s preparing himself to compete for the upcoming Olympics one more time. This past offseason, I stated that Goodwin could be a surprise cut candidate and even though he was not cut from the roster his lack of production was proof that he would not have been missed in 2019.
At one point against the Cardinals the 49ers offense was lethargic and could not get any momentum going. That was until a screen pass to Richie James went for 57 yards. James didn’t touch the ball a lot on offense, but that didn’t stop him from making the most out of the times he did get the ball. He also had a 39-yard catch against the Bucs and 40-yard catch against the Redskins during the monsoon. One would wonder why he didn’t get more opportunities?
The biggest negative against the wide receivers this season was the drops, specifically in the first game against the Seahawks. Jimmy Garoppolo’s numbers could have been even better this season if it was not for the all the drops by his receivers. Perfectly thrown balls that hit them right in the hands and fell incomplete. This is something that should rarely happen.
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