I am sick and tired of every WR or OL discussion turning into an Alex Smith debate. Leave Smith out of it. Period.
If we had an elite QB.. I'd STILL be sitting here saying LET'S UPGRADE OUR WR'S SO WE CAN BE EVEN MORE DOMINANT. AND.. LET'S IMPROVE THE OL TO EVEN FURTHER ASSURE THE PROTECTION OF OUR STAR/INVESTMENT.
As it stands, it appears that it's virtually guaranteed that our QB(s) is(are) going to being Alex or/and Colin Kaepernick over the next 3-5 years. But this is not about Alex, it's about the team. We want to see increased team success, but I keep seeing the whiny babies coming out and trashing Alex whenever any such suggestions are made to improve other areas like OL and WR. It's like saying those things automatically implies, "Alex is elite and everything else is holding him back!" Please. We're taking the situation and looking at it for what it is. Our QB situation is irrelevant to the collective skill level of our WR corps or protection ability of the OL. We are looking at the positions individually and assessing their value.
Irrespective of Alex Smith, this is what I see when I look at WR and OL:
Joe Staley - Probably better than many (including myself) give him credit for, and apparently good enough to make the Pro Bowl.
Mike Iupati - Solid, but still learning the new blocking scheme. I think Staley sometimes got flack for the missed assignments of Iupati because he tried to help him on several of those occasions.
Jonathan Goodwin - Inconsistent. Smart, but physically not able to hold up sometimes, and blows assignments bad when he's off his game.
Adam Snyder - A backup on most other teams. Serviceable for the interim.
Davis - A young, developing player who looks to have improved, and seems promising. Isn't always perfect, but looks to be on the right track.
Rachal - Garbage. Get him off the team.
Boone - Looks promising.
Kilgore - Unknown, but pre-season looked promising.
Person - Unknown, but pre-season looked promising.
Overall evaluation: C and OG are weak spots. Our interior was the most glaring weak area of the OL this season and it's not surprising. We have an aging vet and a swing-player back-up starting at C and RG, respectively. The developing players behind them, OL Kilgore and Person, remain unknowns.
Josh Morgan - Generally reliable, but really just a strong #3 possession type, and is coming off a serious season-ending injury.
Michael Crabtree - the go-to guy and emerging #1 WR, but has battled foot problems in the beginning of each year.
Ted Ginn - extremely inconsistent hands, and inconsistent in both adjusting to deep balls and tracking them in the air.
Kyle Williams - has shown flashes and potential, but still unknown and unproven, and has suffered injuries every year.
Brett Swain - Special teamer. Almost zero value as a receiving option.
Vernon Davis - Dangerous when utilized properly and target often. Best threat aside from Crabtree.
Delanie Walker - Speed for his size creates mismatches, but has serious drop problem (especially with easy ones) and can be careless running with the football. Has an injury history (although he has often played hurt) and is currently recovering from that horrific jaw injury.
Nate Byham - Coming off serious season ending injury. More of a blocking TE, but can catch.
Justin Peele - Back-up, little to no receiving value, and average blocker.
Overall evaluation: We have no true big-time starting NFL receiver opposite Crabtree, we have a potential but unproven slot man, we have no consistent and reliable deep threat, we have no wide receiver over 6-1 to create a size mismatch, and we have an inconsistent and drop-prone #2 TE and a definite unknown in Byham returning from injury to be the #3 TE in our TE-heavy system.