Originally posted by Afrikan:
this is the first season I've seen him drop passes the way he has this year... so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt going into next season. that should also drop his asking price so that should help us as well.
It's possible that his drop rate is an aberration.
Frank Gore lead the team in receiving for like five straight seasons and then last year he had a drop rate like Walker. Both Walker this year and Gore last year also had a small sample size of targets. Gore didn't have the same problem this season.
Anyway, Walker still made the most of his opportunities even with all the drops. I challenge anyone to find another TE with more explosive plays (20+ yards) per target. He didn't get those with a lot of YAC, either... just long passes. He had 23% of his TARGETS result in explosive plays. He has the highest average per catch on the team. You'd be hard pressed to find many WRs on any team that did better.
Also, if people are going to get down on him for "dropping" that pass in the endzone against Arizona, it would be pretty hypocritical if they don't complain about Moss dropping that deep pass (damn, I forget the opponent) where he was having his right arm pulled down by the defender. Both should have been PI, both could have been caught, but they would have been amazing plays.
Still, I agree that he needs to stop dropping the passes that were obviously his fault... there were just way too many.
Add together the explosive plays with the chemistry he and Kap have (Colin TRUSTS him!), his schematic versatility, his special teams utility, and most importantly his blocking skills, and I think some people are being WAY too harsh on the kid. Especially considering Walker had a better season than Coby Fleener, who most (I think) of the people who complain about Walker were calling the perfect draft pick to replace him as the second TE. Yeah, I know he's a rookie and he hurt his shoulder and missed four games. He was still thrown to more often than Walker because the Colts threw the ball almost 200 times more than the 49ers did this season. He still caught the same percentage of his targets as Walker did (no idea how many drops Fleener had) and he still did far less with his opportunities.
Personally, I hope Walker is back next season. Celek (Bloodline!, lulz) looks like he can be developed into a good player, but he doesn't have the versatility Walker does and I need to see more. I'd rather spend draft picks on depth in other areas and Walker knows the system and has chemistry with Kap that a FA wouldn't.
So, no... I don't think I'm over-rating him. I think some other posters may have over-rated the need to replace him and the player to replace him with, though.
Oh, one last thing... stop b***hing about him fumbling. He's really only lost two fumbles in his career. The one this year was an incomplete pass, it was a bad call.
Ok, I'm done ranting now.