Originally posted by HearstFan:
Last point about receivers: A key question is do they present a big target or small target for a QB? The target size a receiver offers is a variable of 4 things -- size/wingspan; separation ability (suddenness), speed, and willingness to make tough catches. These variables combine to enable a QB to put the ball into big windows or small windows with confidence on whether the receiver will make the catch. The variables for each receiver create different sized windows on different routes for each receiver.
For example, DeShaun Jackson has an enormous window on deep routes, because his speed allows him to go get the ball when it is thrown into a larger area in the open field -- but that big window doesn't translate well to the red zone. Plaxico Burress has a big window in the redzone due to his ability to go up high to get the ball.
A receiver's willingness to make a tough catch with contact in the middle creates his window for the QB in the middle -- can the QB throw it into a bigger area with confidence the receiver will go after it?
Now think about the 49ers receivers? What kind of windows do they present -- FOR ANY QB?
VD - is tough across the middle, and fast, but he doesn't have a big wingspan window and likes to catch the ball into his body. So he creates a relatively tight window. How does that compare to a Tony Gonzales, Antonio Gates, Gronkowski type? Not saying one is better than the other, but the opportunities they present the QB are different.
Crabs - Has a relatively big window when he has separation because he has good hands and snatches the ball out of the air. BUT, he doesn't reliably get separation and tends to shy away from contact IMHO. How does that compare to a Megatron that creates big windows on almost all routes?
Williams - relatively small window due to size, but has a suddenness to his routes that does give him separation.
Moss - with his sure hands (and focus) and size, big windows on deep routes and red zone.
Manningham - I hope he shows an ability to create bigger windows in the middle and deep.
Overall, I think the 49ers have done a great job finding new receiving talent to try and improve the "windows" that a QB can throw in to this next season -- and hopefully the draft improves that with a Stephen Hill, Jeffrey, or Fleener.
Very good point on catching range. I think Crabtree is pretty good when Smith gets the confidence to throw it up to him.
** NO, ** NO need for a 1st round WR..