Originally posted by adrenaline:
He's incredibly inconsistent, which means, bottom line, he's a liability
This. People always refer to him as a "swiss army knife", that means you do a lot of s**t but aren't particularly great at any one of them. This team ran out of the 2 TE set more than 50% of the time and the guy went half the season without a single catch. If you're going to line up 2 TE's consistently, it'd be nice if both of them were actual threats that the defense has to account for, when Delanie's not bobbling passes in the endzone, he's getting shutdown by a single safety because he's 6 f**king feet tall. If you don't think a guy with substantially better size and hands than Walker is going to make this team more dangerous in the red-zone, you're out of your mind.
There's a reason why TE's like Fleener and Allen are expected to be drafted in the first 2 rounds and why an H-back like Evan Rodriguez is expected to go in Round 4 or 5. A true TE gives you much more EFFECTIVE versatility, teams have to account for that threat and if he's got tremendous size like Fleener does, the matchup becomes a tremendous problem, he's too big for any single defensive back and quicker than the vast majority of linebackers out there, additionally you also have a mismatch with Vernon Davis, as well as the potential of Crabtree and Moss/Manningham that you have to worry about.........pick your poison really.
Teams expect Delanie Walker to block, and that's fine and dandy but with an offense that plays the 2 TE formation as much as the 49ers do, with a team that struggled on 3rd down and in the red-zone as much as the 49ers did, they've got to have an actual threat at that 2nd TE position.
I've gone back through games from this past season and when Walker wasn't in to block, he was having trouble getting separation, getting shutdown by a safety or bobbling passes that should have simply been caught. There were a few times where he broke free and Alex missed him, but for the most part, the guy really doesn't create a mismatch nor does he demand special attention from a defense the way a big, towering guy like Fleener would.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Apr 14, 2012 at 9:36 PM ]