Looking at so many mocks and mock offseasons the past couple years, and recently, I notice that many people have the 49ers looking to sign big receivers (Chaz Schillens last year) or draft big receivers (Marcus Davis, Mark Harrison, etc.). I never thought much of this, and in fact I was even a little swayed by it, possibly because of the sheer number of times I had heard it as a need.
But why do the 49ers NEED a big, tall receiver? I'm defining big as 6'3"+ and 215+ which I think is generous - a lot of the players discussed as being the kind of "big" we need are closer to the 6'4"-6'"5, 225-235 lb range. The most common reason is that big bodied receivers are better in the redzone. Is there a clear correlation between size and red zone effectiveness? Clearly there wasn't with Moss, but he's old.
I (unfortunately) wasn't able to find straight up statistics on just red zone receiving TDs, but of the leaders in TD receptions at WR we have: James Jones, Eric Decker, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, AJ Green, Marques Colston, Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz, Julio Jones, Michael Crabtree, Mike Williams, Santana Moss, Vincent Jackson, Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, and Randall Cobb. The bolded receivers (the "big" ones) account for 8 of the 17 players listed, and of those big receivers only Brandon Marshall and Marques Colston were drafted after the second round. In fact, every WR on that list was drafted in the first two rounds besides James Jones (3rd), Marshall (4th), Colston (7th), and Wallace (3rd).
This is a bit of an effort in futility because what all these guys have that makes them such threats to get in the endzone is targets. It seems like if you want TD production out of you wideouts you just need to pick them early ...
But my actual point is, why is there a consistent push to get big receivers on the roster, especially in the mid to late rounds? How does that truly help the team? Are they actually as important as everyone makes them out to be? Are there any websites with just redzone TDs factored in that can help to clear this up? Are there advanced metrics that measure red zone efficiency? Am I missing something, besides the obvious "well if a guy is bigger he must be better in the redzone because he's a bigger target" and is there any real truth to that?
Also, keep in mind this is specifically about WRs and obtaining a "big bodied WR."
[ Edited by 2Legit2Quit on Mar 13, 2013 at 3:26 PM ]