There are 237 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Why do the 49ers "NEED" a big receiver?

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 ]
I think we've addressed the issue with the Boldin trade. No, he's not a "big bodied" receiver, but he is a monster on 3rd down and in the RZ.
Good post. But just look at our own team and our history. Jerry Rice and John Taylor were the two biggest WR's in the game and they needed it to run a WCO (blocking, run across the middle, take hits, box-out, etc.).

Also, look at our micro-WR's...Jenkins can't crack the lineup, Williams and Manningham both hurt (blocking).

And look at Boldin...who abused our secondary by boxing-out small CB's esp. on 3rd downs.

That said, Boldin is a perfect fit for our offense...on 3rd downs, will take up passes that normally would have gone to Walker, can block down field, catch across the middle, is a great RZ threat, can box-out, etc.

Oh and Crabtree couldn't do anything against a physical secondary in the NFCCG and we play Seattle x2 a year. We need guys who can out-muscle the opposition again.
[ Edited by NCommand on Mar 13, 2013 at 3:36 PM ]
Why do we need a big receiver?

What lost us the Superbowl?

Red Zone Issues. You want a big strong receiver who can make tough catches in traffic.
Originally posted by kray28:
Why do we need a big receiver?

What lost us the Superbowl?

Red Zone Issues. You want a big strong receiver who can make tough catches in traffic.

Agreed. That's not exactly what I'm referring to though. I think there's a difference between strong and being big. Boldin is fairly big for a receiver, but he's doesn't have the height I'm associating with the "big receiver" as mythicized on the WZ and which I've heard people generally clamoring for. I would say that Boldin is definitely strong, but not necessarily "big" as defined by many of the mock drafts I've seen around, or the people pounding the table for Stephen Hill last year because he was 6'4" or will be pounding the table this year for Justin Hunter. I'm also mostly referring to this obsession with big receivers in this draft: Marcus Davis, Mark Harrison, Aaron Mellette, Brandon Kauffman. What does a receiver like that bring to the table or add to the red zone offense than any receiver receiver that's 2 or even 4 inches shorter than those guys.

I guess what I'm getting at is why there's a love affair with height, when it seems that in the redzone it's toughness, strength, hand and opportunities that really lead to production. For example, wouldn't DeAndre Hopkins be a better red zone target than Justin Hunter? I would think so.



Originally posted by Beeker:
I think we've addressed the issue with the Boldin trade. No, he's not a "big bodied" receiver, but he is a monster on 3rd down and in the RZ.

I would agree 100% that Boldin is going to be a huge asset in the red zone in particular.
To survive against the Seahawks DB's
Did we lose the SB, because of WRs? Or was it because awful defense and awful officiating?
We need big CBs and big safeties more than offensive weapons.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Good post. But just look at our own team and our history. Jerry Rice and John Taylor were the two biggest WR's in the game and they needed it to run a WCO (blocking, run across the middle, take hits, box-out, etc.).

Also, look at our micro-WR's...Jenkins can't crack the lineup, Williams and Manningham both hurt (blocking).

And look at Boldin...who abused our secondary by boxing-out small CB's esp. on 3rd downs.

That said, Boldin is a perfect fit for our offense...on 3rd downs, will take up passes that normally would have gone to Walker, can block down field, catch across the middle, is a great RZ threat, can box-out, etc.

Oh and Crabtree couldn't do anything against a physical secondary in the NFCCG and we play Seattle x2 a year. We need guys who can out-muscle the opposition again.


This yes agreed ^ Boldin is a nice pickup for 1 or 2 years max but we still need to draft and develop another good flanker prospect that is big & fast at least 6'2 and up.

Last off season before the draft and through the FA season on ninersnation I was in favor of trading for Brandon Marshall. Got flamed by retards who don't know jack and can't evaluate players to save their lives. If memory serves Bears got Marshall for 2 3rd round picks.

2012: Brandon Marshall 3rd in NFL 118 Receptions 1508 REC yards

I also said if Doug Martin was still on the board that's the player we should not pass over and who we should take to develop in case either Gore or Hunter went down or Gore wore out. Got flamed by the same know it all fools who wanted OL which we didn't need.

2012: Doug Martin 5th in NFL rushing 1454 yards.

And now coming off my phenominal prediction that Alex Smith would be dealt for 2 2nd round picks with the second one being a 2014 conditional...IMHO with the 49ers having stockpiled 14 draft selections and up against the cap the best move in the 2013 draft is to trade up and land the #1 rated WR in the draft 6'2 216LB Cordarrelle Patterson.
I think right now they need some more quickness, more than size anyways. If teams want to go to bigger defensive backs, having quicker, faster receivers that they struggle to keep up with is a better proposition IMO. I'd like to have a guy like Da'Rick Rogers who is an absolute beast but am not looking to add a bigger receiver just because he's big. I hope Jenkins can become the fast, explosive deep threat that the 49ers need, but it would also help to have another quick matchup terror that can gain separation and gash defenses over and over.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
I think right now they need some more quickness, more than size anyways. If teams want to go to bigger defensive backs, having quicker, faster receivers that they struggle to keep up with is a better proposition IMO. I'd like to have a guy like Da'Rick Rogers who is an absolute beast but am not looking to add a bigger receiver just because he's big. I hope Jenkins can become the fast, explosive deep threat that the 49ers need, but it would also help to have another quick matchup terror that can gain separation and gash defenses over and over.

Agree. We need some speed and explosion in a WR not just size.
Been saying this for years
Patterson, Rodgers or even Austin are the receiver i like because they are shifty and quick in and out of their roots. Patterson and Austin in particular are rediculouse at stoping on a dime and going another direction this will cause bigger DB's fits. its not about the size but the skill they have Austin is haf the size of the other 2 i have mentioned here but he has the skill to cause any defense fits (kinda like the guy Harvin who i absolutely hate is on our rivals now). With all that in mind i would absolutely love Patterson first, Austin second, or Rodgers 3rd. however there is a reason i dont think we sniff Patterson or Austin with our 31 pick. they may not be similar in size but they are similar in skill set so i am totally cool with rodgers. alot of people have said they like hopkins but he seems to similar to Crabtree and Boldon to me now,
We are stacked at receiver now.
Originally posted by BayArea:
We are stacked at receiver now.

Yeah...no.


There's Crabtree, Boldin who might be a one year rental for what anyone knows. Manningham who absolutely mangled and destroyed his knee in a horrific fashion, whose contract is up at the end of the season. Williams coming off a major injury, who wasn't all that awesome to begin with and AJ Jenkins who is largely an uknown quantity.

If that is your definition of stacked..................