Originally posted by Rsrkshn:
Giving the Niners WR an unbaised look, one has to conclude that it is not an elite group.
Even with Crabtree healthy, the combination of Crabtree and Boldin would IMO not be an elite standard. Both are excellent possession-type receivers, and bone fide starters, but the take-the-top-off element is lacking with that combination. One or more of the young ones, realistically only AJ or Lockette, maybe Moore, needs to step up to fill that role. They're the ones possessing the speed requirement. I feel that none of them have had enough time in training camp (especially with the injury time-outs) in order for fans or reporters to make any kind of determination. The coaches should have some kind of feel based upon OTA's and practices, but they will not let on, but will allow the process to work itself out.
My best guess on the rest, apart from Crabtree and Boldin:
1. It would be nice if AJ did "step up" and fill the void. He was drafted to fill that role. No doubt, he has all the physical attributes. It all depends on whether he has the mental toughness. And the desire. It's one thing to excel in college. It's quite another to step it up a notch for what is required in the pros. the best the oragnization can do is give him the kind of support that will encourage the best out of him. I have to believe that the coaches have an inkling about him. The next few weeks will solidify their opinion. If he doesn't possess the necessary mental touhgness, this organization is smart enough to cut their losses and he will be gone: Traded or cut. I hope that he earns a roster spot. Niners could use his speed.
2. KW: If he ends up #2 this would be bad news for the Niners. Because that really means that the team has a below par receiving core. He is not a starting quality WR. He's a #4 or #5 at best. And a good back-up punt returner.
3. Collie: Right now, I would rate him the Niners second best healthy receiver. He has proven that he can play, very productively at the NFL level. His history of productivity exceeds KWs and he has better size and moves. Very good at running precise routes. Hopefully, his concussion history is not as serious as many are making it out to be. We know that the longer one is away from the last concussion episode, the less the likelihood of another. He has been out for a couple of years, last year because of a tendon tear, not concussion. Unless injured in TC, I guess he makes the final cut.
4. Chad Hall: I really like this guy. Smart, disciplined, highly dedicated and motivated. Looks after himself and possessing good character. That's why the Niners like him, I feel. He and KW fit the same mold, they are both physically limited, and ideally the team only keeps one of them if both are healthy. Personally, I would feel sad to see either go, I think that one of them will either be on IR/PUP or be waived.
5. Lockette: He has the best measurables of all the WRs. It would be great if he could translate that into a complete WR skill set. Unfortunately, I don't hold out much hope. He is not a spring chicken. Ideally he would have shown more than just the ability to run down the field before this year. I don't think that he makes the squad.
6. Moore: Another underdog who I really like. Has speed and, unlike Lockette, the complete set of skills, although not elite. Has desire and durability, but not ideal size, but better than KW or CH. Perhaps an adequate #3, or a good #4. Perhaps he would fight out out with Hawkin for a spot on the roster?
7. Patton: Holds a lot of promise. Only lacks elite speed but appears to have all the rest, including intangibles. A good #3 type. Will definitely make the squad if healthy.
8. Manningham: Starts the season on PUP. Not durable. Lacks ideal size. Has speed, so right now would constitute Niners speed element. Smaller than Jenkins, who gets flak for being too slight. Ideally, a #3 IMO.
9. Oswood (sp?): Great size and toughness. Limited skills as a WR. Special teamer.
The others Jacobs, Hawkins, etc., are fighting some long odds? PS candidates.
Based on the above, injuries aside, our WR squad IMO is:
Williams/Hall, probably Williams, if healthy.
Moore/Hall, probably Hall, if healthy
Osgood - Special Teams
PUP - Crabtree, Manningham
Rest waived, some signed to PS
Although I don't quite agree with your assessment on Jenkins, I tend to agree with you on the over-arching issue of our receiving corp as a whole. I think Crab and Anquan are pretty decent, but not quite elite. And like you said, that deep threat element has always been missing.
What do you believe to be the issue here ? Not enough priorty placed on the WR position ? Bad draft choices on WRs ? Not enough draft picks used on WRs ?
How do you suggest we resolve the issue ? Draft high and heavy on WRs for the next year or two ?