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"We can't draft wide receivers"

Originally posted by English:
Several new posters have stated in various threads that we, or Baalke, can't draft wide receivers. I hate to see such nonsense become accepted wisdom, so it is time to look at the facts. We have, interestingly, taken one receiver a year for the last six years.

In 2013 we took Quinton Patton in the 4th. Whilst it is too early to properly assess him as a player his attitude appears faultless. Not a high pick and appears promising.

In 2012 we took A J Jenkins in the first. The only bust on this list, he doesn't seem that engaged by the sport. Baalke cleverly finessed him into another 1st rounder, Jon Baldwin who may or may not become a starter. Jury is out here but Jenkins was a bust for us.

Ronald Johnson was taken in 2011 in the 6th. He didn't make it and is now out of football. A shame, but 6th round draft picks who make it onto the roster are a pleasant surprise unless your roster is embarrassingly thin.

Kyle Williams was taken by us in 2010 in the 6th. See the above comments. Despite earning the righteous ire of the zone, though, he is a 6th round pick who is still with us.

Michael Crabtree was taken by us in one of the most exciting first rounds I can remember, in 2009. After a difficult start and despite attracting a lot of zone hatred, he has become the player we thought he could be when we drafted him.

In 2008 we took Josh Morgan in the 6th. He went to Washington when they threw money at him and is, I believe, still starting.

So there you have it. Two 1sts, one 4th and three 6ths. Only one of them is out of football although I guess AJ could get cut next summer. But even allowing for him, bearing in mind the low draft currency expended this is actually a remarkable record. I doubt many other teams could match it.

AJ Jenkins was a bust . Get over it. 1st round picks bust. Receivers seem to bust quite regularly. That is what the draft is. A lottery. But it is factually incorrect to say that we can't draft receivers.

"Remarkable" by your standards, not by mine. "You" doubt many other teams can match it? What are you basing that on? Let's take a look at our division to give us some perspective.

Zona - Fitz (Drafted), Floyd (Drafted), Roberts (Drafted) ----- Boldin (Drafted)
Rams - Tavon (Drafted), Givens (Drafted), Pettis (Drafted)
Seahawks - Tate (Drafted), Baldwin (Undrafted FA), Rice (FA), Kearse (Undrafted FA)

The truth is that a lot of WR's do bust out, but a lot of them pan out as well. It's pretty much 50/50.

What I want to know is where is our Doug Baldwin, or Jermaine Kearse. And why have we passed on guys like Alshon Jeffery and T.Y. Hilton? I understand that the Crabtree injury was a major hiccup, but our "next men up" have been quite lacklustre. The evaluation process needs to get better. Assuming that Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore can step in and produce is unrealistic. My solution...BRING IN GORDON!!!
  • Antix
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I would say we struggle to coach WRs. I feel by now at least one of the receivers should have shown something. Baldwin looks like he can be decent maybe but we are getting nothing from everybody else. Why has seemingly no improvement been made? No other position group on our team struggles like our receivers. We just plug players in on D, but we cant coach up ONE WR. I don't know if it's because they don't give them chances or what, but our passing game from the coaching standpoint is pretty bad.
  • 5FDP
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  • Posts: 21
It's rare to get a WR out of the draft who will make an immediate impact. Even the great Jerry Rice struggled in his first season. I agree with Antix that a lot of it comes down to coaching and development. Many teams seem to be taking the 'safer' option these days by trading for established receivers rather than investing time in development. We were lucky getting Boldin this year for a 6th rd pick. Part of this could also be due to once a rookie reaches their full potential, they're hitting the open market for more $$$'s. Teams want productivity now cause that's what the fans demand.
If Jordy Nelson ever became available in FA, I would hope we would grab him. Give the white receiver some love. We shoudve kept Collie, I think he would actually draw some attention away from Boldin, which would be a welcome thing.
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
if you look at all the top WRs in the league..they are early First round picks.and a very few later first rounders.

Actually, the exact opposite is true. In fact, as a position, WR has a higher first round bust percentage than any other position.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Actually, the exact opposite is true. In fact, as a position, WR has a higher first round bust percentage than any other position.

I agree.

I remember reading somewhere that it usually takes a WR at least 2-3 years to fully develop.

With that said, there are a lot of factors that can come into play that can hamper that.

Just to touch on Jenkins, the reason he busted was because he lacked determination and drive; I mean we all know the facts (ie. not taking up Jerry on his offer and coming into camp out of shape).

I just wish we could have seen what he could do, had he come into camp hungry and eager to learn.

I think the current regime has done a decent of job of drafting and bringing in WR's to bolster the WR core the past few seasons. It is hard to plan for so many injuries and players coming into camp lazy.

As a whole, and taking in to account our drafting of WRs over the last 10-15 seasons, I have to say we are average at best. The thought of trading up for J.J. Stokes back in 95 still gives me nightmares.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
if you look at all the top WRs in the league..they are early First round picks.and a very few later first rounders.

Actually, the exact opposite is true. In fact, as a position, WR has a higher first round bust percentage than any other position.
Thats sort of what im getting at...no one is great at drafting WRs

Great coaching can help with the picks you have though
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
Thats sort of what im getting at...no one is great at drafting WRs

Great coaching can help with the picks you have though

I agree and I don't really know what to think of the 49ers WR coaching. Morton's track record is less than glowing, he seems to be very buddy-buddy with Harbaugh but ultimately, the biggest improvement I saw in the WR's, especially with Crabtree, was after Moss and Manningham came on board and Crabtree started picking up traits from both of those guys. I don't think the drafting is an issue but I'm not so sure about the coaching.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by 49AllTheTime:
if you look at all the top WRs in the league..they are early First round picks.and a very few later first rounders.

Actually, the exact opposite is true. In fact, as a position, WR has a higher first round bust percentage than any other position.

Is that true? I always thought defensive line had the highest bust percentage. I have no idea what the truth is regarding what is the highest 1st round bust position.
good post brother
  • 5FDP
  • Veteran
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Originally posted by DefSikNiner:
The thought of trading up for J.J. Stokes back in 95 still gives me nightmares.

I actually didn't mind J.J. Stokes. He only had the one catch through to week 5 of the '95 season but ended up with 38 for the year. Aside from Boldin, I can't see any of our current starting WR's achieving that.
Originally posted by English:
Several new posters have stated in various threads that we, or Baalke, can't draft wide receivers. I hate to see such nonsense become accepted wisdom, so it is time to look at the facts. We have, interestingly, taken one receiver a year for the last six years.

In 2013 we took Quinton Patton in the 4th. Whilst it is too early to properly assess him as a player his attitude appears faultless. Not a high pick and appears promising.

In 2012 we took A J Jenkins in the first. The only bust on this list, he doesn't seem that engaged by the sport. Baalke cleverly finessed him into another 1st rounder, Jon Baldwin who may or may not become a starter. Jury is out here but Jenkins was a bust for us.

Ronald Johnson was taken in 2011 in the 6th. He didn't make it and is now out of football. A shame, but 6th round draft picks who make it onto the roster are a pleasant surprise unless your roster is embarrassingly thin.

Kyle Williams was taken by us in 2010 in the 6th. See the above comments. Despite earning the righteous ire of the zone, though, he is a 6th round pick who is still with us.

Michael Crabtree was taken by us in one of the most exciting first rounds I can remember, in 2009. After a difficult start and despite attracting a lot of zone hatred, he has become the player we thought he could be when we drafted him.

In 2008 we took Josh Morgan in the 6th. He went to Washington when they threw money at him and is, I believe, still starting.

So there you have it. Two 1sts, one 4th and three 6ths. Only one of them is out of football although I guess AJ could get cut next summer. But even allowing for him, bearing in mind the low draft currency expended this is actually a remarkable record. I doubt many other teams could match it.

AJ Jenkins was a bust . Get over it. 1st round picks bust. Receivers seem to bust quite regularly. That is what the draft is. A lottery. But it is factually incorrect to say that we can't draft receivers.

WRONG...

In the last few years during Baalkes reign, it has been unanimously agreed that San Fran had been lacking at receivers for a decade now. So in these last three most recent years, for arguments sake, every announcer/fan had Niners drafting WR at some point in the draft, the higher the better because thats where the talent was. So in these last three years (having crabtree is not enough to say we didn't need a WR, because we did)… what did we do???

WRs that were linked to Niners just by sheer team need and general consensus of player worth--- AND YET WE PASSED ON---- u know we move up and down in the draft we could have gotten any receiver we wanted. We just didnt seem to want any of these guys. What does that tell you? We DONT KNOW HOW TO DRAFT WRs!!!

2011
2---- Torrey Smith, Greg Little, Randall Cobb
3---- Vincent Brown
5---- Denarious Moore!!!!
5---- Jeremy Kerley

2012
2----- Stephen Hill, Alshon Jeffrey, Ryan Broyles, Reuben Randle
3----- Mohammed Sanu, TY Hilton (WHICH WAS OUR F-IN PICK!!!!!!!!!!)
4----- Chris Givens

2013
2----- Justin Hunter (WHICH WAS OUR PICK!!!! AGAIN!!!!), Robert Woods
3----- Terrance Williams, Keenan Allen
5----- Kenny Stills

I'm sure that there's reasons we passed on all of those. but considering our needs, instead of drafting back all the time, you need to take a few stabs when the stable of horses is paltry, at best
Originally posted by Antix:
I would say we struggle to coach WRs. I feel by now at least one of the receivers should have shown something. Baldwin looks like he can be decent maybe but we are getting nothing from everybody else. Why has seemingly no improvement been made? No other position group on our team struggles like our receivers. We just plug players in on D, but we cant coach up ONE WR. I don't know if it's because they don't give them chances or what, but our passing game from the coaching standpoint is pretty bad.


This. Perhaps they emphasize more on run blocking, which is important especially in our system, rather than polishing route trees and getting open. I feel through the past couple of years we've had great blocking receivers but getting separation and catching the ball has been below average. Even Crabs had issues getting open until last year when he probably picked up a lot from Moss & MM?
Remarkable? So now WR's simply "still being in the league" is a measuring stick for "remarkable"?

Crabtree was a given. He fell right in our laps and everyone, and i do mean everyone and anyone would have ran to the podium with that pick for the 49ers.

We have had a HUGE need at WR since we lost Owens. Yet the best we can come up with outside of the Gimme that was Michael Crabtree is Josh Morgan, Kyle Williams, and an unknown commodity in Patton?

Have you even gone back and seen the WR's we passed on in favor of some of the guys we drafted? And yes Jenkins was a huge disaster that cannot simply be ignored. its not a "get over it" type of pick. They drafted an undersized project in the first round instead of targeting a more proven commodity. Jenkins simply had nothing going for him to place his draft stock in the first round. I dont care what the rumors were about the rams taking him. You cant say "get over it" about the Jenkins pick and then at the same time argue that we have a "remarkable" record of drafting WR's.

Fact of the matter is WR has been a HUGE need for a decade, and be it through the draft or FA we have failed miserably for the most part at addressing the position.
What they need to do is get the passing game coordinator off his AERSE. Whether its Harbaugh or Roman they need to do a better job of coaching the passing game.