Size used to be a staple of the WCO. Both Rice and Taylor were very big for WR's back in the day and their size allowed them to shield defenders, play through press coverage and certainly benefited them in blocking down field (for each other or the RB/TE's). Size helps...neither were fast by any means. Look at how poor Williams got blown up on the edges from the X or Z spots in the WR screen, rub routes or blocking on the edge for CK or Gore/Hunter. Baldwin, the very first thing I noticed was how willing he was in blocking down field and how effective he was...harder to get around (or even see) behind him. Obviously, you don't have to be huge these days with the NFL rules but it still helps a ton esp. if you can jump and high-point a ball. Look at all the better WR's and TE's now. B/c of the rules, they are setting records and having field days. Boldin is one of the slowest WR's in the NFL but has learned to use his big body and strength to excel. Obviously, the type of offense you play in is critical, proper coaching and development, technique, explosion off the LOS, etc. all play a big part. Steve Smith exploited us when the Panthers needed him most...made a career of being a small but fiesty, tough-nosed player. I think attitude plays a big part of it as well.
But for the type of offense we currently run, yes, the Crabtree's and Boldin's and Baldwin's will have success in our system. Since we don't throw deep bombs or post patterns or go's, having a speed guy (we just cut Moore/Ginn) won't do anything in reality. And with constant 2 TE-sets, that pretty much eliminates needing a shifty, quick, great-RAC slot WR as well.
Ideally, if we could find a big body that can use all his tools (apparently we tried to trade Baldwin before the deadline), loves to block the edge with attitude, can high point it AND has some top-end speed that defenses have to respect (like we did against Ginn/Panther WR's - playing way off), then we damn-well better pull the trigger! A dude like Jenkins will do nothing for this team...not even sure Patton will either unless you move him to the slot; Manningham as well (a play here and there on the outside but he should NOT be on the edges consistently helping to block in the run game)...slot, yes, ideal!
[ Edited by NCommand on Nov 13, 2013 at 7:58 AM ]