Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN ranks 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin as the NFL’s second-fastest player

Jun 8, 2017 at 8:56 AM--

On March 9th, the San Francisco 49ers officially signed free agent wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to a two-year, $6 million contract. Prior to his signing, the speedy receiver spent his entire career with the Buffalo Bills, who drafted him out of Texas in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

In 2016, Goodwin had the best season of his career, appearing in 15 games, starting nine, and hauling in 29 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns for Buffalo. Prior to last season, Goodwin never caught more than 17 passes in a season.

The NFL offseason is full of rankings by online publications. ESPN is no different. On Thursday, the sports network decided to rank the league's fastest players and Goodwin came in at the number two spot, right behind Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill.

Here is what Matt Bowen of ESPN had to say about Goodwin in the ranking:

"The former Bills wideout, who was a two-time NCAA long jump champ, also has long speed outside of the numbers. I saw it back at the Senior Bowl workouts when Goodwin was coming out of Texas. He looked like a true 4.2 guy on the field down in Mobile, and that has translated to his NFL tape. Goodwin's straight-line speed makes him a consistent deep-ball threat on the fade and the post. In 2016, Goodwin put that speed on display when he blew past veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis for an 84-yard touchdown on a national stage. This is a straight go route. Remember, you don't need any window dressing when you have Goodwin's speed. Throw it deep and let him go get it."

That touchdown against Revis is the longest home game score in Bills history.

Goodwin's 4.27 time at the 2013 NFL Combine was the fourth-fastest in the history of the event. The receiver also posted a broad jump of 11 feet. He was a member of the 2012 United States track and field team and finished tenth in the long jump at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Last year, Goodwin returned to bid for a spot on the United States track and field team but did not make it past the trials with a seventh-place finish. A sore hamstring during the bid did not help matters for the new 49ers receiver.

"Beside not making the team and suffering a little bit of a nagging injury, I still feel like I accomplished a lot," Goodwin said of the attempt. "I've very rarely been beat in that event, especially in the U.S. It was humbling for me. It made me respect the level of competition and the amount of work those guys put in."

No one has ever doubted Goodwin's speed. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan brought him in to do more than just line up outside the numbers. During practices with the 49ers, he has lined up at numerous places, including the slot receiver spot. That is something that the Bills rarely asked of him.

"I'm always open and I'm fast. And I say that in the most humble tone (and) not to be arrogant," Goodwin said. "I'm just confident I'll be open and I'm fast ... People assumed I couldn't run routes. So when they actually see me run routes, they're like, 'Wow, this dude's fast and he can stop fast and he can run routes, and he can catch.' It sickens me that people would think I'm just this fast dude who can't run routes or can't catch."

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