The San Francisco 49ers have a problem that they haven't had in over a decade.

A strong wide receiving corps.

It's a good problem to have and something that we fans are just not sure how to react to. If you were alive in 1989, then you were alive the last time the 49ers had multiple Pro Bowl WRs on the same roster, Jerry Rice and John Taylor.

It's safe to say that it has been a while since the WR position has been a serious threat on the field. In 2018, the talented group will be led by 10-year veteran Pierre Garçon and five-year veteran Marquise Goodwin as the number two.
However, if training-camp has been any indication of his ability, Goodwin has been making a strong case to take over that top spot in 2018. Goodwin played exceptionally well towards the end of 2017, filling in for an injured Garçon as the no. 1 wideout. When quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo came into town they quickly made a connection with each other and it showed. Goodwin averaged a mere 52 yards per game before Garoppolo took over. After Garoppolo, his average jumped to 76 yards per game with two 100+ yard games.

Now in 2018, it seems that the Garoppolo-to-Goodwin connection is progressing further. Goodwin is making almost every route and catch look routine. At times he's making the 49ers starting defensive backs look foolish. Former All-Pro corner back and marquee free agent acquisition Richard Sherman had the pleasure of lining up against Goodwin on 1-on-1s and well...you can see below:


Now I won't go into the fact that Goodwin is an Olympic sprinter and Sherman was entering his very first rep since returning from an achilles tear or that one-on-ones are advantageous to the WR. I'll save that for another day. The moral of this story is that Goodwin can do this to anyone in the NFL with ease. Take for instance Arizona Cardinals All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson and newly signed Houston Texans defensive back Tyrann Mathieu attempting to cover Goodwin back in 2017.


Speed has always been Goodwin's claim-to-fame in the NFL, being known as the guy who will take the top off of a defense without much else in his bag of tricks. Things have changed since he joined the 49ers. Goodwin has transformed himself into an all around no.1 WR. A player who can make any catch from any route anywhere on the field.

Goodwin's route running ability has become one of the strongest aspects of his game. It is performed with such precision and at times, on an elite level.


During his five 2018 training-camp appearances so far, Goodwin has been far and away the best player on the field. While Garçon isn't too far behind, Goodwin is making moves that suggest he will be the go-to guy this season. That's not to say that Garçon is in decline. Rather it speaks more to Goodwin's accelerated progression.

49ers second-year corner back Ahkello Witherspoon was reported saying that Goodwin was the toughest wideout to cover on the team and quoted by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle:

"It's his speed and I feel like he's underestimated as a route runner, as well," Witherspoon said. "Very intricate routes, detailed routes, combining that with speed that threatens you, you have to respect it and it makes his game complete."

Although it's still early in the off-season program and the excitement is up for every play during training-camp, the hype is very much real. If Goodwin continues to make strides and stay on his upward trend, he will surpass Garçon on the depth chart and become the 49ers' true no.1 wide receiver...If he hasn't already.