With the release of Torrey Smith and the hiring of a coach that knows a thing or two about wide receivers, we can expect more changes to come.
While Torrey had a decent career as a 49er, it was evident he would not become the answer to the team’s annual Wide Receiver #1 option and was outgunned by Jeremy Kerley who was resigned to a 3yr/10.5mil contract late last weekend who will likely continue to be the slot receiver in the new offense.
The Torrey Smith release has the potential to give back 4.6-7.8 million in cap space if designated as a post-June 1st cut.
Valuable space that can be used for top wide receiver target, Alshon Jeffery.
Alshon hasn’t proved that he can keep his numbers up without having Brandon Marshall adjacent to him. Last year’s production saw the top Bears wide receiver drop to 45 in total yards and an underwhelming two trips to the pay dirt in 12 games (missed 4 games due to suspension). His 2015 numbers, were similar through 9 games until getting injured. A pairing with Kyle Shanahan should see those numbers surge back up.
The only problem is to figure out if his positive tests for performance enhancing drugs was the reason he surged early in his career and if he can be counted on as a WR1.
While the front office may not view him this way, The Play of the Bay views Alshon Jeffery as a high risk, medium reward situation.
Former Shanahan Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon laughs his way out of Washington.
Pierre Garcon let his feelings out when he quoted a tweet that said Jay Gruden will be retained as coach and followed it with laughing emojis. He is certainly on his way out and may find comfort and money playing for a coach he does admire.
While Pierre Garcon wasn’t the WR1 in Washington, he sure played like it as he amassed 1,041 yards and 3 touchdowns and ranked 18th in total yards. He would be a solid WR2 in a system that he saw his best numbers back in 2013 with 1,346 yards.
Brandon Marshall wants to win now and get paid to do it
Simply put, Brandon Marshall will not be a 49er next year. He will be looking into joining a powerhouse team that has trophy-now aspirations.
Wide Receivers impress in the combine
While Corey Davis was excluded from the combine due to surgery, Mike Williams, Chris Godwin, and John Ross put up a show in workouts.
John Ross who had a late 1st round grade had broken Chris Johnson’s record of fastest 40 yard dash time with a 4.22 and it led to some cramping after. Scouts are not feeling like that is a red flag at all and we can see John Ross shooting into a top 15-20 ranking. Note that Chris Johnson was still a late rounder despite the record. Dri Archer came close and was not a 1st round draft pick either. But John Ross has the numbers to match and may challenge the spot of number one receiver on the board. The one concern is his small hands that had led to dropped passes this year despite being an end zone magnet.
Mike Williams continues to show strength and catch ability like he did against Alabama. While he still remains a top 3 prospect, he failed to be top ten in any drill for receivers and didn’t run the 40 yard dash.
Chris Godwin was the 2nd best wide receiver in the combine (arguably 1st) with 6th in 40 yard dash, 1st in bench press with an impressive 19 reps, and 2nd in short shuttle. He may sneak into the 1st round, but still may have held his stock at 2nd round. His performance in the pro bowl where he burned Adoree Jackson to the tune of 2 touchdowns has his stock on the rise and plenty of value in that 34th pick.
Zay Jones solidified himself as a “can’t miss and possibly can’t drop catches” prospect after a solid combine and a solid senior bowl. Large frame and large hands and not one dropped pass. He could be found in the 2nd round as well.