No. 9: Wide Receivers Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis Look Very Good
Heading into 2018, Pro Football Focus ranked the Niners’ wide receiving corps No. 24 in the NFL.
A slight? Perhaps. Although it’s pretty fair, considering the 49ers don’t exactly boast that big-name receiver (a la the likes of an Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., etc.)
The Niners elected to change that this offseason, using a second-round pick on Washington’s Dante Pettis, who has been a major standout during camp. While his first two days were a bit sluggish, Pettis’ exceptional route-running abilities have been on display ever since San Francisco donned pads on day three.
Case in point (h/t Draft Network’s Brad Kelly):
Pettis’ route running could help negate the 49ers’ red-zone woes from a year ago, where they finished 27th in red-zone touchdown efficiency.
Meanwhile, sixth-year pro Marquise Goodwin has also showcased his route running, as well as his exceptional speed burst.
A week ago, Goodwin burned Richard Sherman during the latter’s first one-on-one drill in pads. But as 49ers.com’s Joe Fann pointed out, Goodwin is doing much more in camp than just acting the part of a deep threat:
Why is this important? While Kyle Shanahan loves speed on his offense, his system is predicated on getting players open, creating separation and generating yards after the catch. To do this effectively, receivers need to have exceptional separation skills (i.e. route running).
Goodwin wasn’t exactly known for this during his tenure with the Buffalo Bills. Yet it fully appears as if he’s developed into a dynamic receiving option, which should translate into big things for Shanahan’s offense this season.