Pros for the 49ers trading for Antonio Brown
Well, production. It’s undeniable:
Brown hasn’t had a down year since 2012. And while one is coming, eventually, the better prognosis is that Brown would continue to produce at a very high level.
Especially when paired with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s innovative offense.
Last year, no San Francisco wide receiver posted more than 500 yards. Second-year pro Kendrick Bourne had the most receiving yards of this group (487), so it isn’t as if a top-quality wideout is off the list of Niners needs this offseason.
Brown is the kind of receiving target opposing defenses have to scheme against, thereby opening things up for other pass catchers while still impacting the stat sheet on a regular basis. Plus, Brown’s presence would massively open up more chances for the 49ers’ No. 1 receiving threat, tight end George Kittle, who’ll be a focal point for opponents’ defenses in 2019.
OK, so why don’t the Niners just use that second-round pick on a top wide receiver, perhaps someone like Georgia’s Riley Ridley?
That’s a fine proposition, sure. But as the most basic of pundits can point out, NFL Draft prospects are always unproven until, well… they are proven. Brown has already proven his offensive worth, and then some. Even if he endures something of a down year in a San Francisco uniform, his presence on the field would be enough to command defenses’ respect.