49ers draft outlook: Unknowns at wide receiver


49ers draft outlook: Unknowns at wide receiver

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco will provide daily content previewing the NFL Draft, including position breakdowns, news stories, mock drafts and more. Here, he analyzes draft prospects at wide receiver, and whether the 49ers should select one.

Coach Chip Kelly this week will pace his team through a three-day minicamp, which will conclude just hours before the Los Angeles Rams go on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

Those three days of practices will provide Kelly with an essential tool to evaluate the roster before filling the final 19 roster spots.

“It’s huge. You actually get a chance to get on the field and see them run around,” Kelly answered when CSNBayArea.com recently asked him about the importance of the three-day camp. “So you can make an assessment of everybody. It’s still a tough assessment because there are no pads on, but it’s better than what we’ve had so far.”

The one position where the evaluations of Kelly and his staff could be most pivotal is wide receiver.

The 49ers have made no effort to re-sign veteran Anquan Boldin, presumably because the team wants to give its collection of young receivers an opportunity to take over. If Kelly is less-than impressed, he could give the directive to general manager Trent Baalke to bring back Boldin.

Who’s here: Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, Jerome Simpson, DeAndrew White, Eric Rogers, Dres Anderson, DiAndre Campbell

Draft needs: Boldin was the best receiver in each of his three seasons with the 49ers. Smith is clearly the No. 1 receiver on the roster now, and the team hopes some of the younger players will make significant strides.

Patton caught 30 passes for 394 yards and a touchdown. Ellington added 13 catches for 153 yards. Smelter, a fourth-round pick last year, is on the field after sitting out his entire rookie season as he rehabbed a knee injury that ended his college career.

Simpson has compiled two 700-yard seasons in his career, which has been derailed by off-field issues and multiple suspensions. After sitting out the 2014 season, Simpson appeared in just six games last year and caught five passes for 54 yards and one touchdown.

The coaches will also get their first good look this week at Rogers, who signed with the 49ers in January after catching 87 passes for 1,448 yards and 10 touchdowns in 17 games with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.

The 49ers do not figure to use a first-round selection on a wide receiver. And with a draft pool that does not look to be as deep as recent years, it’s unlikely the 49ers will end up with a wideout who immediately steps in as a starter.

Good fits: Take the projected first round picks – Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi), Corey Coleman (Baylor), Josh Doctson (TCU) and Will Fuller (Notre Dame) – out of the picture. Now, let’s get down to business.

There are a lot of options for the 49ers to consider through the middle of the draft. The 49ers have shown interest in Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina), whose skills in the return game could make him a factor from Day 1. Leonte Carroo (Rutgers) has demonstrated the best hands in the draft class, according to Pro Football Focus.

Michael Thomas (Ohio State) is an option in the second or third rounds, not to be confused with Mike Thomas (Southern Mississippi), who is good at coming up with the ball in contested situations. The second Thomas should be available on Day 3.

The 49ers reportedly had official visits with Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia) and Kolby Listenbee (TCU). Darius Powe (Cal) had a strong showing, according to a source, when the 49ers worked out quarterback Jared Goff at Cal.

Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy


Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin revealed another tragedy struck his family this week.

Just five weeks after the death of his unborn child due to complications in pregnancy, Goodwin revealed his biological father passed away last week.

“I’m blessed,” Goodwin said after the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans. “I’ve been dealing with a lot. I’m blessed. I’m thankful for the opportunity. God has shown me so much in this season. I had a lot going on this year losing my baby and I just recently lost my biological father this week.

“It’s just been a lot, but I really didn’t let the outside negative energy affect how I play, how I approach this game or how I come to work each day. I just kind of stayed positive and kept my mind fresh, and I relied on God to bring me through all of the situations that I’ve been through.”

Goodwin has played a key role in the 49ers’ three-game winning streak. On Sunday, he caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards in the 49ers’ win over the Titans. In the past three games, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

Goodwin has already posted the best numbers of his five-year NFL career with 51 receptions for 897 yards.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 on Sunday:

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has brought something special to the 49ers. The team won just once in its first 11 games of the season. Since Garoppolo took over as the starter, the 49ers are 3-0, including two late-game comebacks.

His performance Sunday was his best, as the 49ers took down the Titans – a team battling for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

The 49ers were trailing by one point with 1:07 remaining and had the ball at their own 25-yard line. Garoppolo immediately completed passes to Trent Taylor, George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. And the next thing you know, the 49ers had moved 48 yards down the field for the game-winning field goal.

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 pass attempts for 381 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 106.8.

The 49ers are settling for way too many field goals, so all is not perfect. But considering where this team – where this offense – was before Garoppolo arrived on the scene, and it has been a remarkable transformation.

The 49ers rolled up 414 yards of total offense despite a sputtering run game. Garoppolo spread the ball around to nine different receivers – including himself. He made the ill-advised decision to hold onto a ball that came back at him after being deflected at the line of scrimmage. Garoppolo was quickly tackled for a 6-yard loss.

So, yes, he’s not perfect.

As if five field goals and a streak of 19 accurate kicks in a row was not enough, Robbie Gould had to make one more on the final snap of the game to prevent what would have been a heart-breaking defeat.

Gould was true, making a 45-yarder as time expired, to go along with kicks of 38, 48, 28, 50 and 48 yards. He made five field goals two weeks ago against his former team, the Chicago Bears, in a 15-14 victory at Soldier Field.

In the past three weeks, Gould has made 15 field goals – something no kicker has done in NFL history over a three-game stretch.

Gould has made 36 of his 38 field-goal attempts (.947 accuracy) and already is second all-time in club history for made field goals in a season. David Akers made 44 in 2011.

Every game during the 49ers’ three-game win streak there has been someone else who steps up in a big play. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, however, has been the constant.

Goodwin caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards, including an 11-yarder on the field drive that helped get the 49ers into range for Gould’s winning kick. In three games with Garoppolo as the starter, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

But he is not alone.

Tight end Garrett Celek had three catches for 63 yards. Rookie tight end George Kittle had a big 24-yard reception on the final drive and finished with 52 yards receiving. Undrafted rookie wideout Kendrick Bourne contributed four catches for 85 yards.

And on the defensive side, there was no play bigger than DeForest Buckner’s stop of DeMarco Murray on a third-and-2 play for no gain that forced the Titans to settle for Ryan Succop’s 50-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining and ensured the 49ers would have enough time for Garoppolo to work his magic.