World Bowl XV - Marcus Maxwell


So those frequently infrequent posts about NFL Europe became frequently non-existent.  It's hard to get excited about a league full of more or less second rate players in the spring.  Of course I'm the same person who thought he could get excited about the XFL.  Spring football that doesn't involve the best of the best simply does not seem to work.

Anyways, Saturday is World Bowl XV between the Frankfurt Galaxy and Hamburg Sea Devils on the NFL Network at 10pm pacific.  Why might it be worth watching?  Well the 49ers will have at least one and maybe two players taking part in the game: Marcus Maxwell, a WR for Hamburg currently leads all receivers in touchdowns with 7 on 32 catches for 499 yards over 10 games.  I was under the impression that defensive end John Syptak (Frankfurt) was a 49ers allocation, but sportsline.com lists him as having been allocated by Kansas City.  I suppose we can cheer him on anyways.

For the purposes of this post, let's concentrate on Marcus Maxwell since he seems to be making a bigger impact.  The 49ers drafted Maxwell out of Oregon in the 7th round of the 2005 draft.  After releasing him September 2 of 2006, they resigned him to the practice squad 24 days later where he remained the rest of the season.

In looking at his draft profile, he looks like a guy who spent 2005 and 2006 just learning how to be a receiver:

Negatives: Needs to do a better job of reading defenses, as he tends to get stationary when his quarterback is scrambling out of the pocket and the play breaks down ... Still learning the proper way to extend his arms and hands to secure the ball and will still revert to trapping it ... Shows the ability to stick his cuts, but will still round some, especially when going over the middle ... Prefers to stay away from contact in tight quarters ... Lacks consistency with his hands, as he'll dazzle you with a big play, then drop those easily catchable balls ... Tends to get very sloppy in his route-running and does a lot of dancing before trying to elude the defender ... Ineffective coming back for the pass on curl routes and must do a better job of keeping his feet inbounds working the sidelines.

On the plus side, he's got the natural size (6'3, 207lbs) to make an impact if the talent ever arrived.  He caught a grand total of 36 passes for 401 yards.  Clearly he was drafted as a project and with all the receivers added this offseason, I don't expect to see him beyond the practice squad and maybe a little bit of special teams.  His NFL Europe performance has certainly been a step in the right direction, but it'll take a little more than that to make an impression this fall.  Of course crazier things have happened, so maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.

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