NFL Free Agents 2011: Malcom Floyd vs. Braylon Edwards vs. Other

The latest news has the San Francisco 49ers in the running with Baltimore, Carolina, Arizona, and San Diego for the services of wide receiver Malcom Floyd. The 49ers wide receiver position has a lot of talent mixed in, but there are also plenty of question marks. The most notable question is Michael Crabtree, who is sidelined with a foot injury. Although he will reportedly sit out four to six weeks, foot injuries are tricky, so it remains to be seen whether complications could lengthen that timetable.

After Crabtree, the 49ers have receivers with plenty of upside, but it remains relatively unproven. Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn are currently working as the starters, although Morgan has been inconsistent throughout his career while Ted Ginn struggles to hang onto catches. Ginn retains value in the return game, but his receiving skills have never quite matched the upside expectations coming out of Ohio State.

After those two, you've got second year receiver Kyle Williams, rookie Ronald Johnson, second year UDFA Kevin Jurovich, and several other rookie UDFAs. I know people have high hopes for Williams and/or Johnson, but until they prove it on the field, question marks will abound.

Which brings us to the news that the 49ers are pursuing Malcom Floyd. As it currently stands, Scouts Inc's top three rated free agent receivers are Braylon Edwards, Steve Smith (NYG) and Malcom Floyd. They give Edwards an 83, Smith an 80, and Floyd a 77.

At this point, the 49ers have only been connected to Floyd in the media. Edwards has more upside than Floyd and has flashed that considerable potential during his seven year career. Although his overall numbers have been up and down, when healthy he's put up some impressive yards per catch numbers. This past year with the Jets he set a career high for YPC with 17.1. That's .8 yards higher than Vernon Davis, who led the 49ers last year.

It's worth noting that Floyd also has turned into a YPC machine. He averaged a career high 19.4 yards per catch, albeit on 37 receptions. He's never had a big breakout season, but at this point, are the 49ers just looking for someone to fit in the middle of the pack with their receivers?

And then there's Steve Smith who has really not been mentioned all too frequently here. He had a huge year in 2009 with 107 receptions, but followed that up with 48 receptions in 2010, leaving folks to wonder where his value really lies. He hasn't been connected at all to the 49ers and all I've seen are a couple random tweets about maybe the Arizona Cardinals having any interest.

What are your thoughts on the wide receivers and how much the 49ers should invest in a free agent receiver?

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