Greetings fellow bandwagoners, and welcome to the chaos of free agency!
There is a lot of talk about how we should move up and grab a WR in the first or even grab a free agent WR to complement our WR corps. We need a burner! We need someone who can catch! Rabble rabble rabble!
I am going to list a few of the reasons why it would be a good idea to draft high/sign a FA WR.
- One thing missing in our WR corps is someone who can stretch the field.
- Crabtree may not be with us after next year. (Don't crucify me 10forTech, I'm just listing possibilities.)
- We have no good WR's other than Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.
- Assorted other stuff.
- Patton was targeted a mere four times in the regular season. This is due to injury, him being the 3rd WR in an offense that plays mostly 2 WR, and the rookieophobia that Harbaugh and Roman suffer from. Out of those four targets, he caught three of them and dropped one for a total of 34 yards. This equaled out to 11.3 ypc or 8.5 ypt. Small sample size, but his playoff numbers were even better.
- The rest of the WR's catches were abysmal. 87/169 for 884 yards and 5 INT's with 0 TD's. That averaged out to 5.2 ypa.
Let's take just 1/3rd of that total: 29/56 for 295 yards and 2 INT's. Now, let's substitute Patton's production into those attempts. 42/56 for 475 yards. I'm going to leave INT's and TD's out of the picture right now because of a small sample size. That would be 13 more receptions and 180 yards more. That would bring Kaepernick up two percentage points in completions and almost half a yard in ypa, bringing them to 61.5% and 8.12 respectively.
There are two other issues that need to be discussed. One: Colin Kaepernick will not usually throw to someone who he is not comfortable with. This will probably get better this next year, but will still show up. This will affect any potential rookie as well as FA. Two: Rookie WR's tend to not do that great in their first year. Though there are exceptions, that is generally the rule.
Patton will have overcome these hurdles. He is currently working with Kap to develop chemistry. He listens and learns. He gives 100% each play. In short, he is ready.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't grab another WR to compete. In fact, I would welcome it. Competition brings out the best in Patton and in the 49ers in general. Also, grabbing a speedster who can catch would help us.
But not with the first round. Our weakness right now is CB. We must address this first and foremost.
Patton has shown he deserves more than 4 targets. He may not be the fastest guy out there, but he is quick, has great hands, and will do whatever is necessary. Grab WR depth if you must, but don't forget Quinton Patton.
Because I promise you this: after this next season, no one will forget him. Prepare for his break-out year.