The San Francisco 49ers are "very interested" in pending free agent wide receiver Torrey Smith, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN. Smith would fill the deep threat role, which is a big need for the 49ers, according to Caplan.
This is certainly an interesting report, given Smith's projected value on the open market. I think most of us expect the 49ers will use a top draft pick on a rookie wide receiver, and with Anquan Boldin and said rookie potentially taking both starting spots, there's not a lot of room for a guy like Smith.
Smith, when used at his best, gets plenty of opportunities to streak downfield for a quarterback with a big arm to try and hit him. He's not the kind of player, nor will he be paid like the kind of player, who is only on the field part of the time. Of course, the 49ers may be reluctant to start a rookie wide receiver but I think most here were expecting it given what we've seen from rookie receivers in recent years.
A second-round pick by the Ravens in 2011, Smith's best year was 2013, when he caught 65 passes for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns. This past season, he caught 49 passes for 767 yards -- a decrease in production -- but found himself with a career high of 11 touchdowns. That would certainly be a good fit with the 49ers. He also worked with Boldin with the Ravens in 2012, the year the Ravens beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
However you look at it, Smith fits the 49ers but unlike the recent Jerome Simpson signing, it would likely have a significant impact on San Francisco's draft plans. It would certainly confirm Michael Crabtree's departure from the team, though that's not shocking.