Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
The 49ers signed former Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin to a two year contract in free agency, as they sought to give Kyle Shanahan a speedy downfield threat similar to Taylor Gabriel. Goodwin was drafted by the Bills in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. His big play potential that showed up on film was backed up by his sensational performances in workouts that included the then-third fastest 40 yard dash ever of 4.27 seconds, a 42 inch vertical jump, an 11 foot broad jump and a solid effort of 6.66 seconds in the 3 cone.
He nevertheless failed to make much of an impact in Buffalo, primarily due to injury. 2016 was a career year for Goodwin, setting career highs for receptions (29), receiving yards (431) and games played (15). He also scored 3 touchdowns, matching his effort as a rookie. The decision makers at the 49ers will absolutely hope that Goodwin can once again improve in 2017.
Age: 26 (27 on November 19)
Experience: 5 accrued seasons
Goodwin signed a two-year, $6 million deal that included a $2.5 million signing bonus. He has a cap hit this season of $3,200,000, and will count $4,450,000 against the cap in the unlikely event that he is cut.
Why he might improve
One of the best abilities a player can have is availability and if Goodwin can avoid injury one would expect Kyle Shanahan to be able to utilize Goodwin’s electric abilities effectively.
Pre-snap motion that gets him free of press coverage and gets him a head start on defenders would be one obvious way but also creative route combinations that create space for Goodwin to operate in. He has shown little consistency in beating defenders one-on-one when the playing field is level, and thus Shanahan will have to engineer Goodwin an advantage. With his athleticism, if defenders switch off or are slightly out of position even for a split second, Goodwin could be streaking towards pay dirt - as Darelle Revis found out.
Why he might regress
Defenders know that if they get hands on Goodwin he struggles and his route tree is fairly limited still. Given his size, his release against press coverage is unlikely to improve significantly, though players can be reluctant to press him because of his speed. His route running will have to improve though, but I find it hard to see how Goodwin regresses unless he gets injured. He has not been a particularly good NFL wide receiver and is something of a one trick pony. He now finds himself with a decent quarterback and an excellent scheme and should improve on his previous seasons’ efforts.
Odds of making the roster
As a fairly notable free agent signing and Shanahan’s speed guy, Goodwin is almost a lock to make the roster. Even so, despite his fairly sizeable dead cap hit, Goodwin is not totally safe, as Aldrick Robinson could be used as the burner and the 49ers could hold on to some of the younger receivers if Goodwin struggles as a route runner. In practice he will likely be facing a lot of press coverage, and if he struggles the coaching staff could well consider sending Goodwin to the NFL scrapheap. Notwithstanding, I have faith that he makes the roster and has his best year as a professional.