A lot of people say that San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t want to pay a high-level running back. But maybe it’s not that position we should be talking about — perhaps it’s actually wide receivers that Shanahan isn’t interested in breaking the bank for. That in itself isn’t necessarily new information, either
In fact, former NFL receiver Andrew Hawkins, who was coached by Shanahan, made the point that teams with elite wide receivers typically don’t win the Super Bowl. He said that Shanahan has simple needs — a speed guy, a tough guy and a third-down guy, which I noted sound a lot like Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon and Trent Taylor.
At the NFL Combine, Shanahan had a lot to say about potentially acquiring a big-name receiver.
“There aren’t many (elite guys),” Shanahan said, via the official website. “If there’s a Julio (Jones) available and you have the opportunity to get him, you go get him. It’s worth it. Whatever the price is, whatever the draft pick is, go get him. There aren’t too many Julio’s on this planet. But you don’t have to have that to be successful.
“Where people make mistakes is when they say, ‘We need a big tall red zone target like Julio,’ and then you go pay everyone else in the world who I can promise you isn’t Julio. Now you can’t go get a tight end. You can’t go get a guard. Yeah, you’ve got that big guy, but it’s got to be the right guy. … You don’t go, ‘Hey we need a big guy.’ No, we need good receivers. They come in all shapes and sizes.”
The last sentence is what sticks out for me. Shanahan knows what he wants, and he knows it doesn’t need to be a physical freak or something along those lines. He also doesn’t want to break the bank for a receiver if it’s not the right guy. That’s why I tend to think Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins is not somebody that the 49ers will be targeting.
I’m still a believer in Garcon as the leading receiver, and I’d be fine with little to no change at the position this offseason, provided the 49ers are confident that Garcon can recover.