In just one year, the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver corps has gone from laughably bad to very underrated. Much of this can be attributed to the scheming acumen of head coach Kyle Shanahan, but also it goes to the depth and work of their players, most notably Marquise Goodwin. We’ve already talked about how his Pro Football Focus grade skyrocketed in 2017, but now PFF has another thing to look at: How Goodwin is money on 3rd and 4th down.
PFF looked at the top wide receivers on 3rd and 4th down, with Goodwin coming in at ninth. His wide receiver rating was 117.2, echoing that huge jump his overall rating had. Here’s what they had to say:
A favorite of Jimmy Garoppolo, Goodwin is a reliable threat on all downs, but it was what he did on third/fourth down in 2017 that should have San Francisco fans excited. In six games with Garoppolo at the helm, Goodwin was targeted 13 times on third/fourth down. In 10 games with other quarterbacks, he was targeted just nine times on money downs. Keep in mind, Goodwin’s 2016 passer rating when targeted on third/fourth down was just 46.7 – 71st of 76 wide receivers. Despite just one touchdown to show for his work in 2017, Goodwin should be a happy receiver in 2018 as Garoppolo’s most-reliable target.
Things may go down in 2018 with the return of Pierre Garçon. The 49ers also have Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne frothing at the mouth for targets, but Goodwin had himself a very good season and is now being depended on to keep the offense on the field in the later downs.
One thing is certain: the 3rd and 4th down pass plays are going to be something to watch with all the talent on the field. At least we know Garoppolo can throw it to Goodwin and get the job done.