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49ers 90-in-90: What will Marquise Goodwin’s role be in 2019?

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today we move on to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The expectations for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin were higher than ever heading into the 2018 season. Goodwin was coming off a year where he posted a career-high in yards and receptions. Injuries at quarterback certainly hampered his impact last year, but Goodwin’s volume was down drastically as well. He went from 105 targets in 2017 to 43 in 2018. Goodwin averaged the same amount yards per reception and had more touchdowns in 2018 as well.

Goodwin is a home run threat and one of the fastest players in the NFL. I tried to get him to bite yesterday, but he didn’t fall for this:

An Olympic athlete against a football player who is fast but who is also 34-years old. If Goodwin likes money, he should take up Ted Ginn up on his offer.

Goodwin had built a rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo towards the end of 2017. Even last year, when Kyle Shanahan drew up play-action, Goodwin was the guy to take the top off the defense. That shouldn’t change in 2019, but I wonder if they will ask more out of Goodwin, who has shown he can be useful in the middle part of the field as well.

Basic info

Age: 28 (turns 29 on November 19)

Experience: 6 accrued seasons

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 180

Cap Status

Goodwin signed a 3-year, $19,250,000 contract in 2018. His cap hit for 2019 is $3,968,750 and a dead cap value of $1,875,000.

Why he might regress in 2019

The added weapons on offense put Goodwin’s role for this upcoming season in question. He can still be the teams’ deep threat, but the likelihood of Goodwin getting double-digit targets in a game in 2019 is slim. Early in 2018, there wasn’t much of a plan to get Goodwin involved in the offense. That was before adding two receivers in the draft and Jordan Matthews in free agency. Goodwin is more likely to be a guy that gets you four catches for 70 yards periodically throughout the season as opposed to being a consistent threat.

Why he might improve in 2019

Kyle Shanahan gives the ball to whoever has the best mismatch on the field. Teams are going to pay extra attention to George Kittle. They are going to have to be aware of the speed at running back. The two rookie receivers will likely be in the fold; then there’s Dante Pettis as the do-it-all wideout. Goodwin should be the beneficiary of plenty of 1-on-1 matchups down the field. If he’s able to take advantage of those, he’ll have a big year.

Goodwin can help the offense beyond the box score, too. If early on in the season he hits a couple of big plays, and now defenses have to hold him accountable, that opens up things underneath for the players mentioned above. Because of his ability to get vertical, Goodwin will be on the roster. I’d expect somewhere between 2017 and 2018 statistically for Goodwin, and that’s fine.