Bleacher Report went through each team and named one player that should be benched. It’s a difficult exercise for the San Francisco 49ers. They’re playing well in all three phases of the game. The defense is playing lights out, the offense isn’t far behind, and Special Teams has done a nice job of holding the fort down.
The author believes WR Marquise Goodwin should be benched. Here’s what he said:
The San Francisco 49ers have depth at wide receiver, but they need to allot more snaps to a high-potential playmaker at the position.
In each of their three games, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has targeted Marquise Goodwin no more than three times. The speedy wideout can stretch a defense for a few plays, but he’s been on the field for 63.43 percent of offensive snaps.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan should lighten Goodwin’s snap count to match his workload and elevate Dante Pettis, who hauled in the game-winning reception against the Steelers.
Pettis has played a mere 32.41 percent of offensive snaps. Following a solid rookie campaign, the 2018 second-rounder deserves more opportunities in the passing game than a spot-playmaker like Goodwin.
Perhaps Shanahan will make a few changes over the bye week and commits to featuring Pettis and rookie second-round wideout Deebo Samuel.
The writer neglects to mention Pettis has battled injuries, and that’s why his snap count is down. Samuel is one of the league leaders in reception rate, which is the number of receptions a player has divided by the number of routes they ran.
Shanahan mentioned how Samuel’s workload was too much after Week 1. You could tell Deebo’s head was spinning out there. I don’t mind how the snaps have been divided up through three weeks. I understand wanting to dial Goodwin’s snaps back, but his veteran presence and reliability make it easy to throw him out there. Another reason is his speed. When the 49ers are in 12/21/22 personnel, you cannot have an extra safety in the box, or else you are leaving yourself susceptible to a deep pass. Good luck running with Goodwin. Benching him seems strong, but I get why someone would want to see more of Pettis, especially if he’s healthy.
For the sake of the exercise, it also makes sense to choose Goodwin. Who else are you going to bench on the roster? If you were going to bench a starter on the 49ers roster, who would it be?