The San Francisco 49ers have won their last two games since head coach Kyle Shanahan named former New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo the team’s starter. As expected, the two wins have hurt the 49ers odds of getting the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the 49ers are fine with that because it looks like Garoppolo will be their franchise quarterback, so they don’t need to take one in the next draft.
5 ft 9 in (1.75cm, 81kg)
2013 Draft | Round: 3 | Pick: 78
Another player that has been getting rave reviews from the coaching staff is wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who was acquired during the offseason.
When the 49ers picked Goodwin up, they knew he was very fast, but they weren’t sure he could become the type of receiver they were hoping for.
In four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin had 49 receptions for 780 yards and six touchdowns. In Buffalo, he was used primarily as a deep threat, and if he wasn’t being used on a go route, he spent his time on the sidelines.
Despite his limited playing time in Buffalo, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch saw Goodwin as a player they could mold into an every down receiver.
While speaking to reporters, Shanahan said there wasn’t a lot of tape on Goodwin that would have let them know if he was a good route runner, but they felt he had the ability to do a lot of things the Bills didn’t ask him to.
As soon as the 49ers signed him in free agency, Shanahan said they immediately challenged him to prove he could do more than run go routes. The team had him running different routes and put him in different spots just to see how he would react to something that was unfamiliar to him.
Goodwin accepted the challenge and quickly became a star in training camp, and also had the top highlight of the preseason when he caught a 46 yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.
Despite his stellar training camp and preseason, Goodwin got off to a slow start during the regular season. Against the Carolina Panther, in their first possession of the season, Goodwin had a costly drop.
In their game against the Seattle Seahawks, the receiver failed to convert on a third down, dropping a pass that would have given the 49ers a chance to win the game.
Despite the miscues, Goodwin made steady progress as the season went on, and had a career high 116 receiving yards against the Indianapolis Colts in week 5.
In week 9, Pierre Garcon was placed on injury reserve, making Goodwin the team’s top receiver and caught an 83 yard touchdown pass against the New York Giants in their week 10 matchup. Since then, Goodwin has been producing at a level very few expected.
In their past two wins, which have come on the road, Goodwin averaged 102.5 yards per game. The receiver, who had 780 yards and six touchdowns in four years with Buffalo, has 783 yards this year, and has a legitimate chance to go over 1,000 receiving yards this season.
Goodwin’s chemistry with Garoppolo is already pretty good considering how many games they have played together, but by next year, the two could become the next great quarterback-receiver combo in the NFL.
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