Wide receivers on the 49ers’ radar in the upcoming draft

The three best wide receivers in the upcoming draft may be out of the 49ers’ reach.

Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker are expected to get drafted within the first 12 picks. The 49ers pick 15th.

The Niners will be free to choose from a lower tier of wide receivers. Which receiver do you think the Niners should target, and why?

Dorial Green Beckham, Oklahoma: 6’5”, 237 lbs, 4.49.

Best case: Randy Moss.

Worst case: Josh Gordon.

Jaelen Strong, Arizona State: 6’2”, 217 lbs, 4.44.

Best case: Alshon Jeffery.

Worst case: Dwayne Bowe.

Breshad Perriman, UCF: 6’2”, 212 lbs.

Best case: Roddy White.*

Worst case: Quincy Morgan.

Rashad Greene, Florida State: 5’11”, 182 lbs, 4.53.

Best case: Antonio Brown.

Worst case: Antwaan Randle El.

Sammie Coates, Auburn: 6’1”, 212 lbs, 4.43.

Best case: Javon Walker.

Worst case: Cordarelle Patterson.

Devin Smith, Ohio State: 6’0”, 196 lbs, 4.42.

Best case: Torrey Smith.

Worst case: Ken-Yon Rambo.

Phillip Dorsett, Miami: 5’10”, 185 lbs, 4.33.

Best case: T.Y. Hilton.

Worst case: Travis Benjamin.

Nelson Agholor, USC: 6’0”, 198 lbs, 4.42.

Best case: Lee Evans.

Worst case: Anthony Gonzalez.

Tyler Lockett, Kansas St.: 5’10”, 182 lbs, 4.40.

Best case: John Brown.

Worst case: Jarius Wright.

*Comparison courtesy of Scooter_McG

This article has 112 Comments

  1. I hope we go beckham or trade up for one of the three… we need a playmaker more than winning with class. I understand the flags but bowman,smith and willis will be there

    1. Baalke is sticking with his pattern of low risk football–strong defense and a running game–don’t try anything risky like a passing game. I hear Dockett is a Bryant Young type with 401/2 sacks. Good luck. Now you’re in a 3-4 with J.R Sweezy diving at your knee while you’re engaged (Ian Williams). The 49ers of the Walsh Era would have broken a leg right back to stop Pete Carroll intimidation tactics…We’ll compete with the dregs of the NFL or Elite, keep the game within 2 pts. in the fourth quarter, but never a blowout, so the dregs will win many..coaches don’t matter!! Wide receivers don’t matter in first year here…Rd #4 Austin Hill,AZ

      1. Baalke is sticking with his pattern of low risk football–strong defense and a running game–don’t try anything risky like a passing game. I hear Dockett is a Bryant Young type with 401/2 sacks. Good luck. Now you’re in a 3-4 with J.R Sweezy diving at your knee while you’re engaged (Ian Williams). The 49ers of the Walsh Era would have broken a leg right back to stop Pete Carroll intimidation tactics…We’ll compete with the dregs of the NFL or Elite, keep the game within 2 pts. in the fourth quarter, but never a blowout, so the dregs will win many..coaches don’t matter!! Wide receivers don’t matter in first year here…Rd #4 Austin Hill,AZ

        1. Baalke’s vision of the perfect game:

          Fourth quarter, 49ers up by 2 points–hand the ball off to RB–3 and out–get the ball back–hand it off again (great block wide receiver–good game)–3 and out–play stiff defense–get ball back–hand the ball off–play stiff defense–hand ball of–3 and out–play stiff defense…………………………..
          1:59 left in game, time for our “Special Teams,” Oh no! Fumbled Punt Return–The Dregs win.

          1. Yep, agreed. Baalke’s vision on offense is no good for Kap’s skill. He like small 5’10-6’1 WR. We need tall WR’s to help Kap out and to go up against seattle’s tall corners.

      1. Yeah, but he’s never really been what you would consider a true #1 WR.

        I think Perriman’s best case would see him as a legit #1 WR.

        1. Austin was a true No.1 in 2009 and 2010. He averaged 15.7 yards per catch and scored 19 TDs, and then he got hurt in 2011.

          Who would you compare Perriman to?

            1. That works. White had a long, consistent career, but he never had a season as good as Austin did in ’09.

              1. You might want to go look back at White’s stats. In addition to being consistent over a long period, he’s also put up some years at least as good as Austin’s in 2009.

              2. Can’t quarrel with that. I see Perriman as a downfield threat like Austin, and I see White as a possession receiver.

              3. I see.

                For me I think Perriman’s best case scenario will see him become an all-round WR, like White. White has only recently become more of a primarily possession WR type as he’s gotten older and Julio Jones has taken over the deep threat role on the team.

                At UCF Perriman showed some decent ability working the middle of the field and the intermediate routes, not just as a vertical threat.

              4. The more I think about it the more I like the White comparison and wish I had thought of it. White is a bit smaller so he slipped my mind. But he fits.

              5. I have to admit it took me a while to think of White as a good comparison! I had Dez Bryant in mind before that, but he’s just not at that level, with that same intensity to his game.

        1. I’m looking forward to seeing what sort of numbers Perriman puts up at his pro day. He looks pretty darn fast to me for a guy his size, and very agile for his size too.

  2. I’m a fan of Strong. 9ers need a red zone threat. With his strong hands, body control, size and leaping ability-he fits the bill. He can stretch the field in a Larry Fitzgerald type of way. Plus, if you are right with your best/worst case scenarios, he has the highest floor.

  3. Grant,
    I’ll pick two guys…Strong and Devin Smith. Strong because he’s a big, strong (no pun intended) receiver who can run. I see him as a faster Crabtree who should be more explosive. Smith because he’s terrific at adjusting to the ball downfield and making the tough catch. He really impressed me vs ‘Bama and Oregon, two of the best teams in the country.

          1. Doesn’t matter really if they are or not. They’re still drops, and Coates has an alarming number of them.

            1. I listen to Auburn`s Coach Guz and he said that Coates played hurt all year and never complained or wanted to come out,so that had something to do with His dros this year,I would NOT be afraid to take Coates inthe 1st or 2nd rounds,He would most definitely put fear in oppossing defenses,and he also run other routes too big physical with an F wideout,he might be u Baalke `s tree.

              1. What I saw at the Combine didn’t impress me…Michael Irvin and Mike Mayock both commented that Coates didn’t look like a natural pass-catcher and I have to agree with them. Size and speed are great…but you have to use those to catch the ball and make plays. All of which is why I’d feel a lot better if Baalke drafts Parker, Strong and/or Devin Smith.

  4. I think we need to start to make moves and trade up to get kevin white. He’s big, fast, and a playmaker. He would make a difference on offense and teamed up with Boldin and vernon would be good for kap. Sometimes you gotta roll the dice and take a shot. We played the draft too conservative these past few years and hasn’t yielded big results. As long as we don’t give up our first rounder next year I’m all in. Give up a third this year and a second and fourth next year.

    1. This is a deep WR draft…so trading up to get White would be very expensive in terms of picks, something Baalke isn’t likely to do. If anything, I can see him trading down to get more picks. Sitting at #15, he should get some offers to do that and he’ll take the best offer and turn it into good players.

  5. I have to disagree with your comparison of Agholor. I would say his best case scenario would be Jordy Nelson.

    In a perfect world, Beckham would be a no-brainer. But the world isn’t perfect and Beckham has serious red flags, so I would pass on him. My two choices would be Agholor and Lockett. Agholor would give us at least a capable #2 WR and Lockett could be anywhere from a surprise #1 to at worst a #3.

  6. Let’s count how many times this blog can crash during the length of one hour. I’m up to four at the moment.

  7. Since drafting Terrell Owens in the 3rd round of 1996, the 9er’s have drafted 19 wide recievers. The best 3 out of that group have been Crabtree, Josh Morgan, and Delanie Walker (now a tight end). Not a real distinct group. In the last 19 years, and by that I mean 19 drafts, this organization cannot identify or develope a drafted wide out. What does this team need to do to break that streak. Because if they don’t, it won’t matter how good the defense is or the development of the qb. They can only get so far with no big weapon in the passing game on a semi-consistant basis.

    1. Tom Gamble got Jerry Rice’s bloodline to the Eagles last year in Jordan Matthews, and this year he’s in Baalke’s ear all day.

      1. Agree, great “re-addition” to the FO. Gamble’s earned the reputation as one of the best personnel guys in the league. Yeah, he and Baalke are talking plenty these days, you can bank on that.

  8. Dorial Beckham-Green seems more like in his prime Andre Johnson or maybe T.O. than a Randy Moss. Moss was much lighter and faster than Green.

  9. Grant

    Great work this week. If you watch film of DGB alongside film of Jaelen Strong, you realize that DGB is (BY FAR) the more dynamic, more fluid athlete.

    So what, exactly, has he done to cause concern? Smoked some pot and stalked an ex-girlfriend (maybe thrown her down a staircase)? Hmm…

    It’s a tougher call than it should be. If DGB is either Randy Moss or Josh Gordon, he’s a better talent than every other guy available. The fear of his future resembling his past makes you want to move up to the top-12 to get one of the big-name guys. But if DGB can be for our team what Moss was as a rookie with a chip on his shoulder, the 49ers will win the Super Bowl.

    1. Thanks, E.

      The worst case scenario for Green-Beckham is that he gets suspended and misses significant periods of time like Gordon. He’s a huge risk. Strong is safe.

      1. I love green beckham, but strong is a better pick, because he is a safer pick. I see a ton of young Anquan in Strong. May not have Beckham’s upside (few do) but will b a consistent playmaker for 10 years…guarantee Beckham runs afoul at least once over same period.

      2. I really get DGB’s talent, but there are plenty of GM’s around the league who’ll think twice before pulling the trigger on him. With guys like Parker and Strong available, it may be better to err on the side of caution, all the while getting an excellent WR.

    2. Agree. I think you did some very good work this week, Grant (including the BR stuff). Doesn’t mean I agree with everything you wrote, but most of it was logical and thought provoking.

  10. I don’t see Alshon Jeffrey type of plays when I watch Jaelen’s tape. Alshon plays more assertively and is more dominant after the catch. If Jaelen is available in the second round then I’m in favor of drafting him, but the Baalke should stay clear of using a first round draft pick on him.

          1. There’s nothing on the internet. My guess is either another team wants to see him or Arizona told him they would come up with a better offer. Just a guess. We’ll see.

              1. I have to question if it’s the right move though. Dockett is great against the pass, but he’s graded as one of the worst against the run.

        1. Such a way better offensive line, one capable of holding out the defense for Kap. at least 4 to 5 seconds on a consistent level or the fastest w. r. won’t help at all!

          1. I think we’ll see a resurgence of the OL in 2015. For one, AD’s healthy and he’ll help solidify the right side. For another, I’m optimistic Brandon Thomas will show the beast he was at Clemson and nail down LG. Iupati’s play fell off significantly the last 2 seasons, so some fresh blood there will be welcome. Baalke needs to acquire a legitimate swing OT…J Martin’s definitely not the answer (sorry, Harbaugh).

      1. Strong will never make it to 2nd. He is no worst than a top 25 pick i draft and has equal tape and better combine numbers than Jeffrey’s did coming out.

  11. Of the receivers who are supposed to be around at 15, I like Coates. Size, strength, speed, aggressiveness, YAC, downfield blocking, character. The knock on him is that he drops more passes than the others favored before 15. That’s undeniable, but obviously he holds on to most of them, and as a total package, he’s the kind of edge receiver we need. Of the top receivers he’s the only one from the SEC. Adam Henry’s watched him play close hand. Wish I knew what he thought about him. Some people think Coates will be available in later rounds, but I wouldn’t be so sure.

      1. I’m a glass is half full guy, what can I say? 20% drops = 80% catches. I’m looking at the total package for a team that needs the rest of it and figuring the coaches can help with the drops. Catching 80%, he’d unclog the box, open the middle of the field, and free up Vernon. Besides which he’s very good at running after the catch.

        1. George, its worth noting that he doesn’t catch the ball 80% of the time he is targeted. He only catches it 80% of the time when he gets his hands to it and its not broken up by the DB.

          I’ve seen a stat that he was the target on almost half of Nick Marshall’s incomplete passes at one point last season. I’ve not found any stats to say exactly how many catches Coates made compared to how many times he was targeted, but from what I’ve read it sounds like it would have been quite low.

  12. Dorial Green Beckham in a heartbeat. In 1998 there were at least 20 teams, plus the ones that didn’t trade up, that regretted not drafting Moss. Moss made the Pro Bowl in five of his first six seasons. Of the players drafted in the first round from 1998-2007, 46% were total busts including a long list of “safe” players.

    My point is this: DGB’s talent is too good to pass up and the 49ers desperately need someone who puts fear into opposing defensive coordinators. With the rookie contracts now, it’s really not that much of a gamble in terms of salary cap dollars. If the 49ers draft DGB and get 5-6 great years like Moss put up, then that is a win.

    Yes, there are the “red flags” about his character, just like Moss and Dez Bryant. If you read the ENTIRE actual police reports on DGB, which I have, it becomes clear that much of what is being “reported” in the media is a bunch of overblown hype. I was a journalist in high school and the number one lesson was: GRAB THEIR ATTENTION. People don’t like to read about boring stuff, so mundane things get “enhanced”.

    The FACTS are that he was arrested along with two teammates in 2012 for marijuana possession of less than 35 grams, which was later knocked down to trespassing as part of a plea agreement.

    The second time he was with two friends who were stopped because the Jeep (DGB was riding and it was not his vehicle) that they were in had an expired plate, and arrested when the police found a pound of marijuana in the trunk. Patrick Prouty, the first of the three in the car to be interviewed, immediately claimed possession of the marijuana. DGB was not charged and subsequently released.

    In 2013 DGB forced his way into an apartment after the occupants opened the door. He pushed his way past a girl who fell down FOUR STAIRS (not “several flights” as has been falsely reported by many), grabbed his girlfriend and left. The original charge was “attempted burglary” despite the fact that the police report says that nothing was stolen. The occupants declined to press charges. This isn’t a “Ray Rice situation”.

    DGB has admitted that he was wrong for his behavior at Missouri and takes full responsibility without excuses. We’re not talking about a crack dealer, rapist, car thief, or armed robber. I went to a private college where there were no sports scholarships, and the student body was supposedly made up of serious, academically driven individuals. Almost everyone I knew came from a stable home, two-parent family with an upper-middle class or above income, and trust me when I say that I saw FAR MORE than what DGB did almost every weekend. Former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson in an ESPN article from March 4, 2015 says that he thinks the majority of players are smoking pot, and he’s not alone.

    So here in the adult world we can acknowledge that most of the league is stoned at least some of the time. Almost half of the players drafted in the first round don’t make it. Baalke has wasted FAR TOO MANY draft picks recently, including almost the entire 2012 draft (1 for 7, a backup OL), especially at WR. The Seahawks aren’t going anywhere and are attracting top FA’s. It’s time for the 49ers brass to man-up and get the talent they need at WR. If they were really smart, they’d do whatever it took to bring Jerry Rice in to mentor DGB.

    1. bravo. thank you.
      DGB is a significant cut above everyone except White and Cooper on talent. He’s such a beast, and should be there at 15. If he’s not, that means Parker is there – a solid pick as well. We suck at WR, and DGB is the antidote. We may also be able to trade down a half-dozen picks and still get him.

      As for Coates, he’s a stiff athlete with bad hands. He is the WR version of Vernon Davis. Not a 1st and probably not a 2nd rounder for me. Would rather have Ty Montgomery later in the draft who can add to the return game.

    2. @BW….I’m with you!….I feel that there are a lot of others on here who feel the same. DGB has far and away the best football skills of all the WR’s in the draft, so just what IS the REAL issue ? If you’re looking for the best citizen, call the Chamber of Commerce; If you’re looking for a dominant WR who can get downfield and create havoc for DB’s, I’d say that DBG’s the first option. Hold #15 as long as possible in hopes that one or more of the ‘big 3’ fall to us, and if so, make your choice…perhaps get two upper-tier big, fast WR’s , preferably one in the 3rd to 5th round…..Nice post BW

  13. I am not as up to date on the team as most of you. Can someone tell me what the team is thinking as far as Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington are concerned? I completely understand the need for a downfield threat but isn’t that why they drafted Ellington?

    1. Swampie— Ellington is not really an edge deep threat. He is a quick slot receiver. It is my belief that Baalke used the deep draft last season to make sure he got a lot of players who would make the roster. Ellington fit that criteria. He is a quality receiver who will produce but he is not a number one receiver. He doesn’t really possess break away speed. A real good and safe pick for the fourth round. Only real gamble was Lynch and that seems to have also paid off.

  14. I highly doubt 3 wide receivers will be picked in the first 12 picks. Maybe 2, but not 3. Heck…I think it is risky to pick a WR at the 15 slot, but I don’t the 49ers have any choice.

    1. Agree…both White and Cooper will be long gone. Gotta figure 2 QB’s, 2-3 CB’s, Leonard Williams, 2-3 OL, etc. Baalke could really be sitting pretty at #15.

  15. Beckham or Strong, others not worthy of 15 consideration. Of course, that’s never stopped Baalke before, from picking someone 2 rounds too early.

    1. Here’s the money, as per Barrows:

      The Cardinals . . . reportedly offered a deal with a base value of $2.5 million and a maximum of $4 million . . . . According to Rosenhaus, Dockett’s contract in San Francisco has a value of $7.5 million over two years. He’s due to make $4 million in 2015, with half of that guaranteed.

        1. Didn’t know that, Razor. Thanks. Also, our deal was clearly better. We offered him a higher salary and guaranteed half of it. I guess no one else was there with a better deal, telling you what the market for him was. But we got ourselves some good depth at a key position. Also, given the coaching changes, it helps that we got a well known name to join us.

      1. Yep…in fact, I’d bet the news of Dockett joining the DL has a very positive impression on Justin. He also loves Tomsula, so I can’t see him bailing now that JT’s become head coach.

        1. Frank–I heard Kaep was super stoked at that signing till he realized it was Dockett not Lockett that they signed.

      1. It’s been hard for me to contain my enthusiasm all day…think about this: Dockett – Dorsey – Justin. Now, that’s an imposing DL. We’ll win a lot of trench battles this year.

      1. Well they were very lucky to win 11 games last year. I can assure you that he will be very motivated to play this season. Ya they didn’t have Palmer but he is garbage. Great signing. Our front 7 is going to wreck havoc…

        1. Don’t you know it…a front of Dockett – Dorsey – Justin. LB (L-R) Lynch – Willis – Bowman – Aldon. Hell yeah!

        2. “Ya they didn’t have Palmer but he is garbage.”

          He is? Huh. Last time I looked he was 13-2 in his last 15 starts with a better than 2:1 TD to Int ratio and a 96.1 passer rating.

          If that’s garbage, what is Kaepernick?

          1. “Ya they didn’t have Palmer but he is garbage.”

            He is? Huh. Last time I looked he was 13-2 in his last 15 starts with a better than 2:1 TD to Int ratio and a 96.1 passer rating.

            If that’s garbage, what is Kaepernick?

            A qb without talent like that on the outside. That’s what ck is.

      2. Didn’t really seem to matter who they lost, they just kept on keeping on. A testament to the coaching staff….

  16. It sounds like Wilhoite will be gone though. Too bad, he filled in admirably at ILB this past season and made some nice plays. They are only seeking a 6th or 7th rounder for him too. It seeems his value to the team is greater than what they will ever get from a 6th round pick. They should combine him with another player they don’t have future plans for to sign someone like Kenny Britt, Torrey Smith, Cecil Shorts etc.

    1. I can see the Bears making an offer for him…Fangio knows he has to stock his defense with as many good players as he can. I wondered about Wilhoite’s future when they re-signed Skov. Think they were also impressed with Moody’s speed and aggressiveness.

  17. Imo, comparing DGB to either Moss or Gordon only focuses on their reputations, not their talents and skills.

  18. The FO should go call Dd in FA. Sign docket, cox or culliver, some depth at OLB after brooks is cut. The go all O in the draft. Take 2-wr 1-Hb 1-OT 1-OG 1-TE 1-QB

    1. The ESPN article kinda backs up Michael above’s statement about making the opponent weaker at the same time as making themselves stronger. It sounds like Dockett might just be a bit extra motivated for those twice yearly games against AZ.

  19. I didn’t think it would happen with Dockett. Always hated that guy. I wonder how he and v Davis’ first convo is going to go. They always trash talk before the games.

    Now we pick up Waynes and this will be the best defense in the NFL. If they stay healthy and put of trouble they are going to the playoffs with this defense alone.
    I think Dockett is a slight upgrade over mcdonald
    And lynch will be a slight upgrade over Brooks.
    It’s going to be interesting to see the left side produce a better pash rush than the past. That could potentially be a double headed monster for qb’s

    JUST STAY HEALTHY!!

  20. Lance Brigg’s is now a free agent. Can’t hurt to have too many pro bowl linebackers, right?
    He might come cheap to be a part of a great defense.

    1. … and if he does …
      this time … Roger (The dumbbell) Goodell
      won’t have a reason to sanction the Niners

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