Identifying the routes Pierre Garcon’s replacement must run for the 49ers

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garcon, right, gets set for a play in front of Minnesota Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Check out my video breakdown of the 49ers’ flanker position.

Note: After pressing play, click on the arrows at the bottom-right corner of the video to make it full screen.

This article has 47 Comments

  1. Primo goods, Grant! Arthur Brown Jr. seems to fit the criteria, although I’ve noticed Shanny likes his receivers under 7 in the Three-Cone. I wonder if that pertains to the flanker too, because I think Ridley would be excellent at z….

    1. Thanks for the Garcon video breakdowns Grant.

      There are a number of good looking Flanker prospects in this class. I do think Dante Pettis can be effective lining up at the X,Y or Z, but I’ve got a solid list of potential Flanker prospects in mind. Who’s on your list of prospects to replace Garcon as a true Flanker, Grant?

      Miles Boykin is a guy who seems to be flying under the radar right now, and a natural fit at the Flanker position in Kyle’s offense.

      1. The 2018 Citrus Bowl MVP – Notre Dame’s Miles Boykin, seems to be an ascending talent! He’s a big kid and an absolute freak athletically! He simply blew up the 2019 NFL Combine!

        Miles Boykin Jr – 2019 NFL combine results:

        First off, Boykin measured in at 6’4″ 220 lbs, with 33 1/2″ arms and 9 7/8″ hands. He then proceeded to drop jaws with his electrifying combine performance:

        He ran a 4.42 40 yard dash. And then he absolutely jumped through the fricken roof at Lucas Oil Stadium, with a vertical jump of 43.5″, which was the best vertical of all WR’s and 2nd best among all groups (the only player to jump higher was the Safety out of Virginia -Juan Thornhill, who bested Boykin by only a 1/2″) Boykin followed that up with a broad jump of 140″, which led all WR’s. He recorded the fastest 3-cone drill with a scorching time of 6.77 seconds, and the 3rd fastest time in the short shuttle @ 7.04 seconds. Wowza!

        When it comes to football:

        As a Junior, Miles Boykin played in 12 games and started one contest as a junior, while leading the Fighting Irish receiving corp with a 21.1 yards per catch average. He recorded first career 100-yard receiving game in the 21-17 come-from-behind victory over No. 17 LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl. He caught three passes for 102 yards,and 2 TD’s, including a 55-yard TD with 1:28 remaining to help Notre Dame secure its first victory in a New Year’s Day bowl since the 1994. He snared 11 receptions for 144 yards and a score against Stanford, and recorded 8 receptions for 117 yards, and a pair of TD catches at No. 24 Virginia Tech.

        As a Senior, Miles led the Fighting Irish as a Senior, with 803 receiving yards on 54 catches, and eight TDs. He had at least one TD catch in six straight games as a Senior (STAN, VT, PITT, NAVY, NW, FSU), the longest such streak by an Irish WR since Will Fuller in 2014. Boykin also eclipsed 100 receiving yards in three games and had two games with multiple TD catches.

        Miles Boykin needs to learn how to counter press jabs with his hands, but this should be less of an issue at Flanker, which is why I really like his fit for the 49ers. Among Miles strengths are:

        – Rare size and length
        – Loose hips with long, strides to get on top of cornerbacks quickly
        – Extremely athletic with outstanding body control to pivot and twist for back shoulder catches
        – Adequate sink to drop, anchor and present
        – Meets throws with good arm extension away from his body
        – Size causes cornerbacks to panic and interfere downfield
        – High-point will be highest on the field
        – Tape full of leaping grabs
        – Traits to become more efficient as intermediate route-runner
        – Could become very good blocker with more play strength

        I project Miles Boykin as a mid 3rd – mid 4th round pick. I really like him in this range and I have him in my latest mock draft for the San Francisco Forty Niners!

  2. So, he has to react to a tipped ball, and catch a dying duck? Ooookaay.
    N’Keal Harry might be available in the second round, and he has the size and strength you may be looking for.
    However, Keelan Doss did extend and laid out to catch a ball over the middle in the Senior Bowl, so he has some talents you like. ;p

  3. I see you are now agreeing with me that Pettis won’t be the guy they use to replace Garcon, because he isn’t great going over the middle. Pettis will take over Goodwin’s role.

    The guys that best fit this role in the draft are Samuel, AJ Brown and Ridley. They will take one of them in round 2 I expect. I am sure some people will say Harry as well, but he’s a hard no for me. Bad route runner, gets no separation. Just can’t see Shanahan taking him. Harmon is an option and is a much better route runner than Harry, but he lacks the athleticism Shanahan looks for. Though to be fair so does Ridley and I included him as a fit.

    The only other early round guy I think they might look at is Butler. But I think he would be more suited to Goodwin’s spot as the downfield threat.

    There are also some later round options I think fit, but I expect the 49ers to take a WR early.

    1. I do agree with you. Pettis isn’t burner, but he isn’t a flanker, either. The 49ers can use Goodwin instead of Pettis on first down for the play-action passes.

      1. I think Pettis will get used in that spot on 1st down in 2 WR sets more than Goodwin. I think Goodwin will be used there in 3 WR sets, with Pettis or Garcon’s replacement in the slot. Except on 3rd down when Taylor will likely play slot.

        1. I’m sure the 49ers will use Goodwin in 21 personnel some of the time as well — probably when they need someone to clear out coverage on a play-action pass.

    2. Butler’s hands aren’t good enough. Too many drops, and he’s not a good route runner. I’d be surprised if Shanny chose Butler from this deep class.

      1. Butler’s hands are fine but his concentration is poor. That can be worked on. He actually tracks the ball really well. And for his size he is actually a very good route runner – a lot better than most super sized WRs. I wasn’t high on him initially but have reviewed him in more depth and came away thinking he is one of the WRs in this class that could really develop into a true #1 WR and big play threat. But I don’t think he is a Garcon replacement. He’s more like Julio Jones than Mohamed Sanu.

        1. Exactly, he’s not a z receiver to me. If his concentration is poor now, imagine how it’ll be after he takes some hits inside. I think Brown and Ridley are the two alphas with the skill set required to play that position. Brown will require an earlier pick, while Ridley you can get in that 2-3 round area. Neither’s 3-Cone is under 7 though, which I’m unsure if Shanny applies that criteria for the flanker position. However, Garcon was 6.9 so I’m leaning towards the belief that he does. That would restrict this group considerably, especially when factoring in Grant’s 10 commandments of the position….

          1. Brown just had a 6.89s 3-cone. He’s the pick if he lasts to #36. Actually, wouldn’t be shocked if the 49ers try and trade up for him.

  4. Off topic but thought was interesting. Anyone hear Mike Florio talking about JG injuries and health concerns.
    He was hurt 2 games into that New England run and Brissett took over. He then started 9 games here before getting injured again. Is that 2 injuries in last 11 starts??
    KS needs to protect him and get the ball out of his hands quick.

    1. Florio’s opinion on Player skill sets means next to nothing for me. He’s a Lawyer and definitely the last person I would look to for Player evaluation. I’m an avid PFT reader and love him for analysis, rumors and all the comings and goings of the NFL, but player evaluation, nah!

      Jimmy’s going to be G2G this year, and while I agree that we definitely need to protect him and cater to his strengths, I don’t agree that he needs to get the ball out quicker as his release is among the fastest in the NFL.

  5. I see AJ Brown had a 6.89s 3-cone at his pro day. Sub 4.5s 40 time. At 226lbs.

    I think pencil him in at #36.

    1. Just saw that after I posted a reply to yours up above. I agree Big Scootie, A. J. Brown will be the 2nd pick. I disagree that he’ll wait until # 36. He’s gonna Make The Move up to that #22-#30 area, and grab him for 5 years.

          1. That’s why I was thinking we make a deal with the Colts to get him at #26 by throwing them our 2nd rounder + our 4th rounder….

          2. Raiders already have AB and Tyrell Williams. They will probably go TE and/or RB, both positions of need.
            AJ Brown is ranked 21 on the Draftek Big Board so he may be gone before the Raiders pick at 24.

    2. Scooter,
      If he’s there at #36 it should be a no brainer.
      Metcalf will likely be the #1 WR, but A.J. is not far behind who I believe will have a better career.

    3. I’d love that pick Scooter. AJ Brown would be a fantastic, versatile Flanker! I highly suspect the Niners will go WR with either their 2nd or 3rd round pick.

      Here is my AJ Brown – 49ers mock 3.0 (without trades):

      Rnd 1) Edge – Nick Bosa, Ohio St. – 6’4″ 266 lbs
      Rnd 2) WR – AJ Brown, Ole Miss – 6’0″ 225 lbs
      Rnd 3) FS – Chauncy Gardner-Johnson, Florida – 5’11” 210 lbs
      Rnd 4) CB – Corey Balentine, Washburn – 6’0″ 205 lbs
      RND 6) TE – Zach Gentry, Michigan – 6’8″ 265 lbs

      It’s not my top mock draft, but I like it nonetheless!

      1. I’m starting to think it might look something like this:

        1. Nick Bosa, DE
        2. AJ Brown, WR(4th round pick used to move up into 1st)
        3. Bobby Okereke, LB

        1. Okereke? Yah, maybe.

          My Niners’ mock 2.0 looks like this:

          RND 1) Edge – Bosa
          RND 2) S – Gardner-Johnson (who will probably go before round 3)
          RND 3) WR – JJ Arcega-Whiteside
          RND 4) CB – Balentine
          RND 6) OG/OT Keaton Sutherland – The versatile Sutherland turned heads during the East/West Shrine week, and looked impressive at his pro day, showing good movement skills while jumping through the roof with a 36″ vertical @ 6′” 315 lbs. He’s definitely my sleeper OL prospect this year!

            1. Good call Razor, I like it! Okereke definitely fits the bill in terms of the modern day prototype – smaller, extremely athletic linebackers who can fly around the field and excel in coverage. A requisite ILB skill set for Saleh’s system.

              And I know you were absolutely spot on with your man – ILB Darius Leonard. What a fantastic NFL ILB he turned out to be! That boy can flat out ball!

          1. OG/OT Keaton Sutherland – 6’5″ 315 lbs – out of Texas A&M. A late blooming, versatile OL, and my true sleeper pick this year.

            #78 – K. Sutherland, playing LG vs Ole Miss:

            #78 – K. Sutherland, playing RG vs Kentucky:

            #78 – K.Sutherland, playing RT vs Arkansas:

            Now that’s VERSATILITY! Landing this kid late in the draft would be an absolute coup for ShanaLynch!

            Training Camp | Keaton Sutherland, Press Conference 8.17:

  6. It’s interesting that the Colts found Garcon in the 6th round.
    I hope that our scouts have done their homework on WRs for all seven rds and UFAs. There could some diamonds in rough waiting to found in late rds.

    I like players like A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuels. They seem to be close to Garcon’ and Boldin’ body type, but now they need to price that they have a heart like Edelman who could have been a Navy Seal.
    Because of the 49ers route patterns that call for short inside passes, whoever they draft better have HEART and a body to match.

      1. Yup, considering the Niners have the 212th pick and he is ranked at 212.
        While I like AJ Brown, I want to remind you of the last time they moved up to get a WR. They could have waited, and got him anyways, or if they miss out, there are plenty of excellent alternatives.
        The Niners should be patient, and select the best WR at their assigned pick. Maybe even trade back from their second round pick to gain another pick.
        Marquise Brown is ranked 35, and N’Keal Harry is ranked 37. JJ Arcega- Whiteside is ranked 42, on the Draftek big board.
        On CBS, AJ Brown is ranked 34. N’Keal Harry is ranked 42, Kelvin Harmon is ranked 48 and Deebo Samuel is ranked 52.

  7. He wasn’t on the field enough to leave a void behind…..and what route tree? his best route was 9 to the training room. You bums are forgetting about the vet wr we will pick up after post draft cuts.

  8. first and foremost the replacement should share more chemistry with Jimmy G., stay healthy and start 16 games every year – i can’t imagine they will add a wr that can’t run these routes, even crabtree would be more productive than garcon

    1. Ayo,
      You got my attention with Crabtree. My only concern with him is that he’s never been the type to go over to middle and at this point in his career he is more likely to avoid as much pounding as possible.

      I’d to see the team grab a TE with good hands to catch some passes over the middle.
      Maybe Sternberger makes it to the 4th rd. Kahale Warring is another TE that I like in the late rds.

  9. Grant,

    The analysis is great; and obviously took a lot of time, effort, and experience. Thank you.
    A lot of the routes reminds me of how Walsh used John Taylor.

    Deep Crosser: Can the pattern go over the linebacker as well, or is it supposed to pull the linebacker out of what will be a passing lane?

    Also, f

  10. I like the use of film Grant. Your analysis is actually on point and illustrative. The problem is with your diction. Some people just shouldn’t do voiceover

  11. Love how people keep ignoring the fact that articles have said the 49ers are in love with Quinnen Williams. Nah we don’t want to hear that cause they chose interior dline the last 3 out of 4 years. We are tired of it. Yeah a professional organization doesnt care that you’re tired of it. He can play all over the line. Hes not Solomom Thomas. Its Williams or trade down. Not Bosa. Who makes a name off his family. Not Josh Allen. Who sucks against the run.

    1. Word on the Street is the Giants were sniffing around Harmon the most at his Pro Day, and at least one scout was heard saying his 40 time aside, he looks like a #1 receiver….

  12. Don’t forget that our coaching staff got a full week with deebo samuel as well. I’d take him harry or aj brown in the second for sure. I’m also not quite sure we can pass on the talent of quinnen William’s with the first as well.

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