I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I really do. But 49ers fans, even with Kyle Shanahan's brilliance running your offense, you need more at your disposal than Jordan Matthews and a slew of small, shifty receivers on the outside. George Kittle? Great get. Terrific talent. But having a second terrific (elite) talent is essential to advancing your cause. How great would it be to...oh, I don't know, say...win more than 3 games before December in 2 seasons?
Kudos to the 49ers for never giving up on a season, but honestly...the team takes longer to start than a lawnmower that's been cooped up in the garage for a few years. It's time to hit the ground running, San Francisco. And I've got just the thing: another dynamic receiver to keep opposing defenses on their toes.
Here's a potential wide receiver candidate for San Francisco that should be available in each round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
ROUND 1, PICK NO. 2: D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
This pick is what? 99 percent not going to happen? 99.5 percent? It's not going to happen, not unless someone gives San Francisco the moon to trade out of the 2nd overall pick. I doubt the 49ers will punt on drafting Bosa, but JUST IN CASE THEY DO -- Metcalf is a terror in the open field. He's actually quite crafty against press coverage and he's got enough juice and size/length that if you try to squat on his routes he can pressure you with vertical releases or he can collide and create contact separation.
In short, miss me with that "bUt HiS tHrEe CoNe!" nonsense. Metcalf has supreme physical tools and I think in the long run he's going to be a top shelf pass catcher, health willing.
ROUND 2, PICK NO. 34: Kelvin Harmon, NC State
I'd make some gripe here about Harmon's explosiveness but he's an infinite upgrade over Jordan Matthews in this capacity anyway and Harmon has some really crafty routes at his disposal. Harmon plays "bully ball" something you won't find Marquise Goodwin or Trent Taylor having much success at on the outside.
His size and contested catch ability make sense, but when you pair them with his ability to run routes? This is why he makes so much sense for San Francisco.
ROUND 3, PICK NO. 67: Riley Ridley, Georgia
Some folks I really, really respect in this industry feel like Riley Ridley is the best route runner in this year's NFL Draft, bar none. High praise, but not necessarily misplaced. Ridley will be a much better pro than he will college player -- even with some modest athletic testing. As a matter of fact, I think it makes how crisp he runs all the more impressive, knowing he's not some athletic freak. Instead, he's just smart, polished and disciplined. Sounds like a Shanahan guy.
ROUND 4, PICK NO. 104: Dillon Mitchell, Oregon
If the 49ers want an extension of their YAC game, Mitchell is the one. I really like how smooth and crafty Mitchell is with the football in his hands, it is probably his best quality. And while the 49ers already have YAC guys in Taylor, Goodwin and Pettis, Mitchell has a little bit more weight on his frame.
ROUND 6, PICK NO. 176: Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State
Formerly of LSU, Ferguson is a supreme physical talent who has a long way to go but heck, that's what the late rounds are for. Ferguson is 6'5, 225 pounds and ran 4.45s in the 40-yard dash with a 37" vertical. The kind of guy you use a late round draft pick on to make sure you don't have to bid for him in the Wild, Wild West that is UDFA negotiations.
ROUND 7, PICK NO. 212: Keelan Doss, UC Davis
Doss is a productive FCS talent who brings good ball skills to the table and notable size -- he'd trail only Jordan Matthews in size of the 49ers' top receivers. But Doss isn't a top receiver, he's a late round flyer facing a big jump in level of competition. Doss, while a good pick this late in the game, wouldn't help solve San Francisco's issues in year one.