From the beginning of training camp, Niners Live predicted that Trent Taylor was a force to be reckoned with. We show you why he has made an argument to supplant Marquise Goodwin as the #2 receiver.
Playing Like a Man Possessed
On Sunday, we saw Marquise Goodwin’s best performance as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. Every ball Goodwin was prone to drop on Sunday he actually caught; to the tune of 5 catches on 11 targets for 116 yards, only the second time a 49er receiver has reached the century mark this season, including a 51-yard catch, which set up the score that sent the game into overtime against the Indianapolis Colts. Yet for anyone that believes Goodwin can now rest on his laurels, we have news for you: Trent Taylor is coming for your spot.
Up Close and Personal
When the San Francisco 49ers drafted Trent Taylor in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the comparisons to Dallas Cowboys’ receiver Cole Beasley were immediate. They are the same height, similar build and play the same style of football. It’s a style that is leaving positive impressions on football experts and quickly winning fans among the 49er Faithful. Taylor has also made an impression as the team’s shifty punt returner.
Consistently Getting Open: Advantage Push
There are certain intangibles you just cannot coach such as speed and having a knack for being around the ball. And while Taylor’s 4.63 40 yard time doesn’t jump off the page (it was actually the 7th slowest time at the 2017 NFL Combine), it’s his ability to get open in tight spaces and make plays in the slot that giving defenders fits. To be fair, if we are talking about getting open in one-on-one coverage, that advantage goes to Goodwin. There aren’t many, if any, defensive backs that can keep up with his world-class speed and being that he is usually matched up with the opposing team’s #2 receiver, it is a matchup he should dominate. Yet, for more than a few games, he has failed to do so, with drops in key situations; leaving the door open for Taylor.
Better Hands: Advantage Taylor
After Pierre Garcon, there is no one on the receiving corps with a better set of hands than Trent Taylor. It’s not just the fact that he has fewer drops than Goodwin (2 compared to 6 for Goodwin), it’s what he does after the catch, picking up yards, which according to Pro Football Focus was 48 yards coming into the game with the Colts. Goodwin depends more on breaking away from defenders before the ball is caught.
Big Threat Option: Advantage Goodwin
We live in a time where speed kills, and it’s in this facet that Goodwin is in a category all by himself. Think about it, how many times have you stood up or stopped, when a bomb was headed Goodwin’s way as opposed to Taylor? Most can recite by memory, the key drops Goodwin has had this season. Notwithstanding his performance against the Colts, more consistency is needed from the number 2 receiver.
The Bottom Line Is
When you are 0-5, it can no longer be about who the best on paper seems to be, but rather, who can produce results. According to Pro Football Focus, despite the limited amount of snaps; Taylor has 12 catches on 21 targets for 99 yards, is second on the team for most yards after the catch, and has the second-best catching percentage among 49ers receivers (57.1%). These are numbers that are about even or in some cases surpass Goodwin; meaning he’s already doing the work of the number 2 receiver. Taylor also remains the only 49ers wide receiver with a touchdown this season. On the contrary: Goodwin has more total receptions (14) on 30 targets, for 243 yards, good for 17.4 yards per catch. Perhaps this is the push that Goodwin needs to establish him as a solidified threat on game day. If he proves to be able to handle the #2 position, that’s all the better for the 49ers. Make no mistake, this is a season-long addition for both Taylor and Goodwin. May the better receiver win.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author and new Staff Writer @NinersLive.net, David Edmondson. Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims