While the running back situation is far from settled as to which RB’s will be getting lots of playing time, touches or carries, the wide receiver situation is quite clear, especially when it comes to the top 3. Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Cedrick Wilson are the top dogs. It’s definitely muddy after that and potentially even more muddy after the Dolphins just signed veteran WR Mohamed Sanu. If I’m going to be honest, I don’t think Sanu makes the 53. We have too much young talent here to displaced by a 33 year old WR. By talent alone, Preston Williams is making this roster, but his health and his body have let him down and he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Lynn Bowden Jr. offers versatility and may most closely resemble Deebo Samuel in as much as he can carry the ball out of the backfield and play WR as well. Bowden Jr. himself though has had trouble securing a spot on the roster and staying healthy. We drafted WR Erik Ezukanma in RD 4 and I’d expect him to make the roster. Then there are wild cards like Trent Sherfield who at 6’1 219 brings a big, physical presence at WR, and also history playing for the Niners in a similar offense. There’s also speedy WR River Cracraft who also played for the Niners.
Even though he’s classified as a TE, you could easily count TE Mike Gesicki as a WR as he is so often positioned in the slot. That may change though as McD attempts to make Gesicki a more well rounded TE like his former TE George Kittle, one of the leagues best all around TE. Kittle is a great receiver with uncanny run after the catch abilities, but no TE puts forth more effort blocking in the run and passing game as Kittle does. If Gesicki can become half the blocker Kittle is he will be so much better and our team will as well. The numbers at WR will also be affected by how many RB’s we carry, considering we know we will have a FB on our roster. It’s possible we only carry 5 WR’s and if that’s the case, I’d expect it to be Hill, Waddle, Wilson, Williams and Ezukanma. If it’s 6 WR’s, then one of those wild cards, or perhaps the veteran Sanu gets the nod, but to me that’s a long shot.
We haven’t had this much talent at the WR position since we had the Marks Brothers, Duper and Clayton. This truly is the closest as far as speed and talent to that duo. Cedrick Wilson could be our Nat Moore completing the trio. Our talent stretches even further though will potential guys like Williams and Bowden Jr. If Williams can stay healthy, much like his former counterpart DeVante Parker, he can be that big WR that wins those contested 50/50 throws. I think Tua is excellent at placing that ball to make those plays work.
I definitely consider the WR position one of our biggest strengths of the team, along with the defense. While our defense isn’t a star studded affair, it’s very solid and there a few young players on the cusp of stardom. In contrast, the WR corps has the stars right now, as Tyreek Hill is a top 3 WR on most lists and Jaylen Waddle, who is just going into year 2 would probably make top 10 on most lists. Cedrick Wilson may really feast this year if/when opposing defense give extra attention to Hill and Waddle. Like Tim often says, and of course this all dependent upon our O-line being competent, our offense will be difficult to defend. If the running game is working and we’re getting push up front, how do they possibly defend our passing game as long as Tua stays upright with enough time to throw? Pick your poison. This WR unit and our defense are the things that have me most excited. Hill, Waddle, Holland, Phillips, Jones, Baker, Wilkins, Ogbah and many more on that defense. If this WR unit plays as well as we hope, we won’t be worrying about who’s getting the carries in the run game.