49ers Murphy

When the San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent wide receiver Louis Murphy last week, they added some height and size to their receiving corps. Who is Murphy as a receiver, and what can the Niners expect from him in 2017?

The San Francisco 49ers  — who have the shortest group of wide receivers in the NFL — found some size in the free-agent market with their signing of veteran wide receiver Louis Murphy.

With five assumed receiver locks on the roster and no true backup for top wide receiver Pierre Garçon, the 49ers should be trying to fill their sixth roster spot with a sure-handed receiver who excels at intermediate routes. Unfortunately, after reviewing Murphy’s game film, it’s obvious that he is not that guy.

But Murphy is a burner and a deep threat, and has the potential to make the 49ers’ final roster due to his 6-foot-2 height and his big-play ability. However, Murphy hasn’t played since sustaining an ACL injury in 2015, so it remains to be seen whether he has maintained his 4.32 40-time speed.

Like many of the 49ers’ receivers, Murphy ran track and field in college, and took some time to learn the wide receiver position. One positive for Murphy is he has some special teams experience, which is often required of a team’s sixth receiver.

One negative for Murphy is his off-field problems, including a gun-related arrest earlier this year. Murphy — who was arrested for carrying a loaded pistol into Tampa International Airport — later apologized for the “honest mistake” and the charges were dropped.

Another negative for Murphy is if the 49ers are confident in their first five receivers, and feel that they will be able to keep a viable backup on their practice squad, they may not keep a sixth receiver on their roster.

Murphy has an uphill battle to make the 49ers’ final roster, but if he does, what can we expect from him in 2017? Murphy is primarily a deep threat who can line up at any of the receiver positions; he displays good footwork near the sideline, and has no problem going over the middle.

His hands are inconsistent; he drops too many passes, but is also capable of acrobatic catches — although he needs to work on attacking the ball at its highest point. He’s also a willing blocker, and definitely plays with passion.

Now, on to the game film.

About the Author: Chris Wilson

Creating content.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!