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Bleacher Report – Vikings

49ers WR Marquise Goodwin offers unique challenge for Vikings’ secondary

By Matthew Coller

Marquise Goodwin may be one of the fastest players in the NFL, but career got off to a slow start.

In an injury-riddled four-year stretch with the Buffalo Bills, he caught 50 passes and six touchdowns. But Goodwin has found his place in San Francisco, grabbing 56 passes for 962 yards and two touchdowns in 2017.

At the 2013 NFL Combine, Goodwin registered one of the fastest times in the history of the event with a 4.27 40-yard dash. His blazing speed didn’t translate right away aside from a handful of throws over the top, but Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he’s become a complete receiver.

“I actually watched him work out, I was down watching a safety at Texas when I watched him work out, and I came back and said, ‘Man, this guy is really fast. He catches the ball good,” Zimmer said Wednesday. “And he caught a touchdown pass against us when I was in Cincinnati I believe when he was with Buffalo. He’s got such great speed, and that’s always been there, but now he’s become more of an all-purpose receiver. He goes over the middle. He catches underneath balls. So he’s improved a lot.”

NFL Next Gen stats track receivers’ routes. In Goodwin’s breakout game against the Tennessee Titans, he lined up both outside and in the slot and ran a myriad of different routes, as you can see below:

Goodwin caught 12 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown out of the slot, according to Pro Football Focus.

Even with his increase in usage on short and intermediate routes, the former track star is still prodominantly used in the downfield passing game. His average air yards per reception ranked ninth, just behind Brandin Cooks.

Over the past two years, teams have not pressed Goodwin as often as other top receivers. The top deep threats like Tyreek Hill and DeSean Jackson get around 8.0 yards of cushion at the line, according to Next Gen. Goodwin had 6.1 yards last year. The Vikings have two corners in Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes who use their size to press on a regular basis.

While Goodwin is a top target, Zimmer said the 49ers have a balanced attack.

“They have a really good running scheme that I think they use and play-action a lot with the boots, the inside short post,” Zimmer said. “They’ve got some big shots to Goodwin. Add all of that up and you’re getting 6 to 7 yards a shot in the running game and they stretch you in the flat and so many ways and add play-actions off of it. And the fullback, in my opinion, is a great player. He does a great job. So all those combined, and they stay in one personnel group probably 70 percent of the time.”

The post 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin offers unique challenge for Vikings’ secondary appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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