Joe Montana to Jerry Rice. Steve Young to Terrell Owens (for a few seasons, anyway). The pass-catch combo tradition continues in San Francisco, as the 49ers are expected to sign QB Brian Hoyer and WR Pierre Garcon. Bill Walsh must be doing somersaults in his grave!
OK, enough with the wisecracks. We’re not expecting miracles from Hoyer, but here are his numbers from 2014, when new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan directed him as the Browns’ offensive coordinator:
Not so good, right? Shanahan might be well regarded, but Hoyer probably won’t crack our top 24 quarterbacks come draft season, even if he starts (which isn’t a lock at this point).
Nor are we anticipating a huge season from Garcon, who finished 2016 as WR23 in FOXSports.com PPR leagues after catching 79 passes for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns. He probably won’t reach those numbers this season, as he’s going to encounter a big dropoff at quarterback (Kirk Cousins to Hoyer).
There’s one silver lining for Garcon, though. In 2013, he had career highs in targets (181), receptions (113) and yards (1,346) with Shanahan as his offensive coordinator (and RGIII as his QB). Also, it’s not like Hoyer will have any other good receivers to throw to. However, Garcon is four years older now, and doesn’t look to us like more than a WR4.
You know who’s once again in a solid spot? Carlos Hyde, who was our RB18 in 2016 despite playing just 13 games. It’s difficult to say that Hyde is in a better position than he was under the run-friendly Chip Kelly, but Shanahan’s backs have done fairly well during his nine years as an offensive coordinator. He’s a top-15 fantasy running back heading into 2017, with the potential for more if the Niners upgrade their offensive line.