Feb 25, 2009
You may remember last August I had a post entitled “Please Draft Josh Morgan.” The post was one of the more active ones of the summer, likely based on the title. As August unfolded, however, I become more enamored with Eddie Royal, especially when Morgan had a health issue that definitely prevented him from opening the season as a starter. That issue took him several weeks to recover from, and it derailed his 2008 season, one that, admittedly, probably wasn’t going to be anything special given the poor situation in SF, where the head coach was fired, the OC Mike Martz was rendered irrelevant, and where the QB was benched in favor of more of a game manager in Shaun Hill.
I liked Morgan because he really impressed in camp – and our Adam Caplan saw that first-hand in August – was seriously challenging for a starting job, was on a team without a go-to receiver, and he was playing for Mike Martz. Some people seemed to think, due to the subject of the post, that I was expecting a huge season from Morgan, but that was hardly the case. I just pleaded with people to take a shot with him late because he had definite potential to surprise, and was a major bargain in fantasy drafts. I also liked him because I knew that his main competitor for the starting split end job, Bryant Johnson, was signed to only a 1-year deal, and that he wasn’t going to be in their future plans most likely. Johnson also missed most of training camp with an injury, another reason I liked Morgan.
Morgan didn’t do much, but he did show flashes. He scored 3 TDs on only 20 catches, all on big plays down the field. Morgan may not have great speed and movement ability, but he plays faster than he is and he showed an ability to sneak it down the field and make a big play.
Now, as we sit here in late February, Morgan is already penciled in as the team’s starting split end, which to me is very revealing. They obviously like him. Morgan needs to have a good off-season, and he needs to be healthy. Assuming he does, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better true “sleeper” receiver, since he showed some game and has a starting job in hand. We’ll have to temper expectations because I don’t think much of Shaun Hill, but I’m not yet ruling out the 49ers trading for Matt Cassel.
I’m not saying Morgan will be all that in ’09, but if our job is to point out potential breakout players, and it is, I’m doing a bad job if I don’t isolate Josh Morgan. Morgan totally deserved to be on the radar last summer, and he definitely deserves to be on it in 2009.