Andy Lyons/Getty Images
These leaping TD catches would really improve the 49ers' red-zone efficiency.
In which categories were the 49ers so terribly deficient in 2011?
Let’s go with third-down conversion rate, having a viable deep-threat wideout and red-zone efficiency.
These statistics will experience substantial improvement with Wayne inserted into the offensive fold.
Omitting his first two years in the league (even though he averaged three catches per game in his second season), Wayne has compiled 75 receptions per season in his remarkable consecutive-start streak. He has never totaled fewer than 68 and has eclipsed 100 three times, with two coming in consecutive seasons.
Wayne has also averaged 1,183 yards and 13.6 yards per reception during this time. Add to those numbers a low of 12.2, high of 15.7 and seven consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns.
Equally pertinent are his 564 first-down catches and average of 62 per season since 2003. Four seasons with 70-plus aren’t too shabby either.
I qualify those statistics as a product of undeniable consistency.
Clearly, Wayne is an extremely valuable possession receiver that accrues impressive yardage year in and year out. He runs pristine routes and moves the chains at a commanding pace as well.
Oh, did I mention that he hauled in 75 passes for 960 yards and four touchdowns with the likes of Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky pitching him the football? Out-of-retirement 39-year-old, career record of 0-8, and a QB who helped lead a Detroit team to an 0-16 season?
Not bad being ranked 19th out of all NFL wideouts with those bums throwing to him. Believe me when I say that Wayne's prolific success continued without Manning in the mix.
As for touchdowns—an accomplishment that often eluded the 49ers in 2011—Wayne has reached the end zone 73 times during his career, with nine or more coming during four seasons, and at least six grabs in another three.
The leading Niners receiver Vernon Davis caught six TDs, while the No. 2 man Michael Crabtree brought in four.
Wayne can attain those numbers in his sleep.
He brings instant credibility to the 49ers as a possession receiver, deep-threat (14 career TDs of 40-plus yards, 21 of 30-plus), and red-zone target (40 TDs of 20 or fewer yards).
Alex Smith needs to start lobbying for his services.