Marquise Goodwin: Texas WR's Weaknesses Are Irrelevant

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Marquise Goodwin: Texas WR's Weaknesses Are Irrelevant
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Forget about what Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin can't do. If you focus on what he can do, his weaknesses become irrelevant.

Goodwin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday. It was the second-fastest time in the 40 since 2002, right behind Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (4.24 in 2008), via Albert Breer of NFL.com.

That is lightning-fast, folks.

Now, speed isn't everything obviously. In fact, Goodwin comes with his fair share of concerns. His size has drawn the most doubts, measuring in at 5'8" and 183 pounds. In other words, Goodwin likely won't be your typical possession receiver.

Goodwin is also a fairly raw prospect, which brings me to my main point. 

Former defensive back Charles Davis said on NFL Network that Goodwin was "a track athlete trying to play football," per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. Miller countered that Texas never used Goodwin correctly.

I tend to agree with Miller here. Goodwin got a total of 39 touches in his senior season at Texas. That is unfathomable, especially since you don't even need a top quarterback to get him the ball. Use him on quick screen passes and fly sweeps, and he has the potential to take it to the house.

Goodwin is drawing comparisons to Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin after his 40-yard dash on Sunday. And it's worth bringing Harvin up in this case.

Unlike Goodwin, Harvin was utilized properly by Urban Meyer while he was at Florida. In Harvin's final season at Florida in 2008, he received 110 touches. He responded with 1,303 total yards and 17 touchdowns. You wonder what Goodwin could have done if someone like Meyer was coaching him.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier admitted on Sunday that the Vikings hesitated to draft Harvin in the first round of the 2009 draft because of his size, but his speed and explosiveness made him too hard to pass up, per Breer's report.

A Big 12 scout noted, per Breer's report: "Texas didn't have a plan with Goodwin. And that could happen again in the NFL, because you can't just treat him like any receiver."

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Percy Harvin proves you don't have to be a complete player to be a game-changer in the NFL.

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If a team selects Goodwin with a plan moving forward, then Goodwin's lack of size is irrelevant. The coaches draw up plays designed for him or they use him in the right role and he can be an asset, potentially a game-changing asset.

The same concept can be applied to many positions in the NFL. Take San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith for example. Smith was considered a raw prospect, but the 49ers selected him No. 7 overall in the 2011 draft with a specific plan in place. They didn't ask him to do much but rush from the outside until his second year in the league. Smith has accumulated 33.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in two years as a result.

The fact of the matter is, if teams gradually coach a player up, and play to his strengths, they can get plenty of bang for their buck.

Teams around the NFL are finally beginning to break free from the mold, becoming more creative in their game-calling instead of simply determining whether an individual can be a complete player or not.

This is not only the right approach, but it also makes the NFL more fun to watch. If Goodwin is used in the proper way, there's no question he will be fun to watch, as well as productive.

 

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