Lloyd passing the look test

Depending on what transpires in the next few months, Brandon Lloyd suddenly could find himself positioned to take over as the 49ers No. 1 receiver next season. It's a scary thought for many 49ers followers, but not for the confident and charismatic Lloyd, who says, "I'm going to work hard to make sure that, if that's what they plan on doing, then I'm prepared for it." And for Lloyd, that work begins later this month.

After a flashy finish to his promising rookie year, when Lloyd averaged a team-high 15.1 yards per reception with most of his production coming in the second half of the season, Lloyd was quick to respond when asked if he was ready to take on a featured role in San Francisco's passing attack.

It's a legitimate question, because it's quite possible the Niners could lose starters Terrell Owens and Tai Streets to free agency, and highly likely at least one of them will leave. And nobody sees Cedrick Wilson, last year's No. 3 receiver, as the heir apparent to the No. 1 role.

Does that mean Lloyd is?

"Not now," he said, before qualifying his statement. "But that's what the offseason is for. I see myself progressing and getting better and better as the years go by, much like T.O., who's getting better and better with age. That's how I see myself. And any player who sees himself doing that, that's what the offseason's for, for getting better."

After taking some time off in January, Lloyd told SFI he'll be "hitting it pretty hard" by the middle of this month. Having already displayed that he has the hands and technique to be a quality NFL receiver, Lloyd said his primary focus for the offseason will "probably be just trying to put on size, put on bulk and then conditioning."

Though he held up well while taking some big hits as a rookie, Lloyd agrees that he needs to add some muscle to his 6-foot, 184-pound frame. But he doesn't think he needs much to bang with the best amid the NFL passing waves.

"Actually, I'm pretty strong right now," Lloyd said. "It's just putting on that bulk that's necessary to take those poundings and hits. I don't want to put on a lot of that weight. I feel like being in the mid-190s is fine. Just passing the look test is all that really matters."

Anybody who saw some of Lloyd's spectacular catches in 2003 would say he already passes that.

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