Starter: Santana Moss
Experience: 6th NFL season, 2nd with Washington
2005: Started 16 games
Starter: Brandon Lloyd
Experience: 4th NFL season, first with Washington
2005: Started 15 games for 49ers
Lloyd's Resume: If he can repeat some of the spectacular catches that he made for the 49ers last year, Lloyd will be a regular on the NFL highlight packages. And, should he drop as many easy ones as he did in San Francisco last year he'll be a regular at some post-practice sessions with Al Saunders, looking the ball all the way into his hands. Improved consistency should come from maturity and from playing with better players around him than he had in San Francisco.
John Keim's Inside Juice on Moss: Has some of the same qualities as Portis, in terms of doing anything it takes and not worrying about his numbers. That's a genuine sentiment. With more help at wideout, Moss should be more dangerous. He might not catch as many passes, but he'll still be just as big a threat by his presence. Moss' blocking skills are very good, too. And he's extremely tough. I worry about his durability because of his size, but, then again, how many times did you see him get punished on a hit last season? Not many. It's because he's hard to catch and even harder to get a good lick on. That helps.
Keim's Juice on Lloyd: I think he'll get the starting nod ahead of Randle El, but that's irrelevant because they'll play so many three-wide sets. I don't think he'll ever be a No. 1 wideout, but Lloyd is capable of excellent numbers; what he did in SF last year was incredible given the talent around him. He'll make many acrobatic catches, but probably drop an easy pass or two. He had some problems in the locker room in SF, so that needs to be monitored. But he's surrounded by a good group of pros at WR and that should make a difference.
Randle El, Patten, Thrash
Depth: Antwaan Randle El is likely to be designated as the #3 receiver, but his playing time should be nearly equal to that of Lloyd. David Patten is much better suited to his new role as the fourth option rather than the starting spot he occupied last year. It's almost a certainty that James Thrash, a special teams ace who hustles his way through everything he does on the field, will be the fifth receiver on the roster. That leaves Taylor Jacobs, a monumental disappointment as a second-round pick from 2003, as the odd man out.