Will a change of scenery do Ted Ginn Jr. good?

By trading for receiver Brandon Marshall earlier in the week, the Dolphins instantly made receiver Ted Ginn Jr. expendable. That’s why they shipped him to the 49ers on Friday in exchange for a fifth-round pick in next week’s draft.

There’s no question that Ginn vastly upgrades the 49ers’ weak return game. In 16 games last season, the former top 10 pick racked up 1,296 yards on 52 kickoffs, including two touchdowns in a win over the Jets. He almost single-handily won that game for the Dolphins with 100 and 101-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns in the second half.

But for all his playmaking ability as a returner, Ginn has failed to live up to expectations as a receiver. Ever since he was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft, he has failed to make an impact as a receiver. Bigger, more physical corners abuse him at the line and can easily disrupt his route running. That often screws up the timing between him and his quarterback, thus limiting the opportunities he touches the ball in the passing game. He’s great in the open field, but getting the ball in his hands is often the problem.

That said, Ginn leaves a crowded receiver corps in Miami to a rail-thin situation in San Francisco. He can work opposite intriguing youngster Michael Crabtree in the 49ers’ offense, or perhaps out of the slot so that the Niners can attempt to match him up against linebackers and safeties. (A matchup that Ginn will no doubt win based on his speed.)

There have been plenty of players that blossomed with a change of scenery and Ginn could be one of them, although San Francisco will have to find a way to utilize him as a deep threat. If not, at least the Niners didn’t part with a high draft pick and he’ll, at the very least, be able to boost their production in the return game.


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