Can Torrey Smith take the top off defenses for 49ers?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke summoned his inner Al Davis at the NFL combine last month when the said his team needed someone to take the top off a defense as a deep threat.

“I think it’s no mystery we’re looking for guys that can run and get down the field,” Baalke acknowledged.

Introducing Torrey Smith, who agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal, with $22 million guaranteed, to join the Niners, per ESPN NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan.

Or, as Smith himself tweeted:

So what does Smith add to an offense that lost Pro Bowl left guard Mike Iupati to the Arizona Cardinals, bell-cow running back Frank Gore to the Indianapolis Colts and might lose a pair of receivers to free agency in Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd and wideout Stevie Johnson to a salary-cap cut?

For one thing, a familiar face for receiver Anquan Boldin. They were teammates on the Baltimore Ravens team that beat the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII.

For another, the deep threat Baalke spoke of last month.

Smith, 26, has 44 catches of 25 yards or more since coming into the NFL as a second-round pick out of Maryland in 2011, seventh-most in the league in that time frame.

And his 16.9 yards-per-catch average is the highest in Ravens history. Last season, he had 10 touchdown catches in his final 11 games and drew 12 pass-interference calls for 261 yards, which led the NFL.

Then there’s this from Pro Football Focus: Smith had 51 receptions on targets of at least 20 yards from 2011 through last season, including the playoffs, while all Niners pass-catchers in that same span had 53 such receptions.

That’s getting deep.

Hey, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was enthused:

Of course, there’s another side to the story, and it is Smith’s battle to be consistent. He’s never been a true No. 1 receiver and only once has he caught more than 50 passes in a season -- 65 in 2013 for 1,128 yards.

Last season, he had a career-low 49 receptions and 11 drops.

But with so much uncertainty surrounding the Niners' receivers these days and with Boldin entering the final year of his contract, Smith does address a need. At least on paper.