Wide Receivers

Notables not in this preview: Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State. I liked Woods coming into this season as a Top 15 pick. What kept him out of the Top 10 was because he lacks speed. I like his hands and his ability to work the short field. He's not a deep threat, but he has good ability after the catch. He works wonders in the redzone and uses his body well to shield defenders away. He doesn't get good separation due to a lack of speed, but he's excellent in traffic and usually comes away with the football. I still have Woods as a Top 15 pick, but only for a team looking for a solid possession wideout.

Reggie Williams, Washington. I saw Williams play as a freshman and was very impressed. I haven't been able to see him since, but he impressed me then with his size and ability to make plays downfield. His athleticism and leaping ability stood out then, and at the time I figured he would be a Top 5 or 10 receiver in the near future.

First Round


Larry Fitzgerald

(6'3" 221 4.49) Pittsburgh Sophomore

Pros: Has great hands, body control, and concentration when the ball is in the air. Good athleticism and will go up for the ball and bring it down. Is excellent in traffic and can beat double and even triple teams. Has enough speed to make plays downfield. Willing contributor as a blocker and solid in the redzone.
Cons: Will drop some easy passes due to lapses in his concentration. Disappears in the bigger games as he was limited by double teams. Has a slight build, so his durability could be questioned. Not very physical, and has difficulty beating the jam. Doesn't have blazing speed and contributes little after the catch.
NFL Forecast: Nearly impossible to defend in single man coverage, he is a true NFL weapon. Has the drive to learn and get better, and with his already great skills you expect he will. Learned from two of the best in Cris Carter and Randy Moss in his days as a Vikings ball boy, and has the potential of the latter to explode as a rookie. Looks like a solid possession wideout in any offense with the ability to stretch the field.
NFL Comparison: Marvin Harrison, Colts.
Value: First Round. Definitely the best wideout to come out in recent years up there with or possibly higher than both Charles Rogers and Randy Moss.

Mike Williams

(6'5" 228 4.59) Southern California Sophomore

Pros: Great hands and ability to make plays after the catch. Works well on the short and intermediate routes and has good speed. Does a good job beating the jam and almost impossible to beat for a jump ball. Also is a very capable blocker. Very tough matchup in redzone situations.
Cons: He's not going to be a burner at the next level. Questionable if he has the commitment to really improve since he is seeming to play based off pure athletic talent. There are weight concerns.
NFL Forecast: He's not going to be a deep threat on the next level although he does have a good enough combination of size and speed to make plays downfield. He does his best work in the short game and would be a good addition in any West Coast Offense. He'll be among the league's best possession guys around and his size and athleticism are very intriguing. Williams is so physically gifted, that even if he doesn't improve at this point he'll automatically be a Top 5 possession guy on the next level. But he could be the league's most dangerous player if he works a little harder.
NFL Comparison: Keyshawn Johnson, Cowboys.
Value: Has been ruled ineligible for the April draft. But he was worthy of a Top 10 selection for a team looking for a reliable possession guy with potential to be one of the league's best.

Roy Williams

(6'2" 212 4.39) Texas Senior

Pros: Has great vertical speed and a big playmaker. Has good hands and shows excellent ability to run in the open field off screens and after catch. Physical guy that gets good release off line and can beat the jam.
Cons: Is a long-strider and doesn't have sharp cuts and breaks because of it. Doesn't work well between hashmarks and doesn't get good separation on the short routes. Lacking as a blocker and doesn't show great aggressiveness to go after the football in the air. Lacks concentration and will drop some easy balls because he is thinking run before catch.
NFL Forecast: Williams is a great prospect because of his vertical speed. He can outrun almost any corner. But then again, he probably won't be making as many big plays in the NFL as he did at Texas since corners will be much improved and they won't give him as much cushion so that he can reach top speed. He is a playmaker that will add a spark to an offense, but he's not the reliable go-to-guy that can necessarily make the catch on a pivotal 3rd & 6 situation. He should be a good #1 receiver, but needs work on his route-running in order to become an elite player. I'm not sure how much better it will get due to his long-striding running ability. He works best when allowed to go vertical or allowed in the open field on screens.
Value: Williams is definitely worth a first round pick. For a team with a lot of emphasis on the vertical passing game, he's worth a Top 10 pick. For every other team, he's worth only a Top 20 or so pick.

Mike Clayton

(6'3" 209 4.54) LSU Junior

Pros: Has good speed and good hands. Does a good job catching the football in traffic. Uses his body well. A good receiver on the short and intermediate routes. Shows a willingness to block. Has some ability to make plays after the catch.
Cons: Lacks deep speed. Not as physically dominating as you expect in someone with his size and strength. Lacks great quickness or speed to get separation.
NFL Forecast: He's a potential No. 1 receiver. Is not spectacular, but does everything well. Has the versatility to do well in almost any offensive system, whether it's a pro or West Coast offense. Should be a slolid possession guy, but lacks the speed you like in a downfield threat. Needs some more refinement, but at the very least he'll be a solid No. 2 type like Keenan McCardell. He could develop into a decent No. 1 guy, but won't be an elite receiver, but just as solid and productive one.
NFL Comparison: Keenan McCardell, Bucs
Value:

Second Round


Lee Evans

(5'11" 197 4.41) Wisconsin Senior

Pros: Has good speed and running ability to make plays after the catch. Gets good release off the line of scrimmage. Has the speed to stretch the field. Plays best outside the hashmarks. Has good hands, athleticism, and body control.
Cons: Needs to work a little better on his routes and doesn't show much ability to make plays between hashmarks and in the short passing game. Sometimes struggles to beat the jam due to lack of size. He has troubles bringing the ball down against bigger corners. Not much effort as a blocker.
NFL Forecast: Evans ability to stretch the field will have most teams looking hard at him, but I think he still needs work on his overall game. He hasn't proven to be much of a factor in the short game, although that potential is definitely there. I like Evans a lot, although I think he is lacking ideal range to his game. He's going to be a solid pro, but whether he can be a #1 receiver is questionable, since you ask your #1 guy to make plays when you need either 7 or 70 yards. I'm not sure he's going to be reliable in making the 7 yard gains, at least not for some time.
Value: Second round. A bit too lacking on his overall game to go in round one, but definitely has the upside to sneak into it late.

Michael Jenkins

(6'"4 217 4.40) Ohio State Senior

Pros: Has good hands and good body control. Runs good routes and does a good job using his size to get advantage over cornerbacks. He is also a capable punt returner.
Cons: Doesnít always play with passion and can play down to his competitionís level. Doesnít have great deep speed and puts very little effort in blocking.
NFL Forecast: Jenkins works well on the short and intermediate routes and should be capable going over the middle. If he played a little harder, he would definitely be of higher value, but he seemingly loafs it a bit. He should become a good No. 2 wideout on the next level, but needs to work a little harder in order to become a No. 1 receiver, although the talent is definitely there.
Value: Has first round talent, but questions about work ethic push him into the late second.

Third Round


Devard Darling

(6'1" 212 4.50) Washington Senior

Pros: Has good speed, quickness and hands. Has good speed out of his breaks and cuts. Shows some willingness to block. Works well on short and intermediate routes.
Cons: Doesn't have pure burner speed and won't make a lot of plays downfield on the next level. Can struggle at times to get good release off line and beat jam. Not much of a factor after the catch.
NFL Forecast: Darling is not an overwhelming player, but quietly does nearly everything right. He'll add some big plays, but I see him more as the reliable possession receiver on the next level. He has some speed, but he's not going to be able to outrun the majority of NFL corners. He works well over the middle. He should develop into a quality No. 2 receiver, but lacks the greatness you see in a No. 1 wideout.
Value: Definitely should get looks in the early part of the third round since he's a good all-around receiver.

Keary Colbert

(6' 201 4.47) Southern California Senior

Pros: Good speed to stretch the field. Capable of working in the slot. Has good pair of hands. Uses quickness well to get separation from corners.
Cons: He doesn't work very well on the underneath routes. Looks better than he is at times because of the talent around him.
NFL Forecast: He's neither the fastest receiver nor does he have the surest hands but the bottom line is that he makes plays. He looks like he could develop into a quality No. 2 wideout on the next level. If he has a top receiver playing opposite him, he could be a very productive starter. He's more a complementary type that could be a final piece to an offensive puzzle rather than being a foundation piece.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Third round. Has great talent, but lacks the huge upside of others.

Derrick Hamilton

(6'3' 194 4.43) Clemson Junior

Pros: He has good speed, hands, and size. Has good running ability and can be very effective on slants and making plays after the catch. A gifted return threat.
Cons: Doesnít have burner speed and questionable if heíll be a deep threat on the next level. Sometimes lacks concentration and will drop some balls and a bit tentative at times in going over the middle.
NFL Forecast: He has tons of ability, but the question will be can he live up to it. Although he has good timed speed, I donít see him as a true deep threat on the next level. He has the ability to make plays downfield, but heís more effective on the intermediate routes because heís not a pure burner that will run by defenders. He could use some more polish, but he could be a solid No. 2 wideout on the next level. As he fine tunes his skills as a receiver, heíll be a solid return threat. I think he could be an effective receiver in a West Coast offense.
Value: His upside puts him on the first day, but his lack of polish keeps him out of the second round.

Devery Henderson

(5'11" 196 4.37) LSU Senior

Pros: Has good hands and a willingness to block. Has good speed and quickness and can stretch the field. Does a good job getting separation due to speed.
Cons: Not a gifted wideout and was a complementary type at the collegiate level. Will body catch many balls. Doesn't do a great job working between the hashmarks.
NFL Forecast: Has has the skills you want in a solid No. 2 wideout. He'll be able to stretch the field at the next level and that will be his primary function. He doesn't have the skills and talent yet to be a go-to receiver, but he'll be a solid complementary starter. Will work best in a system that features a lot of vertical passing since that's where he'll have his biggest impact. At the very least, he'll be a solid third wideout.
NFL Comparison: Peerless Price, Falcons.
Value: A good downfield threat, but lacks the upside and all-around game to be a go-to threat.

Samie Parker

(5'10" 176 4.34) Oregon Senior

Pros: Has good speed and quickness as he can make plays after the catch as a runner. Has good hands and body control and does a good job securing the ball and knowing where he is on the football field.
Cons: Lacks size and strength, so durability is questionable. Also he's not a true burner despite excellent clocked speed. Will find it hard to beat jams at the next level.
NFL Forecast: Parker looks like a solid possession-type, but he will be able to make plays down the field. Despite lack of size, he definitely has the ability to be a starting caliber receiver because he's so good. He is a smart receiver that should be a very productive player on the next level.
NFL Comparison: Steve Smith, Panthers
Value: His lack of size is worrisome, but he would make a good third round pick for a team that can overlook that.

Fourth Round


James Newson

(6'1" 213 4.86) Oregon State Senior

Pros: Can make plays after the catch with great running ability. Gets good release off line of scrimmage. Has good hands and body control. Willing blocker downfield.
Cons: Doesn't have velcro hands and his route-running needs more polish. Will drop some easy ones.
NFL Forecast: He's much faster than his timed speed, but he's not a great blazer. He's a bit of a tweener in terms of if he's a deep threat or possession guy. He has enough speed to stretch the field and has decent enough hands to be effective in the short game. But he's not great in either category. Needs more polish, but his upside is good. He's probably never going to be a No. 1 wideout. He's the type that will make some great catches, but then he'll drop some easy ones on the next few plays. He's a playmaker, but he probably won't be an overly productive NFL starter.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Fourth Round. His playmaking ability might have some teams looking at him late in the third round, but it would be a reach since he needs more polish.

Ernest Wilford

(6'4" 226 4.78) Virginia Tech Senior

Pros: Has great size and soft hands. Excellent on the short and intermediate routes. Good in traffic and does a good job shielding defenders from ball. Shows a good job leaping for the ball and adjusting in midair.
Cons: Doesn't have great deep speed and won't make many plays downfield. More of a straight-line runner that could improve his route-running. Not as physical and effective a blocker as you would expect from a player his size. Won't make many plays after the catch.
NFL Forecast: Should become a good possession wideout. If he was a better YAC guy, he'd be a perfect prospect for the West Coast offense, but alas he is not. Has the size to be a good weapon on third downs and in the red zone. He needs some more polish, but at the very least he'll be ane excellent No. 3 wideout. But he does have the upside to be a starter, but he needs to be in the right offense.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Most likely he's going to be a third wideout rather than a starter, but his upside is enough to put him in the fourth round.

Fifth Round


Kevin Youngblood

(6'5" 210 4.60) Clemson Senior

Pros: He has great size and pretty good hands. Is an effective blocker. Is a good route-runner that does a pretty good job getting separation.
Cons: Lacks speed to stretch the field. Will drop some balls due to lack of concentration.
NFL Forecast: most effective on the short and interedmiate routes. Youngblood looks like heíll develop into a fine NFL receiver, since he has polish, but is not gifted with great athletic talent. He should be a good go-to-guy in the redzone, but itís doubtful that heíll be a quality starter. Over time, he could develop into a decent starter, but heís basically just a No. 3 guy. Looks like a good flanker on the next level.
Value: His lack of upside pushes him into the fifth round.

John Standeford

(6'3" 195 4.54) Purdue Senior

Pros: Has soft hands and good body control. His size allows him to cause some mismatches. Runs good routes and is capable of making plays after the catch.
Cons: Doesn't have deep speed and lacks quickness to get separation.
NFL Forecast: He's another McCaffrey type, but he still needs some work in order for him to get the separation that McCaffrey was able to get. He should be a decent prospect in a West Coast offense. At the least, he'll be a quality backup possession wideout, and he has the upside to be a starter. But he's not going to be a great starter, just a marginal to average one.
NFL Comparison: Ed McCaffrey, ex-Broncos.
Value: Fifth round. A capable receiver that lacks upside to be a starter.

Bernard Berrian

(6'1" 183 4.50) Fresno State Senior

Pros: Has good speed to stretch the field. Has good quickness and can make plays in the open field. Capable return man.
Cons: Lacks size and bulk and doubtful if he can hold up in the NFL. Won't be able to beat press and physical corners.
NFL Forecast: I've never been in love with Berrian as others have been. He's always looked like a quick, yet undersized receiver. He has some speed, but he's not going to be a downfield threat on the next level. He's not very physical, strong, or tough and won't be anything better than a third wideout at best. He should be a capable backup receiver, but he's not going to be a starter.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Does a good job boosting depth, but his lack of size hurts his upside as a starter.

Sixth Round


Jerricho Cotchery

(6' 207 4.58) N.C. State Senior

Pros: Shows he can catch the ball and run with it. Has the speed to stretch the field and can make plays after the catch. Gets pretty good release off the line of scrimmage.
Cons: Doesn't have great hands and tends to body catch a lot. His route running could be much better.
NFL Forecast: Has the potential to be a competent No. 2 wideout, but most likely will not be anything more than a backup. Could help a team's depth and add some speed to the lineup. Needs some more polish. He's not as gifted a player as past Wolfpack receivers Koren Robinson and Torry Holt are. I suspect he'll be able to contribute some things off a bench as a No.3 guy, but he needs more work even to get that far.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Should boost depth and add some speed to a unit, but he's not likely going to be more than a No. 3 or No. 4 type.

James Terry

(6'4" 177 4.66) Kansas State Senior

Pros: Has good hands and has good body control. Has good speed and quickness.
Cons: Lacks bulk and size and doesnít have great hands. Wonít do much on the short routes and over the middle. Not a deep threat.
NFL Forecast: Because of his lack of size, itís doubtful if Terry will ever be more than a No. 3 on the next level. Heís a good wideout, but nothing great. His hands are nothing special, nor is his size or speed. Needs to put on some muscle, but right now heís very skinny. Until he does that he wonít be much more than a depth guy.
NFL Comparison: Todd Pinkston, Eagles.
Value: A good receiver that lacks a starter's upside and is too physically limited.

Seventh Round


Mark Jones

(5'9" 185 4.52) Tennessee Senior

Pros: Has good speed. Effective playing on both sides of the ball. Has nice hands as a receiver and shows good instincts in run support on defense. Shows some ability to play zone coverage on defense. Can also be used on punt returns.
Cons: Raw and lacks experience as an offensive threat. Needs work on his route-running and lacks the speed to be a deep threat. Also on marginal on defense in man coverage and doesnít have the hips or feet to match up with wideouts.
NFL Forecast: I put him at wide receiver because I believe that's the position where he may have the most upside at. He played safety for the Volunteers, and although he was a capable dime safety, he really lacks the ability and upside on defense. But his defensive experience should help him make an NFL roster because he's been a valuable special teams player on the collegiate level. He won't ever really be more than a No. 4 wideout on offense, and probably will not play very much, but he's a versatile player that should stick on an NFL roster because of his abilities on special teams on both coverage and returns.
Value: Seventh round. If not for his special teams abilities, he would go undrafted.

Aaron Hosack

(6'3" 212 4.72) Minnesota Senior

Pros: Has great size and has nice hands. Has nice strength and does a good job shielding defender away from ball. Has good concentration and does a good job securing the ball.
Cons: Lacks speed and is not as physical as you would want a player his size. Not going to make plays down the field and is not going to do a whole lot after the catch.
NFL Forecast: Hosack has the makings of a good possession wideout on the next level. But because of his lack of speed, he's not going to be more than a reserve. Could develop into a nice third or fourth wide receiver, but lacks upside to be a starter. Is nothing special, but is a steady possession guy at the collegiate level, and should be so at the next level.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Looks like a seventh round pick. He upgrades depth, but offers little in starter potential.

Jafar Williams

(6'1" 196 4.51) Maryland Senior

Pros: Has nice hands and can make plays after the catch. Will block downfield.
Cons: Doesn't have burner speed. Struggles to beat the jam. Needs to work on his routes a bit.
NFL Forecast: He looks like he could develop into a quality No. 3 wideout, but he's not special. He works well in the intermediate areas, but he doesn't have the great size and strength to work the underneath, and lacks the speed to be a downfield guy. Because of this, he won't be a starter, but should be able to contribute in the passing game off the bench.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Seventh Round. A good backup option, but that's it.

Jeremiah Cockheran

(6' 188 4.55) Hawaii Senior

Pros: Has good speed and body control. His hands are solid. Does a good job at getting separation.
Cons: Has lapses in concentration and will drop some easy ones. Doesn't have deep speed. Was benefitted by offensive system.
NFL Forecast: Not as gifted as Ashley Lelie, but could make a good No. 3 wideout on the next level if he fulfills his potential. Will take some adjusting from a Run N' Shoot offense to a traditional pro offense. He's a bit of a project, but he could be an effective No.3 wideout down the road. He looks like he'll be a decent backup possession guy, but he doesn't have the upside to be another more than a marginal No. 2 starter.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Offensive adjustment hurts him, but he has enough upside to merit a late seventh round selection.

Carlos Perez

(6' 203 4.85) Florida Senior

Pros: Has nice hands. Shows good ability on the short routes and uses body well to shield away defenders.
Cons: Lacks speed and has a tough time getting separation on corners.
NFL Forecast: He looks like he could be a decent reserve, but lacks the upside to be a starter. He could be a decent reserve possession-type receiver, but he still needs some polish. Bottom line is that he's nothing special, but has enough talent and skill to get a shot as a No. 3 or No. 4 at the next level.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Seventh Round. Good enough to get drafted for a team looking for a reserve possession guy.

Undrafted


Jeris McIntyre

(5'11" 203 4.50) Auburn Senior

Pros: Has decent hands and decent speed. He will block downfield. Works well in the slot and on short and intermediate routes.
Cons: Is not going to stretch the field downfield. Needs to work on his route-running.
NFL Forecast: Looks like he could be a good backup receiver on the next level. His hands, speed, and size are not overly impressive and at best he will be a No. 3 or No. 4 wideout. He's a solid collegiate receiver, but not a big playmaker which translates to a steady backup on the next level.
Value: Seventh round. Good enough to get drafted, but barely.

Kelvin Kight

(6' 213 4.61) Florida Senior

Pros: He has pretty good hands and some speed to stretch the field.
Cons: He's an unpolished route runner, and can be jammed at the line of scrimmage.
NFL Forecast: He's a decent prospect, but probably will not be more than a No. 4 at the next level. He doesn't excel in any particular area. He has some deep speed, but he's no burner, and he's not a good enough route-runner and receiver to be reliable in the short game yet.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. Worth a shot in training camp, but only has minimal upside.

Maurice Brown

(6' 219 4.45) Iowa Senior

Pros: Has nice speed and running ability to make plays after the catch. Has decent hands.
Cons: Lacks concentration and will look to run before securing the ball. Lacks the speed to stretch the field.
NFL Forecast: He's most capable on the short routes and slants that allow him to use his running ability. He doesn't have velcro hands, but his size and running ability may make him a good prospect for a West Coast offense. At best, he can expect to be a No. 4 wideout.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. Only an average prospect that might have a shot at sticking in a West Coast offense.

Chris Shreve

(5'11" 190 4.36) Virginia Tech Senior

Pros: Has good deep speed and shows great ability in the vertical game. Is an effective slot receiver.
Cons: Hands are average and tends to body catch. Needs to improve his routes and struggles when asked to make plays on short and intermediate routes.
NFL Forecast: His speed is his best asset and that will get him an opportunity to impress someone in training camp. But he's too raw and one-dimensional at this point to be more than a guy that will play more than 5-10 snaps per game. He might have to try and find a job on special teams. He's mostly a track guy that has decent enough hands to be a backup college receiver, but would really need to improve immensely to get a shot as a backup in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Tim Dwight, Chargers
Value: Undrafted. His speed makes him worth a look, but he's marginal.

George Wilson

(6' 213 4.57) Arkansas Senior

Pros: Has good hands and good speed. Shows good concentration catching the ball.
Cons: Needs work on his routes. Doesn't do a good job getting separation from defenders.
NFL Forecast: He is nothing special as a receiver, but looks like a guy that could develop into a quality No. 4 guy on the next level. He has good reliable hands, but they aren't velcro. His speed is adequate, but he's not going to stretch the field. He basically has the skills to make it to the next level, but not enough of them to excel there.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. He improves depth, but his upside is limited.

Damien Gary

(5'9" 179 4.69) Georgia Senior

Pros: Has good speed and quickness. A good punt returner. Has moves and is elusive in the open field and can make plays after catch.
Cons: Doesn't give you much as a receiver and dances too much on returns instead of hitting the holes and seams.
NFL Forecast: He might get a camp invite because of his ability as a punt returner, but that's his only shot at making an NFL roster. He's too raw a receiver that was a marginal collegiate reserve. He's not a great punt returner, but due to the turnover at that position in the NFL, he might be able to sneak a few years in the league in that role.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. A solid punt returner, but nothing more.

 

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