Okay ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
It’s time to break down this year’s wide receiver draft class.
The forty-four WR’s have arrived in Indy for the 2010 NFL Combine.
Clearly WR is a major area of need for the Baltimore Ravens with nearly every roster spot open at this point. I know they recently signed Donte Stallworth, but he’s at best their 3rd or 4th WR on the depth chart and that’s assuming he makes the squad out of training camp, which I believe isn’t a guaranteed certainty.
Without a doubt the Ravens will draft at least one receiver in the draft and I’d be entertaining the idea of drafting two.
I ranked the tight ends entering the Combine earlier:
Take a look at my top 25 WR’s entering the Combine, keep in mind that these are my rankings and I could care less if you’re 6’5″ or 5’6″. I just want players that can contribute at the next level.
- Dez Bryant: 6’2″, 210 lbs, Oklahoma State- Tall, physical, good hands, and good leaper are just some of the things you could say about Bryant. Even coming off of his suspension, Bryant is the best WR in the draft.
- Golden Tate: 5’11”, 195 lbs, Notre Dame- The Combine will be huge for Tate, because people want to know how big and how fast he really is. If he runs a 4.4 40 yard dash, I really think he’s going to make some GM’s think long and hard about taking him in the 1st round. Without a doubt Tate has great hands and big time play making abilities. With a name like Golden, I think he’s going to have a big NFL career.
- Demaryius Thomas: 6’3″, 229 lbs., Georgia Tech- Rumors that Thomas runs a 4.3 40 yard dash has drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson, but a broken foot will slow Thomas down for a few weeks. Physically Thomas passes the eye test, but he never was able to show his skills at Tech due to their option style. Thomas could be a steal in the 2nd round.
- Brandon Lafell: 6’3″, 209 lbs., LSU- Personally I like drafting WR’s from the SEC, because I really think the speed of the conference translates to the next level. Lafell caught 57 balls, for 792 yards, and 11 TD’s this past season, despite not having a very good QB in Baton Rouge.
- Damian Williams: 6’1″, 190 lbs., USC- Williams is a very complete WR that runs very good routes. I’m always concerned about drafting USC WR’s because other than Steve Smith (NYG), USC WR’s haven’t been that successful in the NFL coming out of Pete Carroll’s system.
- Arrelius Benn: 6’2″, 214 lbs., Illinois- Physically Benn has it all, mentally there’s much left to be desired. Benn will need to prove to the NFL scouts that his hands are better than he showed during his junior campaign, however he’ll also need to defend himself for “quitting” on his team. He’s a classic “boom or bust” pick, which sounds too risky for me.
- Andre Roberts: 5’11”, 192 lbs, The Citadel- It’s hard to imagine that a player from The Citadel could be drafted in the 2nd round, but Roberts had an amazing Senior Bowl week and proved that he has big talent, despite coming from a school that’s not known for putting out NFL players.
- Mardy Gilyard: 6’0″, 179 lbs., Cincinnati- Gilyard had a fantastic season with the Bearcats catching 87 passes, for 1,191 yards, and 11 TD’s in their pass happy offense. The two biggest questions regarding Gilyard will be his size and his ability to make the adjustment at the next level, Gilyard is also an excellent special teams returner which will add to his value in either the 2nd or 3rd round.
- Eric Decker: 6’2″, 215 lbs., Minnesota- Decker is a big, physical receiver that should excel as a possession and red zone receiver. Decker is another player coming off of a season ending injury, therefore his speed will be a major interest at the Combine. I’m a big fan of Decker and think he’d be a steal in the 3rd round.
- Jordan Shipley: 6’0″, 195 lbs., Texas- It’s hard to argue with 116 receptions, for 1,485, and 13 TD’s, but critics will point to his size as an issue. I think Shipley could become a great slot receiver on the right team, obviously he’s got sure hands, and enough speed to be dangerous there.
- Jeremy Williams: 6’0″, 205 lbs., Tulane- Williams is a solid receiver with decent speed and size. Williams is labeled as somewhat “injury prone”, but in addition to good hands, Williams is also a solid kick returner.
- Danario Alexander: 6’5″, 221 lbs., Missouri- Alexander is s physical specimen, but scouts are questioning his ability to make the adjustment at the NFL level. The transition seemed to work pretty well for Alexander’s former teammate Jeremy Maclin this season, but Maclin was most impactful on deep routes. Eric DeCosta has compared Alexander to Brandon Marshall, so obviously he’s on their radar.
- Shay Hodge: 6’1″, 208 lbs., Ole Miss- Hodge is one of my sleepers in this year’s draft. As a senior, Hodge caught 70 balls, for 1,135 yards, and 8 TD’s. Hodge has all of the physical abilities to be a solid #2 or #3 WR in the NFL and could be gone by the 4th round.
- Dezmone Briscoe: 6’3″, 200 lbs., Kansas- Briscoe gets knocked for playing in a pass happy offense in Kansas, but he’s got NFL size and speed. I think a good Combine could go a long way for Briscoe getting selected by 3rd round.
- Blair White: 6’2″, 20o lbs., Michigan State- Don’t sleep on White in the draft. 70 receptions, for 990 yards, and 9 TD’s in the Big Ten is worth a few looks in the middle rounds of the draft.
- Mike Williams: 6’2″, 205 lbs., Syracuse- Williams comes with loads of baggage, but has all of the physical tools. He’s a classic case of “high risk, high reward.”
- Freddie Barnes: 6’2″, 206 lbs., Bowling Green- I want Freddie Barnes on my team, because I can’t get past his 155 receptions, for 1,770 , and 19 TD’s this past season, not to mention his amazing bowl game. I know Barnes numbers are slightly skewed, but clearly Barnes can catch the ball and that’s the first step before getting in the end zone. He’s got the size, he’s got the hands, even without top notch speed I’d be willing to use a 5th round pick on Freddie.
- Taylor Price: 6’0″, 198 lbs., Ohio- Price is a speedy receiver that played with a very poor QB at Ohio. Price should turn some heads with his speed at the Combine…think Johnny Knox.
- Seyi Aijrotutu: 6’4″, 210 lbs., Fresno State- Hard name to pronounce, but dude’s got size and speed that made scouts take notice at the East-West Shrine game.
- Carlton Mitchell: 6’4″, 210 lbs, South Florida- Mitchell has that size and speed combination that makes GM’s and scouts drool, but he’s still very raw.
- Riley Cooper: 6’3″, 214 lbs., Florida- Something tells me to stay away from Cooper all together. I know he made some big plays for the Gators, but something about the Tebow to Cooper connection scares me.
- Marcus Easley: 6’2″, 216 lbs., UCONN- You just have to like a guy that began as a walk-on and finished his senior season with over 800 yards receiving and 8 TD’s. The kid is obviously a very hard worker.
- Jacoby Ford: 5’9″, 181 lbs., Clemson- Ford is a blazer with big time speed. He should become a dangerous kick returner in the NFL, but not so much at receiver.
- Antonio Brown: 5’10”, 179 lbs., Central Michigan- Brown is a very nice slot receiver. He could run a 4.3 40 yard dash which will obviously garner some attention. I like the fact that he had Dan LaFevour as his QB in college.
- Naaman Roosevelt: 6’0″, 191 lbs., Buffalo- 70 receptions for 954 yards and 9 TD’s caught my eye, even if they’re down from his junior season.