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Thread: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

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    NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    would you draft Dez Bryant if he were still available when we pick at #18?



    NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers


    In the third of a series previewing the April 22-24 NFL draft, Chicago Tribune reporter Dan Pompei looks at a deep group of wide receivers



    Most drafts are bursting with wide receivers, but this isn't like most drafts. It's possible there will be only one chosen in round one. There should be some good late-round values, however.


    1. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, 6-2, 225: He is big, strong, explosive and fast. He breaks tackles and he has excellent hands. He is an excellent punt returner. His talent would merit being a top five pick, but he is a high maintenance player who was suspended for the last 10 games of his college career for lying to NCAA investigators. Bryant also needs some refinement in terms of route running and technique work.

    2. Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech, 6-3, 224: Thomas has a great combination of size and speed and is as physically gifted as any receiver in the draft. He is tough to bring down because of his speed, instincts and strength. His hands are a little inconsistent. He also will have a major learning curve in the NFL because he ran just a few routes in the Georgia Tech offense. He has a lot of upside. Some teams are cautious about him because he's recovering from a broken bone in his left foot.

    3. Golden Tate, Notre Dame, 5-10, 199: With a strong lower body and a competitive, tough nature, he is part running back, part wide receiver. What Tate does better than any receiver in this draft is run after the catch. Before the catch, his route running needs work. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine, but does not play that fast. He doesn't have ideal height, but he finds ways to make plays. Tate also was an excellent center fielder on Notre Dame's baseball team and a draft pick of the Diamondbacks. Tate's father was a fifth-round pick of the Colts.

    4. Arrelious Benn, Illinois, 6-1, 219: Benn has a nice body for the position and is a very good athlete. He can make really difficult catches, but can be a little inconsistent with his hands. He doesn't play with blazing speed, but is a pretty good runner with the ball in his hands. He was better as a sophomore than a junior, when he battled nagging injuries. Benn did not have a very good workout at the combine, but he improved his workout at his pro day when he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash. He needs work on route running and getting off the jam. In college, he often worked from the slot.

    5. Taylor Price, Ohio, 6-0, 204: This sleeper could be better than advertised. He was not a featured player in college and played on a bad offense, but he clearly has NFL skills. He distinguished himself at the Senior Bowl. Price runs very good routes. He's quick and he's fast. He can beat a defender to the post, or take a short pass and elude defenders. His hands are very good.

    6. Brandon LaFell, Louisiana State, 6-2, 211: LaFell is big and athletic and has the kind of ability NFL teams look for. He played college football at its highest level and was very productive. He is a physical, tough player who does not shy away from contact. LaFell has small hands and does drop some balls.

    7. Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati, 6-0, 187: This is a thin receiver with excellent body control. He has the suddenness to get in and out of breaks quickly and cut on a dime. Gilyard is shiftier than he is fast, but he's fast enough. His hands are good, but he sometimes will lose a pass because he's not concentrating. He also is a fine return man.

    8. Eric Decker, Minnesota, 6-3, 217: Teams looking for a big, tough, dependable possession receiver will like Decker. He isn't a speed demon, but he catches everything and has top intangibles. Decker reportedly had the highest Wonderlic score of any player at the combine. He has a good feel for route running and getting open, especially against zones. Decker can run over defenders, and he is a fine blocker. He is comparable to Jordy Nelson of the Packers. He also is a former baseball player who was drafted twice. His stock could drop a little because he can't work run as the result of a Lisfranc foot injury.

    9. Damian Williams, Southern Cal, 6-0, 197: This is a fluid, smooth player with excellent ball skills. He has reliable hands and runs pretty routes. He isn't real flashy or explosive, and his pedestrian combine workout showed why. Williams' stock probably has dropped by a round since the season ended. He will bring added value as a punt returner.

    10. Emmanuel Sanders, Southern Methodist, 5-11, 186: After running a 4.40 40-yard dash and a 6.64 three cone drill at the combine, Sanders' stock has been skyrocketing. This is an explosive player who is quick getting in and out of breaks. Sanders accelerates quickly. He is outstanding as a slot receiver. He's a little smaller than ideal.

    11. Dexter McCluster, Mississippi, 5-8, 172: . He's the type of player who can be a slot receiver, take a few snaps at running back and help on special teams. He plays bigger than his size and is extremely tough. McCluster is very quick, explosive and elusive, but does not have great speed. His hands are reliable.

    12. Riley Cooper, Florida, 6-3, 222: He has the kind of size that can create mismatches, and though he is more of a possession receiver, he has deceptive speed. He is strong, tough and physical. He doesn't drop a lot of balls. His athleticism also is evident in his baseball exploits. Cooper doesn't have the quickness to be a good slot receiver, so he probably has to line up outside. Creating separation consistently could be a problem. He has been described as bold, brash and cocky, and he rubs some people wrong.

    13. Jordan Shipley, Texas, 5-11, 193: Shipley has been compared to Wes Welker of the Patriots. He is a competitive receiver who can play the slot well because he is quicker than fast. He runs good routes and shows steady hands. Dependability and toughness are assets. He also can be a return man. Durability is a concern, as he has a history of hamstring problems.

    14. Jacoby Ford, Clemson, 5-9, 186: He was a combine sensation with a 4.22 40-yard dash. Ford is a track guy who is not a natural football player, however. He runs ragged routes and his hands are inconsistent. He has some versatility to play running back and even quarterback in a Wildcat-style scheme. Physically, he has all the tools except size.

    15. Andre Roberts, Citadel, 5-11, 195: His stock has risen in recent months. Roberts performed well at the Senior Bowl and then had a solid combine. He's a fast player with the speed to stretch the field, and he has pretty good hands. He also is elusive after the catch. Roberts can contribute to special teams as a punt returner.

    16. Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas, 6-2, 207: Briscoe is a solid, physical possession receiver with good ball skills. He was productive in college. He isn't going to run by many cornerbacks, and he isn't very sudden or explosive — so creating separation could be an issue. He did not have a great workout and his stock has gone down.

    17. Carlton Mitchell, South Florida, 6-3, 215: He's intriguing because he's big and runs fast in a straight line, but he is not real nifty. Mitchell is a raw route runner who needs refinement. His hands have been inconsistent. His stock has risen because he has worked out well.

    18. Jeremy Williams, Tulane, 6-0, 206: He's a possession player with a lot of production. Williams can make the tough catch and get some yards afterward. He may be off of some team's boards because of medical concerns.

    19. David Reed, Utah, 6-0, 191: This is a shifty player who knows how to get open. Reed is tough, consistent and competitive, and he catches everything. He should make a good slot receiver in the NFL. He is comparable to the Broncos' Brandon Stokely.

    20. Blair White, Michigan State, 6-2, 209: White is more consistent than he is flashy, but he finds ways to be productive. He is tough and resourceful. White runs good routes and can adjust his body to the ball. He had a fine workout at the combine, running a 4.49 40-yard dash, but he doesn't play that fast. He is more of a possession receiver.

    21. Antonio Brown, Central Michigan, 5-10, 186: This productive player could become a good slot receiver in the NFL because of his quickness and ability to run underneath routes. Brown competes for the ball and catches most of what is thrown to him. He lacks top end speed.

    22. Shay Hodge, Mississippi, 6-1, 209: Hodge is a possession receiver with strong hands. He gets good yards after the catch and competes hard. He helped himself at the Senior Bowl. He is a little too slow to be considered a top prospect.

    23. Mike Williams, Syracuse, 6-1, 221: Some scouts think he has first round ability. He is a strong, physical receiver with very good body control. He runs good routes and his hands are dependable. He has the ability to take over a game. His speed is good, but not great. He was suspended for the 2008 season because of academic reasons and he quit the team halfway through the 2009 season.

    24. Marcus Easley, Connecticut, 6-3, 210: He has an intriguing combination of size and speed (4.39 40-yard dash at the combine). Easley can stretch the field. He came on late in the season, but he is a developmental player who is very raw.

    25. Joe Webb, Alabama-Birmingham, 6-3, 223: He has an NFL body and he has helped himself in the postseason with an impressive Senior Bowl and a very good workout. Webb, a converted quarterback, has the athleticism to play wide receiver. He is raw, however, and needs to learn the nuances of the position.

    26. David Gettis, Baylor, 6-3, 217: Like a lot of track stars turned wide receivers, Gettis can fly but his hands are inconsistent. He is a raw prospect.

    27. Danario Alexander, Missouri, 6-4, 215: He has good size but is a little slow. Alexander catches well and could find a role as a possession receiver. He has had numerous injuries and could fail some teams' physicals.

    28. Chris McGaha, Arizona State, 6-1, 201: This is a good route runner with sticky hands. Though he is not a flashy player, he is a dependable receiver who can come up with clutch catches.

    29. Sevi Ajirotutu, Fresno State, 6-3, 204: This is a big bodied possession receiver who plays strong. He drew the attention of scouts with a nice performance at the East-West Shrine game. He doesn't have top speed, and he has had numerous knee problems.

    30. Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green, 6-0, 215: He was a very productive receiver who played consistently and did not drop a lot of passes. Barnes isn't very fast and does not have make-you-miss ability. His ability to separate from defenders could be better.

    31. Chris Carter, Cal Davis, 5-11, 191: This is a consistent, reliable player. Carter runs routes the way they are designed to be run. He also has kick return ability. He does not have a special trait, however, and his size and speed are only average.

    32. Kyle Williams, Arizona State, 5-10, 188: He has the quickness and cutting ability to make it as a slot receiver. Williams catches pretty well. He also can contribute as a return man.

    33. Alric Arnett, West Virginia, 6-2, 188: This tall, lean player has the ability to get downfield and make plays for big gains. He does not have much quickness or change of direction, however, and he could struggle getting off the jam.

    34. Verran Tucker, Cal, 6-1, 200: With decent size and speed, Tucker has some things going for him. He is more of an outside receiver who is at his best running straight. He needs to improve his route running.

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Steelers | Reportedly high on Benn


    Sat, 10 Apr 2010


    Aaron Wilson, of the National Football Post, reports the Pittsburgh Steelers are extremely high on University of Illinois WR Arrelious Benn, according to a source.


    Read more: http://www.kffl.com/hotw/nfl#637731#ixzz0kkIILYEZ

  3. #3

    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    No to Dez.

    Benn is ok...should make a solid #2.

    But I believe Tate to be the next Ward.
    I also like Taylor...might end up being the best of the draft.

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    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    No to Dez.

    Benn is ok...should make a solid #2.

    But I believe Tate to be the next Ward.
    I also like Taylor...might end up being the best of the draft.
    why no to dez bryant? he is big,fast and has great hands. is it because of his attitude?

    do you really think tate is the next hines ward? he cant blocking isnt in the same league as hines and he isnt half as tough. maybe its just me but i think claussen and tate aren't all that great. i watched a lot of ND games and saw both players dissapear in many games throughout their time at ND. Floyd on the other hand i like a lot so i know its not because im bias against ND

  5. #5

    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthetank1
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    No to Dez.

    Benn is ok...should make a solid #2.

    But I believe Tate to be the next Ward.
    I also like Taylor...might end up being the best of the draft.
    why no to dez bryant? he is big,fast and has great hands. is it because of his attitude?

    do you really think tate is the next hines ward? he cant blocking isnt in the same league as hines and he isnt half as tough. maybe its just me but i think claussen and tate aren't all that great. i watched a lot of ND games and saw both players dissapear in many games throughout their time at ND. Floyd on the other hand i like a lot so i know its not because im bias against ND
    First...yes Dez has serious laziness and attitude issues. Second, he rounds off routes and is undisciplined in his route running. He reminds me a bit of Ginn. I didn't like him at OSU...went on record saying he will be an NFL bust. I go on record again with Dez. If they don't get route running by the end of college they will never get it. He won't get by in the NFL with just his athleticism.

    As for Tate...yes he will be a beast at the next level. He runs good routes...has solid hands and runs like a running back with the ball after the catch. He is very tough. He reminds me alot of Ward.

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    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    I like Tate, but he had trouble getting open against good corners. Clausen had to throw lots of back shoulder junk to get him the ball. He is an overrated route runner who does not really explode out of his cuts (yet). I like the kid and think he can develop, but I see an undersized, gutsy receiver who does not possess the quickness of desean jackson or the like. For me, Tate is a mid second round value at best.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

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    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    Quote Originally Posted by frankthetank1
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    No to Dez.

    Benn is ok...should make a solid #2.

    But I believe Tate to be the next Ward.
    I also like Taylor...might end up being the best of the draft.
    why no to dez bryant? he is big,fast and has great hands. is it because of his attitude?

    do you really think tate is the next hines ward? he cant blocking isnt in the same league as hines and he isnt half as tough. maybe its just me but i think claussen and tate aren't all that great. i watched a lot of ND games and saw both players dissapear in many games throughout their time at ND. Floyd on the other hand i like a lot so i know its not because im bias against ND
    First...yes Dez has serious laziness and attitude issues. Second, he rounds off routes and is undisciplined in his route running. He reminds me a bit of Ginn. I didn't like him at OSU...went on record saying he will be an NFL bust. I go on record again with Dez. If they don't get route running by the end of college they will never get it. He won't get by in the NFL with just his athleticism.

    As for Tate...yes he will be a beast at the next level. He runs good routes...has solid hands and runs like a running back with the ball after the catch. He is very tough. He reminds me alot of Ward.
    i think dez has better hands than tate though. that is much more important to route running. that can be polished in the nfl especially with hines and coaching. tate does run good routes but his hands are pretty suspect. ive never seen tate display any toughness.

    i wouldnt say hines has great hands either though so i see that comparison.

  8. #8

    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Quote Originally Posted by steelblood
    I like Tate, but he had trouble getting open against good corners. Clausen had to throw lots of back shoulder junk to get him the ball. He is an overrated route runner who does not really explode out of his cuts (yet). I like the kid and think he can develop, but I see an undersized, gutsy receiver who does not possess the quickness of desean jackson or the like. For me, Tate is a mid second round value at best.
    I think that's a reasonable assessment. He does not possess elite athletic talent. But neither did Ward. Ward was also knocked for his speed and quickness. Is he a first round talent? Ehh...I wouldn't pick him at 18 based on his athleticism. But what I do like is his heart, toughness, hands, coachability, and disciplined route running. Those are the things that made the great WRs great. J. Rice wasn't the fastest or the quickest guy in the word but he had all those things mentioned above. How many 4.3 40 guys with 90 inch vertical leaps have we seen bust out. Alot.

  9. #9
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    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    I'd take Decker if he makes it to the 4th round.

  10. #10

    Re: NFL draft: Rating the wide receivers

    Quote Originally Posted by steelblood
    I like Tate, but he had trouble getting open against good corners. Clausen had to throw lots of back shoulder junk to get him the ball. He is an overrated route runner who does not really explode out of his cuts (yet). I like the kid and think he can develop, but I see an undersized, gutsy receiver who does not possess the quickness of desean jackson or the like. For me, Tate is a mid second round value at best.
    Which corners did he struggle against? He didn't struggle against USC. That was probably the best defense he faced (and he was bascially ND's only pass option with Floyd injured). I do agree about his route running. He needs to improve there.

    I like Tate because I think he still can improve. He was a running back in high school and only played WR for a couple of seasons. I believe his best football is in front of him. He will most likely be a 2nd round WR who gets drafted before the Steelers pick in round 2.
    The Steelers’ went through seven consecutive drafts (2003-09) without taking an offensive lineman in the first two rounds, the longest such streak by any franchise this century.

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