I just finished reading an article WR Butler from Iowa St. and in the comments people were saying we should draft a WR early, but I am sort of against that. This draft is a deep. And then I found a good read on Walter Football by Charlie Campbell.

Early-round talent: D
Mid-round: B
Late-round: C+
Overall grade: C-

2019 prospects vs 2018
D.J. Moore
Calvin Ridley
Courtland Sutton
D.K. Metcalf
Parris Campbell
Marquise Brown
A.J. Brown
Deebo Samuel
Dante Pettis
Christian Kirk
Riley Ridley
N'Keal Harry
Anthony Miller
James Washington
D.J. Chark
Kelvin Harmon

This year's class of wide receivers is very underwhelming. It has decent depth for the second day of the draft, as there are a lot of solid wide receivers who are worthy of being picked in the second through fourth round. That is where the value lies in this receiver class, but it lacks top-end talent for the first round.

If you were to merge the two classes together, D.K. Metcalf would be the fourth receiver selected, because he is not as good of a prospect as D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton. In last year's draft, Metcalf would have been a second-round pick. Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, A.J. Brown, and Deebo Samuel are also not as good as Sutton, although they are better than Dante Pettis and Christian Kirk. Riley Ridley and N'Keal Harry are second-round receivers of the same ilk as Anthony Miller and James Washington. Kelvin Harmon would go behind Chark.

Safest Pick: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
image: http://walterfootball.com/college/SouthCarolina_logo.gif

Previous Picks:
2018: Christian Kirk
2017: Corey Davis
2016: Will Fuller
2015: Amari Cooper
2014: Sammy Watkins
2013: DeAndre Hopkins

My track record here is pretty good. Hopkins has turned into one of the best players in the NFL regardless of position and is a phenomenal play-maker. Watkins hasn't put it all together for a string of big seasons, but he has played well when healthy. Cooper has been inconsistent, but looks like he is still going to have a decent NFL career. Fuller has been excellent when healthy and is underrated across the league. Davis was injured for a lot of his rookie year and flashed some in 2018. Christian Kirk had a solid rookie year despite Arizona struggling in all phases.

This was a tough choice between my top candidates of Parris Campbell, Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown. I ended up selecting Samuel because he is a pure football player. That was seen at South Carolina, where he was an excellent receiver who also contributed on special teams. He also proved it at the Senior Bowl. Samuel is a fast wide receiver who is dangerous with the ball in his hands. I think he is a safe pick to end up being a quality NFL wideout.

Biggest Bust Potential: N'Keal Harry, Arizona State
image: http://walterfootball.com/college/ArizonaState_logo.gif

Previous Picks:
2018: Auden Tate
2017: Curtis Samuel
2016: Corey Coleman
2015: Devin Funchess
2014: Kelvin Benjamin
2013: Cordarrelle Patterson

My track record here is good. Tate was a seventh-round pick, so if he doesn't pan out for the Bengals he wouldn't be a true bust given where they took him. Samuel didn't do much as a rookie, but he flashed some serious ability as a second-year pro. Other than him, the rest of the group looks like a collection of busts. In 2016, I almost went with Laquon Treadwell instead of choosing Coleman. Both of them have been major disappointments as first-round picks, and Coleman was a huge bust for the Browns. Funchess had a decent season for Carolina, but overall, he has been a disappointment, and the Panthers were not interested in re-signing him when he hit free agency. Benjamin has had a roller coaster career, and he ended up being a disappointment for Carolina and Buffalo. Patterson was a bust for Minnesota.

Of the early-rounders, Harry stands out to me as having bust potential. The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder has good size to him, but I think he is going to struggle to separate from NFL cornerbacks. While he has some height and weight, he is not overwhelmingly big. Harry is not twitchy, explosive or sudden. I think he is similar to Laquan Treadwell coming out of Ole Miss, so I see some dangerous bust potential with Harry.

Wide Receiver Rankings by Attributes

NFL prototype: Antonio Brown, Raiders <----- Looks weird seeing that
Marquise Brown
Parris Campbell
Deebo Samuel
Riley Ridley
D.K. Metcalf
A.J. Brown
N'Keal Harry
Kelvin Harmon

Recap: A few wide receivers coach told me that the ability to separate from coverage is the first trait they look for in scouting draft prospects. Marquise Brown is the best in this draft class at achieving space from defensive backs. He does it with vertical speed, quick feet, fast route running, and suddenness out of his breaks. Brown's separation skill is one of his best traits.

Campbell is another speed receiver who can separate from defensive backs based on his pure foot speed. He is tough for defensive backs to run with and is able to generate space running vertically or crossing the field.

Samuel and Ridley are shifty receivers who have short-area quickness with the speed to get downfield. Both of them can challenge defensive backs and make it tough for them to prevent space.

Metcalf can separatie by using his tremendous speed to run vertical routes downfield. Defensive backs have a hard time running with him, and he can flat out fly by them. However, Metcalf needs work as a route-runner and ran limited routes in college, so separating on route-running is a point of improvement for him entering the NFL.

In the NFL, the trio of A.J. Brown, Harry and Harmon won't be huge separation receivers. Brown is a good route-runner who uses his size and strength to get late separation for his quarterback. While he doesn't generate a lot of space, Brown can get enough separation on slants and other underneath routes to help move the chains. Harry and Harmon will struggle to separate from NFL cornerbacks. They will have to win on a lot of contested catches when going against man coverage.