2011 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Top Ten
1. A.J. Green– Green is one of the most talented receiving prospects to come along in the last few years. He has an excellent combination of size and speed, and projects as a frontline receiver in the NFL. He was suspended by the NCAA for selling a game jersey last season, but he came back and put together a very good year. Top 10 talent, should be the first receiver selected, and is an outside shot at the number one pick.
2. Jon Baldwin- I have Baldwin higher than most and think he is right behind Green when it comes to talent. I know people like to knock him for his attitude or other factors, but I don’t totally see it. He might have given up on some balls last season and didn’t always display the greatest effort in chasing down interceptions (unfortunately there were a lot of them), but that seemed to be an epidemic at Pitt last season. When the team lost faith in Sunseri at quarterback, they collapsed. Of course i’d like to see Baldwin as more of a leader to overcome that, but we are talking about a 21 year old kid. Of the three big receivers who get lumped together, Baldwin had the best numbers (yards per catch), despite having probably the worst quarterback play. Baldwin is elite once the ball is in the air, and can out jump, out muscle and out track anybody. While I don’t expect Baldwin to have the best timed 40, he is plenty fast and will get separation in the NFL. His hands are maybe the best in this class as well, and is just a little less refined than Green. Top 10 Talent, could fall into the 2nd round, but I’m thinking he is a mid first rounder.
3. Julio Jones– Jones possesses the same skill set of Green and Baldwin, just slightly less talented (and its not by much). Jones does have one knock as his hands aren’t as good as Baldwin or Green, but they have improved. Top 15 talent, could be the 2nd receiver drafted, and should definitely be picked by the 20’s.
4. Tandon Doss- The more I see Doss the more I like him. Originally, I didn’t give him much credit, considering he played at Indiana, but he is an extremely talented receiver. I think there is a lot of promise there, and I love his size and speed. He could grow into a number one, and should be a very good starting receiver. Top 40 talent, should be a 2nd rounder, but he could fall to the 3rd round.
5. Torrey Smith– Smith is a good mix of size and speed, and looks like a great secondary receiver. He is very fluid in his breaks and constantly gets separation. Top 45 talent, could sneak into the first round given some of the hype, I believe he is more of a 2nd rounder.
6. Titus Young- Young is the most dynamic playmaker in this class and will make some people remember Percy Harvin or DeSean Jackson. He will be a great fit for teams looking for a vertical homerun threat. He still needs to be a little bit better catching the ball, and getting free, but he has a lot of potential. His speed alone will make him an asset early on in his career. Top 45 talent, should be a 2nd rounder, don’t be shocked if he cracks the top frame.
7. Greg Little– I loved Little and thought with a good senior year he could be a fringe first rounder, or at worst an early 2nd rounder. Little was suspended for the entire season, and didn’t get the chance for his stock to take off. While he was suspended for improper contact with an agent, by all accounts Little seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders, and had a public apology for the incident (something that is definitely not always seen). I love his size and big play ability, that reminds me of Hakeem Nicks. He’s not the fastest receiver out there, but I do believe he will be successful. Top 60 talent, it’s hard to say where he will be drafted but I’m guessing he is more likely a 4th rounder. His talent is higher and his potential is off the charts, but missing a season and lack of refinement will keep him lower in the draft.
8. Leonard Hankerson– Hankerson initially disappointed me with his weigh-in at the Senior Bowl as I alway thought he was 6’3″, or at least just under, but he came in at less than 6’2″. Given a history of drops and only above average speed I was a little unsure of how he measured up. After a rough first day of practice, Hankerson really picked up his game and looked the best among all the receivers who were there. He also had a brilliant actual Senior Bowl game, and showed crisp route running and the ability to go find the ball. Top 70 talent, should be a third rounder, could sneak into round 2.
9. Vincent Brown– Brown initially I considered a late round wide receiver and didn’t give much thought to. Until that is I saw him Senior Bowl week. He caught everything thrown his way and even made Jake Locker look accurate at times. He’s not the biggest or fastest receiver, but he had the best combo of hands, route running ability and making adjustments to the football. He is moving up my draft board and looks to be a very good possession receiver at the next level. Top 75 talent, should be a 3rd or at worse a 4th rounder.
10. Jerrel Jernigan– Jernigan is a lot like Titus Young and in some ways reminds me of a young Santana Moss. He isn’t as refined as Moss, or dynamic as Young, but he has the potential to be. He is a small slot receiver, but has the ability to be an absolute weapon. He has great top end speed and if he runs a 4.3 or less at the combine his stock will soar. Top 85 talent, he looks like a 3rd rounder to me, but could move up with big time workouts.