2010 NFL Draft Outlook: Wide Receivers
1. Dez Bryant-OK State: 1st round
2. Damien Williams-USC: 1st-2nd round
3. Golden Tate-Notre Dame: 1st-2nd round
4. Brandon LaFell-LSU: 2nd round
5. Dezmon Briscoe-Kansas: 2nd round
6. Mardy Gilyard-Cincinnati: 2nd round
7. Demaryius Thomas-Georgia Tech: 2nd-3rd round
8. Jordan Shipley-Texas: 3rd round
9. Taylor Pice-Ohio: 3rd round
10. Eric Decker-Minnesota: 3rd round
11. Arrelious Benn-Illinois: 3rd round
12. Andre Roberts-Citadel: 3rd-4th round
13. Jeremy Williams-Tulane: 4th round
14. David Reed-Utah: 4th round
15. Mike Williams-Syracuse: 4th-5th round
16. Riley Cooper-Florida: 5th round
17. Emmanuel Sanders-SMU: 5th-6th round
18. Jacoby Ford-Clemson: 5th-6th round
19. Danario Alexander-Missouri: 6th round
20. Antonio Brown-Central Michigan: 6th round
21. Carlton Mitchell-South Florida: 6th round
22. Shay Hodge-Ole Miss: 6th-7th round
This year’s receiving class is extremely deep, but not very strong at the top. Dez Bryant is the favorite among the group, but he’s far from a complete receiver. Down the road though he has the potential to be a very good number 1 wideout, which should get him drafted in the 15-20 range of the 1st round.
Damien Williams gets overlooked because he’s not the tallest, strongest or fastest receiver in bunch, but he should not be ignored so quickly. He is an excellent route runner, that possesses elite ball skills and should contribute at the next level right off the bat. His character and work ethic are off the charts as well. He should be a steal at the end of the first round.
Golden Tate and Mardy Gilyard also get overlooked due to their height, but both should be immediate contributors. LaFell is loved in most draft circles and I expect him to be off the board early, but he worries me as a prospect overall. He could develop into a very good receiver, but there is a high bust factor as well for me.
Briscoe and Thomas are two underrated receivers both have the abilities to be top flight wideouts, but are still raw. Thomas especially had his development hindered in Georgia Tech’s option attack. In terms of raw skill Thomas is probably the number 1 player in this class, but his understanding of the nuances and route running ability are well below average.
Another raw player that I’m not nearly as enamored with is Benn. I realize the Illinois quarterback situation was down right awful, but Benn just completely disappeared this season. To be any higher than a late 3rd round prospect, Benn will need to show some impressive workout numbers and hopefully answer questions about his work ethic.
One other name to keep an eye on is David Reed from Utah. Reed had an impressive East-West Shrine Game week. He seems to have a very advanced understanding of what it takes to be a receiver at the next level. My 4th round grade could be pretty bullish, but my guess is 5 years from now people will be wondering why he wasn’t among the top 50 picks in this year’s draft. All-in-all has impressive depth, any of the 22 players I listed could develop into at the very least a solid contributor.