Join Date: May 2004
Location: Deer Park, TX
ESPN Ranks the ...
I'm just quoting the first four WRs listed, but for the other 9 go to ESPN.com
Here is how ESPN.com rates the top 13 wide receiver prospects in the draft:
• Braylon Edwards (Michigan)
Vital statistics: 6-feet-2 7/8, 210 pounds, 4.48 in the 40.
Numbers game: Caught just three passes for 38 yards as a true freshman in 2001, then posted huge numbers every year thereafter. In final three seasons, went over 1,000 yards every year and had 10 or more touchdowns in every campaign. Finished with 252 catches for 3,542 yards and 39 touchdowns in 44 games, including 36 starts. Had 10 rushes for 72 yards and no touchdowns. Competed in track in the 60-meter and 200-meter sprints. A consensus All-American choice, two-time all-Big 10 selection and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's premier receiver in 2004.
Upside: Tall and linear, long arms, a superb playmaker. Knows how to use his size, especially in the red zone, to take the ball away from defenders. Great frame, looks like a slightly too-tall tailback and has the same kind of open-field running skills. Strong run instincts after the catch and has excellent change of direction. More quick than fast but can still break down a cornerback's cushion. Great leaper and makes super adjustments to the ball. Gives up his body in both the passing and the running game. Continues to get better in every facet of the game and really sweats the detail-type stuff.
Downside: Still needs to work on some of his routes, will round some patterns off, and doesn't always sell a pattern when he senses the ball isn't coming his way. Because he is so talented, will coast or lose concentration at times. Frustrated coaches early in his career with a bit of a prima donna attitude, showed up late to practices and meetings, and displayed some selfishness.
The dish: Not a blazer but might be the premier overall prospect in the entire draft and figures to be chosen among top five.
• Mike Williams (Southern California)
Vital statistics: 6-feet-4 5/8, 229 pounds, 4.56 in the 40.
Numbers game: Played only two seasons, starting in 15 of 26 appearances, left school following the 2003 season to enter the draft, but was denied eligibility. Finished with 176 catches for 2,579 yards and 30 touchdowns. Went over the 1,000-yard mark both seasons, scoring 14 touchdowns in 2002 and 16 in 2003. Rushed five times for 35 yards and also completed all three of his pass attempts for 57 yards and one touchdown. Selected as an All-American in 2003, the first USC wide receiver to earn that honor since Keyshawn Johnson in 1995. Was the Trojans' first sophomore since Tony Boselli in 1992 to make an All-American squad.
Upside: Naturally gifted playmaker with great size-speed combination. Huge and inviting target who can muscle off smaller defensive backs, knows how to shield himself and to create separation. Will extend for the ball and seems oblivious to the traffic in the middle of the secondary. Can, and will, make the acrobatic catch. Strong hands and tough to pry the ball away from him. Nice fluidity for such a big receiver. Hard to knock off the ball away when he is running the inside slant. Big target in the red zone, especially on fade and corner routes. Solid runner after catch, surprisingly good vision and field awareness.
Downside: Lack of long speed might mean he's always an intermediate range threat. Footwork is inconsistent at times. Doesn't always bend for the low ball, and just sort of collapses slowly, like an accordion at times. Needs to work his way back to the ball a little better. A bit of a long strider. Has to learn to use his hands better to get release off the line and to fight off the initial jam when corners are pressing him. For such a big guy, not a very dominating blocker.
The dish: One of the great ironies of this draft is that Williams will go off the board higher in 2005, certainly among the top 10, than if he had been ruled eligible for the 2004 lottery.
• Troy Williamson (South Carolina)
Vital statistics: 6-feet-1 3/8, 203 pounds, 4.32 in the 40.
Numbers game: Two-year starter, appeared in 34 games and had 91 receptions for 1,754 yards and 13 touchdowns. Best season came in 2004 when he posted 43 catches for 835 yards, an average of 19.4 yards per reception. Surprisingly, never had a 1,000-yard year and never scored more than four touchdowns in a season. Averaged 18.6 yards on 24 kickoff returns, and carried 12 times for 101 yards. Set a conference record for longest play from scrimmage with a 99-yard catch against Virginia in 2003. Averaged over 30 yards per touchdown catch. An all-SEC choice in 2004.
Upside: Long-limbed and angular wideout with top-end deep speed. Excellent all-around athlete, fluid, almost lithe, in his movements. Seems like he is gliding sometimes, and that plays to his advantage because cornerbacks don't seem to realize how fast he really is moving until it's too late. Has very subtle moves at the line of scrimmage to escape the jam. Knows how to knock a cornerback's hands away from him. Soft hands and can pluck the ball, makes good adjustments, catches the ball away from his body.
Downside: Because he didn't play in a big-time passing game, will have to work on his recognition skills, reading secondary rotations, and on route adjustments. Not as good a runner after the catch as Edwards or Williams. Needs to run routes sharper, and without throttling down to make cuts, and will have to become more spatially aware.
The dish: Stock has skyrocketed since the end of the 2004 season and his vertical speed and home-run potential will make him a first-round choice.
• Mark Clayton (Oklahoma)
Vital statistics: 5-feet-10 3/8, 193 pounds, 4.40 in the 40.
Numbers game: Played in 52 games and started 36 of them, recorded 221 receptions for 3,241 yards and school-record 31 touchdowns. Had a huge season in 2003 when he rang up 83 catches for 1,425 yards and 15 scores. Scored touchdowns in eight straight games and had 10 catches of 40-plus yards. Numbers diminished in 2004, when he had 66 catches, because Sooners ran the ball a lot more with freshman Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Rushed 14 times for 82 yards, returned six kickoffs for 120 yards and seven punts for 101 yards and one touchdown. A two-time all-Big 12 choice and made most All-American teams in 2004.
Upside: Lacks the physical dimension of the bigger receivers in this year's pool, but a wiry build and can take punishment, certainly knows how to protect himself. Much more quick than fast, although he opened a lot of eyes at the scouting combine with his performance in the 40, and that surprised a lot of people who felt he was kind of pedestrian. Smooth and fluid, and of all the top receivers might be the most naturally explosive in and out of his cuts. That's particularly true on the inside routes. Good body control and super change-of-direction abilities. Long arms allow him to play a tad bigger than he is, and he is fearless in traffic and in terms of attacking the ball. Smart and savvy, has played in sophisticated passing game and knows how to get open. Can return kicks.
Downside: Not a guy who is going to regularly run up the boundary and separate from the cornerback on a "nine" route. Doesn't jump well. Could use some more bulk in his upper body, but not too much, since that might slow him down.
The dish: Quality receiver who knows how to play the game. Looks like a No. 2 wideout, but for some teams and in some offensive systems, could easily be a lead guy. A whole lot quicker than people anticipated and should be chosen in the first round.
More on WRs
Others: Fred Gibson (Georgia), Roydell Williams (Tulane), Tab Perry (UCLA), Geoff McArthur (California), Paris Warren (Utah), J.R. Russell (Louisville), Leron McCoy (Indiana, Pa.), Airese Currie (Clemson), Josh Davis (Marshall), Reggie Harrell (TCU), Tony Brown (Tennessee), Darian Durant (North Carolina).
Rising: Speedster Jerome Mathis (Hampton) dazzled scouts at the combine with his 4.3-range speed and, while very raw and from a small-school program, is getting lots of attention. And no wonder. The guy averaged 26.4 yards per catch over the course of his career and scored 21 touchdowns on just 93 receptions. He also averaged 26.6 yards per kickoff return and scored six times. From a bigger school, Craig Bragg (UCLA) is a solid, possession-type guy with a little more quickness than scouts thought. Finally, and it's about time, scouts are beginning to take a closer look at Taylor Stubblefield (Purdue), the NCAA's all-time leading pass-catcher. Yeah, he can't run out of sight in a week, but he is a superb slot receiver who will be a middle-round bargain.
Declining: Chris Henry (West Virginia) was one of the country's top prospects going into the '04 season, but off-field issues and basic immaturity have cost him dearly. Steve Savoy (Utah) was the favorite receiver for Alex Smith but he has fallen out of favor with scouts because of molasses-like 40 times. Another once-promising wideout who has run disappointing times is Dante Ridgeway (Ball State).
Intriguing: Everyone knows about the Oklahoma tandem of Mark Clayton and Mark Bradley, but the Sooners have two more wideouts, Brandon Jones and Will Peoples, who merit consideration. Peoples won't light up anyone with his speed, in the 4.6 range, but is a steady possession receiver. Jones runs in the 4.4s, is very smooth, and could develop into a productive No. 3 wideout with the right team. Tommy Manus (Morgan State) is another 4.6 receiver, even less polished than Peoples, but a player with compelling size (6-feet-3½ and 222 pounds) and nice athleticism.
Sleepers: As usual, there is a ton of late-round possibilities at the position. Jamaica Rector (Northwest Missouri State) is a blazer who dominated at Division II but is a tad undersized. Efrem Hill (Samford) was one of the premier players at the Division I-AA level and, while reed-thin, is a tough receiver. Larry Brackins (Pearl River Community College) is nearly 6-feet-5, has a huge wingspan and has too many raw skills to just dismiss out of hand. Munchkin-sized Chad Owens (Hawaii) has played in a big-time, sophisticated passing game and possesses dynamic return skills.
Notable: Oklahoma's Mark Clayton helped teammate Lynn McGruder rescue a family of five from a serious automobile accident and was nominated for several awards for bravery and courage. … Jason Anderson of Wake Forest is the nephew of former NFL player Cornelius Johnson. … Fred Amey of Sacramento State is the brother of former Oakland defensive lineman Vince Amey. … Mark Bradley of Oklahoma is the son of former Sooners quarterback David Bradley. … Tennessee's Tony Brown broke several of Michael Irvin's high school receiving records in Florida. … Michigan star Braylon Edwards is the son of former Wolverines running back Stanley Edwards, who played for the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions. … Hampton's Jerome Mathis won six track titles, all in the sprints, in high school. … Virginia's Michael McGrew is the cousin of former San Francisco defensive lineman and first-round pick Reggie McGrew. … Courtney Roby is the cousin of the late Reggie Roby, the onetime NFL punter.
Originally Posted by gwallaia
God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.