Official website of the New England Patriots

replay
Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Mon Aug 10 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

From the Hart: Breaking down the WRs

220x296-20121011-wrs.jpg

And the PFW boys have concluded breaking down the video tape on hundreds of prospects at the various positions.

Before the teams actually begin making their selections on April 26, I get the chance to voice my views on the players at the various positions. Today that means a look at the wide open class of wide receivers.

Our friends over at NFLDraftScout.com have 39 players graded as possible picks in the seven rounds of the draft. They list the possibility of five guys going in the first round. I think there is a lot of depth and talent in this group, with the likelihood that some stars will be selected in the middle rounds. I don't think there is a truly elite talent at receiver in this draft – no Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green – but there is a lot of overall talent to be had.

So, here are one man's views of a deep, varied crop of wide receivers available in this April's draft. And to review, if a guy isn't on this list it means I probably wouldn't really want to draft him.

1 – Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State: Though not in the class of a Johnson or Green, there is a lot to like about Blackmon – most notably huge production. I don't think he plays with elite football speed (4.48 Pro Day 40), but he does make people miss, adjusts well to the ball and has solid hands. He's fast enough, big enough and good enough to be a very good and probably Pro Bowl-caliber player as the consensus top WR prospect in this class.

2 – Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech: Hill is a bit of a projection coming out of an option offense where he had limited chances to catch the ball. But he has elite speed, athletic ability and potential. I liked the way he caught the ball at the Combine. I'd take a chance on a guy who could be a true star as a deep threat.

3 – Rueben Randle, LSU – Not as productive as some of the other pass catchers — thanks to suspect QBs – Randle has great size and potential. He's aggressive and fights for the ball. He's not super quick, but has the speed to make big plays.

4 – Kendal Wright, Baylor – Wright is the only top receiver under 6-0, but he is also considered by some to be the best deep threat. He's fast enough despite a disappointing 40 and has everything other than the height that you could ask for in a top target. He does body-catch too much for my liking.

5 – Michael Floyd, Notre Dame: I just don't like Floyd as much as some others do. Mel Kiper thinks he has the potential to be the best receiver and maybe one of the best players in this draft. He has some off-field issues and drops the ball a bit. He had good production for the Irish, but I just have a feeling he's not going to be a true No. 1 NFL receiver. But he's probably going to get picked high in the first round.

6 – Brian Quick, Appalachian State: With over 200 career catches. Quick had good production at a lower level of competition. He has great size and good speed. He has strong hands and a slashing style after the catch.

7 – Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers: Sanu was linked to the Patriots early on in the process and certainly does seem like a Belichick-type player. Sanu has great versatility (inside, outside, returner, Wildcat) and good production in a program we know Belichick respected. He's not super quick or fast, but got the job done. He doesn't have the potential to be elite, but could have a very nice NFL career.

8 – Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma: The only question with Broyles – who tore his ACL last fall – is where his value is given the injury. He's a quick, fearless, physical receiver who will have a productive NFL career for some team. He's fast enough, has good body control and 349 receptions on his career resume. Sign me up.

9 – T.Y. Hilton, Florida International: Hilton is — to steal a term from Bethel Johnson's college coach – "scary fast." He's had nagging injuries, but is a pure (4.3 40) speed playmaker with ability in the return game as well. The potential there is great.

10 – Eric Page, Toledo: Page was considered one of the nation's most versatile players. He had 300-plus catches, can return and do the Wildcat. He is very quick (which is good for a 5-9, 186 pounder), is slippery to tackle and plays tough. An intriguing latter-round guy.

11 — Marvin McNutt, Iowa: McNutt doesn't have elite football speed or quickness. So he doesn't always get good separation. But he has decent size, good hands, fights for the ball and is a converted QB. He kind of reminds me a little of David Givens. Might be worth a look late.

12 – Marquis Maze, Alabama: Where better to get a late-round possibility than Nick Saban's national champs? Maze is small but productive and versatile. He has nice hands, adjusts to the ball, can return punts and finishes plays. Worth a look.

What do you think of my list and breakdowns? With so many WR options, who do you think I left off that deserved a spot? Let us know with a comment below!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising