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2015 Wide Receiver Rankings

May 1, 2015
Who cloned Julio Jones?

Who cloned Julio Jones?

  1. Kevin White West Virginia 6’2 5/8 215 Sr. JUCO kid who had only 35 507 5 TD in 2013 before exploding onto the scene with 109 1,447 10 TD. He reminds me of Julio Jones with his elite speed and strength, the dreads don’t hurt either. Cooper is a superior route runner and is more polished but to me White is the clear cut #1 WR in this draft. I love his aggressiveness on the football field as he gives his team an edge. I love that he dominated Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M with TCU being the only big game on his schedule where he didn’t go for at least 7 receptions and at least 129 receiving yards. White ran a 4.35 40 at the Combine at 6’2 5/8 215 lbs. Julio Jones ran a 4.42 40 at 6’2 ¾ 220 lbs. I thought that had all but wrapped up his #1 ranking but now it seems like it is an almost guarantee that Cooper goes off the board 1st. I think it is a mistake as Cooper was force fed the ball and isn’t nearly the talent White is. I see White being a Top 10 WR within 2 years of entering the NFL and he will be in the crowded Pro Bowl mix with Megatron, Thomas, Bryant, Jones, Brown and the newcomer Beckham. Top 5 as my #1 WR 4/30/15.
  2. Amari Cooper Alabama 6’0 7/8 211 Jr. Cooper led the nation with 124 catches. He played on the most visible team in the nation. He was the 2014 Biletnikoff Award Winner. He was coached by Nick Saban. He is the best route runner in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is in the running for the best hands in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is not a diva WR. All of those things are true but I still see him as an overrated prospect that eerily reminds me of Marqise Lee who burned me last year. Keep in mind he was a borderline 1st round pick going into this year as his sophomore campaign wasn’t very impressive. He isn’t strong, tall or very tough which makes me think he will be a high grade #2 WR more than a top end #1. He could surprise me but I think he will underwhelm expectations and Lane Kiffin will be exposed as a future red flag for prospects. In 2012 Kiffin force fed the ball to Marqise Lee who won the Biletnikoff Award that year (118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 TDs) and in 2014 he force fed the ball to Amari Cooper who also won the Biletnikoff (124 catches for 1,727 yards and 16 TDs). Do you see any similarity? I do. Cooper will be a very good player and is superior to Lee as a prospect but neither look like #1 wideout material. Cooper’s polish, experience and professionalism are valuable traits but I can’t recommend him to a GM if I was picking in the Top 10. He just doesn’t have enough upside. Mid 1st 4/30/15.
  3. DeVante Parker Louisville 6’2 5/8 209 Sr. Parker is a good WR with one elite trait that could turn him into a Pro Bowler if used correctly. That trait is the jump ball and he is one of the best I’ve ever graded at it. My three best all time are Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant and Parker isn’t too far off those three. As a pure receiver he isn’t all that good as he has a wiry frame which doesn’t allow him to be a physical receiver like a Bryant or Kevin White but isn’t a burner either. He ran a 4.45 in the 40 but I feel like he doesn’t play up to that speed. His production hasn’t been great but has been consistent as he’s had 744-885 yards receiving with his TDs fluctuating a bit with 5, 12 and 10 the past 3 seasons. Take out his red zone skills and he’s a second rounder but Parker could be devastating as a jump ball fade target. He’s 6’2 ½ with ’33 ¼ arms, a ’36 ½ vertical and has incredible hands and timing. It is a skill that will transition well to the next level and should allow him to make a sizable impact. Late 1st 4/30/15.
  4. Nelson Agholar USC Late 1st
  5. Breshad Perrimann UCF 6’2 212 Jr. He ran a 4.25 40 at his pro day. It has really boosted his stock but probably to too high a level as most scouts say you drop a 40 by one tenth of a second if it is at a pro day so he really ran a 4.35 40, still incredible. Also his tape looks 4.4 speed to me as he’s very fast but I don’t see him playing as fast as Kevin White who ran a 4.35. He did average +20 yards a catch as a senior and his highlight reel is one long catch after another where he takes it and works the field like a punt returner. Perriman has great thickness in his body which should make him a tough receiver after the catch and I like what I saw on film but I don’t consider him on par with the other top receivers and even have Agholar ahead of him. Early 2nd round 4/30/15.
  6. Tyler Lockett Kansas State 5’9 7/8 182 Sr. Tyler is an electrifying player who was one of the most prolific receivers in the nation in 2014 (106 1,515 11 TD). He also was the best punt returner in the nation averaging a gaudy 19.14 yards per attempt, including 2 TDs, and will be a multi dimensional threat. He dominated top level talent like TCU, Baylor and UCLA and got better as the season went along with 5 straight +100 yard games to end his career. I love everything about Lockett from his speed (4.40 40) to his bloodlines to his toughness to his route running skills. For the life of me I cannot fathom why everyone has Phillip Dorsett ahead of Lockett. I do not and think he is one of the most underrated players in this draft. Early 2nd round 4/30/15.
  7. Jaelen Strong Arizona State 6’2 3/8 217 Sr. JUCO kid. He was an immediate factor with back to back seasons of +75 catches, +1,100 yards and 7-10 TDs. He ran a 4.44 40 but doesn’t play up to that speed. He had a ’42 vertical and 11’3 broad (both elite numbers) and he does play up to those numbers as he is an elite jump ball wideout. Unfortunately he chose the wrong draft to have that skill as DeVante Parker already has that area covered pretty well. Strong has a lot of Larry Fitzgerald to his game but lacks the speed and quickness Larry had to consistently separate. I see that being an issue for Strong as so much of his tape is coming down with the contested ball or winning a jump ball. The elite wideouts separate from defenders making throws easy for their QB. He projects as a solid #2 possession receiver who will get a nice boost in value in the red zone due to his elite vertical, strong frame and incredible hands. He has arguably the best hands in the draft and again makes him a good fit as a possession guy. 2nd round 4/30/15.
  8. Phillip Dorsett Miami 5’9 ¾ 185 Sr. An undersized speedster who ran a 4.33 40, Dorsett has one elite trait and fits well into an offense as a #2 complementary receiver. He had a good season in 2014 (36 871 10) and 2012 (58 842 4) yet had a down year in 2013 (missed 4 games but still only had 272 receiving yards) and was often overshadowed at Miami. He had a great Senior Bowl but I always am hesitant with that for smaller receivers as there is a lot of off coverage played so it helps guys like Sinorice Moss become MVP and then never be heard from again. Dorsett impresses me with his quickness, hands and speed so he isn’t a one trick pony but I think he’s a bit overrated. Late 2nd round 4/30/15.
  9. Devin Smith Ohio State 6’0 3/8 196 Sr. One of the 2-3 best deep threats in this draft Devin has very good speed (4.42 40) and is even more dangerous due to his uncanny ability to judge and track a deep ball. It is very centerfielder like and allows him to come down with a ball despite a defender being in the vicinity. His ’39 vertical, 10’2 broad and 4.15 shuttle all are very impressive for a 6’0 200 WR and I waffle in between whether he’s overrated due to playing for OSU or if he’s actually underrated since he was so good at the deep ball that they forced him to only run that route. His 28.21 average per reception in 2014 is ridiculous considering he had almost 1,000 yards receiving (931) and he did it against very good competition. I like Smith but he’s another one trick pony as a deep threat and is even less accomplished than Phillip Dorsett in that regard. He never had a 1,000 yard season and only had one season with +700 yards so I’ve settled on him being overrated. Early 3rd round 4/30/15.
  10. Ty Montgomery Stanford 5’11 7/8 221 Sr. He had a surprisingly bad 40 at 4.55 but overall showed his athleticism at the Combine with a ’40 ½ vertical and 10’1 broad. He’s a tightly built, explosive athlete that projects to be a very good kick returner and a poor man’s Torrey Smith on the outside. At one time I had a late 1st round grade on him but I don’t think he’ll ever develop into a complete WR but as a complementary #2 deep threat type, he fits the bill. It will be interesting to see where he goes as he struggled through some injuries in 2014 so 2013 was clearly his best season and often times that causes a prospect to drop and become a steal. Early 3rd round 4/30/15.
  11. Stefon Diggs Maryland 6’0 195 Jr. He was one of the highest rated prospects out of HS and Maryland getting him was a big deal. He burst onto the scene as a true freshman with 54 848 6 TD and surprisingly that was the high point in his career. He had little talent around him at Maryland but some people accused him of playing to not get hurt in 2014 and he at times had mediocre film. His 4.46 40, ’35 vertical, 9’7 broad and 4.32 shuttle are all average or below average so this could be a case that the bar was raised a little to high for him coming out of HS. I like Diggs as a #2 complementary receiver as he has the size to stay outside and is a legit deep threat. As such he’s a little underrated right now and could be a steal if he gets lost in this deep WR class. 3rd round 4/30/15.
  12. Sammie Coates Auburn 6’1 3/8 212 Jr. An elite size/speed guy (4.43 40, ’41 vertical) who comes off as quite stupid in interviews. He has a little Terrell Owens in his style and seemed to copy Owens penchant for easy drops. I like Coates as a project as he has the raw talent to be a very good #2 WR and possibly even a low end #1 but he will be like riding a rollercoaster as there will be a lot of highs and lows. 3rd round boom/bust type 4/30/15.
  13. Kenny Bell Nebraska 6’0 1/8 197 Sr. Kenny is the all time leading receiver at Nebraska yet still doesn’t get the respect he deserves due to the infrequency that they target him. He put on a show at the Combine with 4.42 40, ’41 ½ vertical and a 10’9 broad. It’s no surprise that he’s one of the best blocking wideouts in the draft class but I doubt many realized he was also one of the most athletic. He’s one of the most well liked players, both by the community and by the coaching staff/players, that I’ve ever scouted. I think Kenny is an underrated player due to the system he came out of as he has great hands, runs good routes, has elite athleticism and should become a starting WR at the next level. 3rd round as one of the more underrated players in this draft 4/30/15.
  14. Jamison Crowder Duke 5’8 3/8 185 Sr. The classic waterbug slot receiver who is quicker than fast, Crowder is going to be an elite punt returner and has the quickness, hands and route running skills to be an impact slot receiver. He ran a 4.56 40 showing that he doesn’t have deep speed so there is no DeSean Jackson in him but I like him as a low ceilinged, polished slot receiver. Late 3rd round 4/30/15.
  15. Rashad Greene FSU 5’11 3/8 182 Sr. He had an okay Combine with a ’36 ½ vertical and 10’2 broad which were average, a 4.12 shuttle which was good and a 4.53 40 which was bad for a guy his size. Greene is one of the best route runners in this draft class but I don’t see a ton of talent to go with it. I think he projects as a polished, experienced #3 WR who could make develop into a #2. Late 3rd round 4/30/15.
  16. Dorial Green-Beckham Oklahoma 6’5 1/8 237 Jr. Dorial is a kid that was kicked off the team at Missouri, sat out a year while trying to regain eligibility and then inexplicably left school early for the NFL draft. It was a strange scenario since he could have gone to a Division IAA team and played last year so now teams have to sort out not just if he is a bad kid but also if the year off from playing football will result in any rust in his game. He was a former blue chip prospect out of HS but was kicked off the team after he had 3 brushes with the law in an 18 month span, with multiple ones being woman related. On the field I had issues with him as well as he rarely was ever open and most of his catches were deep jump balls. Also in 2013 he wasn’t even a dominant player for the Tigers as he had almost identical numbers to L’Damian Washington, another tall and thin wide receiver who ended up not being drafted. His 4.45 shuttle time was the third worst among 44 WRs at the Combine and it shows on film as he takes awhile to get in and out of breaks. Dorial has elite traits with his size, straight line speed and weight but he has so many red flags on and off the field that I don’t want to touch him in the early rounds. Late 3rd round as I didn’t consider a 1st rounder on the field and he has his share of off the field issues too 4/30/15.
  17. Justin Hardy East Carolina 5’10 ¼ 192 Sr. An ultra productive possession receiver with great hands, good route running skills and a lot of heart who just isn’t that talented. He maybe could become a #2 down the road but I’m not even sure that is really on the table as he might have to settle for being a #3 or #4 wideout. His Combine verified as much as his 40 (4.56), vertical (’36 ½), broad (9’6) and reps (11) all were below average to bad. He has great tape though and tough as nails guys with great hands who run good routes tend to make rosters. 4th round 4/30/15.
  18. Cris Conley Georgia 6’1 7/8 213 Sr. Conley is a WR that I had a late round grade on for the past few years as he’s tough, has good height, elite hands and is about as good of a kid as you will find. He’s a perfect locker room glue guy as he’ll be the hardest worker on the team and be a positive role model in the community. Then he ran a 4.35 40, had a ’45 vertical and an 11’7 broad which blew my mind. I went back to the film and just didn’t see this athleticism which is reminiscent of Donte Moncrief last year. I’m moving Conley up due to his borderline historic Combine numbers but he never had even a 700 receiving yard season despite playing 3 seasons with Aaron Murray so I still think he’ll max out as a #3 WR. Late 4th round 4/30/15.
  19. Devin Funchess Michigan 6’4 ¼ 232 Sr. He’s an incredibly difficult prospect to grade as the first thing that you need to do is determine what position he should play. At 6’4 ¼ 232 he’s between a WR and a TE, with 17 reps and a 4.70 40 he’s more TE but his film makes him seem more WR like. I honestly don’t know what to do with him as he’s a slow plodder but his frame and his hands are very impressive so he could be productive if used correctly. To me he has bust written all over him but I’ll admit that in the right scheme there could be a Pro Bowler somewhere in there. Early 5th round boom/bust type that I am 95% sure will not pan out 4/30/15.
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2 Comments
  1. peter permalink

    Does Dezmin Lewis have a burst? He’s great at plucking the ball, good enough work ethic. If he has a burst, he’ll make it.

    • I never saw any tape of him. I did think he was solid at the Senior Bowl practices but had him outside the top 4-5 rounds which tended to be my cutoff line for each position.

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