With a new emphasis on passing the football in the NFL, wide receivers have become more essential to a team's success than ever before.
Luckily for organizations in need of an aerial jolt on offense, the 2012 draft class of wideouts is deep.
Let's rank the top receivers.
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
No question here.
The 6'1'', 215-pound, extremely physical Blackmon is the best and most NFL-ready receiver in the 2012 class.
He reeled in 232 catches and 38 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Oklahoma State and is a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner, which acknowledges the top receiver in college football.
I love Blackmon's ability to snag the football with coverage draped on him along with his big play potential. Because he's so big and has that hard-nosed demeanor he's incredibly tough to bring down in the open field.
He should be one of the first five selections.
2. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Jeffery is more in the Calvin Johnson mold because of his 6'4'', 235-pound frame. The South Carolina star isn't as fluid and athletic as Megatron, but he's a tremendous deep threat like the Detroit Lions star largely due to his intimidating size and leaping ability.
He must become a more all-around receiver, especially running those intermediate routes that move the chains.
If has a strong pre-draft process, runs well and doesn't display any weight issues, he should be picked in the Top 10.
3. Kendall Wright, Baylor
Among a group of colossal receivers, the 5'10'' Baylor Bear is still the third-best receiver in this year's class.
He brings a skill set comparable to DeSean Jackson to the NFL. At 190 pounds, he can be a bit more physical with press corners.
The Baylor star has the flatline speed to be a threatening downfield option, but was featured on a variety of bubble screens as a collegian.
Wright is extremely versatile out of the slot.
He should test out as one of the fastest receivers at the combine and his productivity (186 catches, 2,615 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2010 and 2011 combined) will make him a late first-round selection.
2012 NFL Mock Draft (Jan. 10 Update)
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
8. Carolina Panthers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
9. Miami Dolphins: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
10. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
11. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry, OLB, USC
12. Kansas City Chiefs: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Vontaze Burfict, LB Arizona State
16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
18. San Diego Chargers: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
19. Chicago Bears: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
20. Tennessee Titans: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons): Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
23. Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia
25. Denver Broncos: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
26. Houston Texans: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
27. New York Giants: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
28. Baltimore Ravens: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
29. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints): Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
30. San Francisco 49ers: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
31. New England Patriots: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
32. Green Bay Packers: Chris Polk, RB, Washington
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