After A.J. Green’s Pro Bowl rookie season, standards will be high for the 2012 draft class at wide receiver. However, some of the top wideouts in the draft face as many questions as answers.
These three look like the surest bets to land in Round 1, but the teams that select them may not be getting the best value for their picks:
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
The one real star in this year’s class, Blackmon has put up video game numbers in Oklahoma State’s pass-heavy offense. He finished 2011 with 121 catches for 1,522 yards and 18 TDs, capped by a 186-yard, three-TD showcase in the Fiesta Bowl.
Blackmon doesn’t have overwhelming size (6’1”, 215 lbs) or speed, but his productivity is undeniable. If the Rams draft him—and they’d be fools not to—Sam Bradford could send Blackmon to a Pro Bowl of his own.
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
The greatest receiver in Notre Dame history, Michael Floyd owns the school’s career records for receptions, yards, TDs and 100-yard games. He capped his career with another school-record total of 100 catches to go with 1,147 yards and nine TDs.
Like Blackmon, Floyd faces questions about his speed at the next level, though his 6’3”, 224-lb frame will certainly help. A team that drafts him looking for a No. 1 receiver will be disappointed, but he’ll be a valuable No. 2 in a year or so.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Alshon Jeffery closed his college career in style with a 78-yard catch and a 51-yard TD on a Hail Mary jump ball in South Carolina’s Capital One Bowl romp over Nebraska. He was named game MVP despite being ejected for fighting in the third quarter.
Jeffery’s 6’4”, 229-lb frame has pro scouts salivating, but his production as a junior—49 catches, 762 yards and eight TDs—was disappointing to say the least. Even if his idiotic bowl-game behavior was an isolated incident, his unimpressive speed and inability to follow up a strong sophomore campaign make him look like a potentially huge bust as a pro.