Continuing our post NFL Combine assessments, we are grading the wide receivers today. On the whole, this is a pretty solid class. However, keeping with the theme of this year’s combine, the speeds posted by many of the receivers were a bit disappointing.
1) Michael Crabtree: Even with a stress fracture in his foot, Crabtree is still the best receiver on the board. As long as his hands work, he has the skills to be a great receiver for a long time in the NFL.
2) Darius Hayward-Bey: Hayward-Bey was the big mover at the combine this year. His times were off the chart, which I expected from him. What he did to improve his stock was prove that he had more than just straight-line speed. Hayward-Bey was mobile and proved he could get in and out of his cuts and make great breaks on the ball.
Jeremy Maclin: Maclin did not test as well as I would have liked in the combine. But he proved to have good hands, and he is still a multitalented threat. Unlike the other guys on this list, Jeremy Maclin can be a help on offense and special teams, and that places him a step above the rest.
4) Percy Harvin: Frankly, Harvin disappointed me in the combine. His 40 times were in the 4.5 and 4.6 range, far below anything I expected from him. I’m sure Harvin still has the potential to become a talented receiver in the NFL, but he will have to work for it.
5) Hakeem Nicks: Nicks tested well as we knew he would. However, unlike Hayward-Bey who tested well in straight-line speed as well as movement, Nicks failed to show the agility I would like from a prime time receiver.
On the whole, I am still in the air on how I feel about this year’s class of receivers. We all know what Michael Crabtree can do, but untill he returns from his foot injury, even his overall status remains in the air. As far as the other men on this list, I would recommend that GM’s draft very carefully.