This year's draft has extremely high expectations, with a plethora of raw talent. The WR core will be one of the most talented out of the group. Here is a preview:
1) Michael Crabtree.
So what if he did not work out at the combine and had surgery on his foot. In just two years, in an extremely competitive Big-12 Conference, he put up 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns as an 18-year-old. The year after, he recorded 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is not the best route runner which is a big part of being a wide out in the NFL. You need to be able to time your routes perfectly, which Crabtree struggled with. He relied on his great body control and raw talent to put up his numbers. Crabtree will be a top prospect, but NFL scouts may be weary of him due to his no-show at the combine because of foot surgery. Still, look for Crabtree to be a first rounder.
2) Jeremy Maclin
Maclin is an electrifying wide out who was Chase Daniels' favorite target. Although he did not put up the numbers Crabtree did, Mizzou did not throw the ball every single play. His 6'1" height, 200 pounds, and 4.48 speed make him an awesome prospect, not to mention a great kick returner. He is what NFL talent scouts are moving towards, especially after last season. He can fit into a wildcat formation because of his size; he can be a factor back and a starting receiver. I feel that Maclin has a slight edge over Crabtree because of his size and combine performance.
Look for Maclin to be an early first rounder.
3) Percy Harvin
If you look up the definition of "slot wide receiver" in the dictionary, you will find Harvin's picture.
He specializes in taking short passes the distance with his 4.41 speed and the ability to run around defenders or through them. Yes, I said run through them, with his 200 pound frame.
If Harvin is not drafted by the 25th pick he will be taken by the Dolphins, no question about it. Harvin's versatility in his starting three years (1,929 total receiving yards, 1,851 total rushing yards) show that he can run the Dolphins wildcat offense and give defensive coordinators fits (oh, and he can take short passes the distance, which Chad Pennington loves to throw).
If Harvin doesn't go before the 25th pick, he will go to the Fins.
His size and talent is too good to pass up in the first round. Dont let his sub-par, injury-plagued senior year fool you; he is comparable to Crabtree.
Not the best route runner, but Heyward-Bey has great body control and borderline 4.29 speed. You don't normally find a guy who can run that fast at 6'2", 210 pounds. He has a vertical of 39 inches. He can fit in with any vertical passing game in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders need a guy like Heyward-Bey.
Look for him to be taken in the top 10.
5) Kenny Britt
This guy will be a nightmare for defenses in the NFL. He has a 6'4" frame and can cause huge match up problems with smaller D-backs. He only adds to his jump ball ability with a 37 inch vertical.
With over 3,100 yards in his career at Rutgers, he has shown that he can be a reliable target for a run-and-gun offense. You can expect him to go to a team with a strong armed QB, who can throw the deep ball and likes taking chances. He can bring down balls with the combination of size, strength, and leaping ability. He will be very productive in his rookie season.
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