Power Ranking Top 10 WR Recruits of the 2014 Class
Throughout this week, we've been taking an early look at the top 10 quarterbacks, running backs and offensive recruits for the 2014 class. Defensive recruits were also ranked this week. However, this piece will continue the early assessments of offensive players in 2014 class, as we will be ranking the top 10 WR prospects here.
The receiver position is evolving into a role of more importance in today's game, as more and more teams are running spread offenses that feature four and five-receiver sets. Passing attacks are more sophisticated than they have ever been and, with that teams need receivers who have speed, strong hands, athleticism, separation quickness and playmaking ability.
While it is very early in the 2014 recruiting process, these 10 receivers are starting to separate themselves from the pack nationally at the position. Here's an early power ranking of the top 10 WR recruits for 2014.
10. Artavis Scott
Scott is a 5'10", 175-pounder from Florida who plays with a slick style on the field. He can skate around with good speed, eludes defenders well with ball and can be a problem for defenses after the catch due to his good YAC skills.
Scott can be a matchup nightmare vs. slot defenders and has a similar build to USC commit Steven Mitchell. He's one of the top players in the Sunshine State this year.
247Sports lists Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan, Florida, Notre Dame and USF as his top schools.
9. Josh Malone
Malone is going to be one of the top recruits from the South this year. He's a 6'2' WR, with a lean 185-pound frame and good speed.
If Malone reaches his potential, he has a chance to be prime time WR at the next level. He has the long speed to get vertical, the length to snatch balls out of the air and good athleticism to make plays.
247Sports has Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Notre Dame as some of his top early offers.
8. Michiah Quick
The name of Quick's game is speed and, well, quickness. At 6'0" and 170 pounds, the California native is an electric player on the field and reminds me of California receiver Bryce Treggs.
Quick is from the same school of UCLA signee Johnny Johnson and Oklahoma signee L.J. Moore. The two CBs made sure they made Quick better everyday in practice as a junior.
Look for Quick to stay on the West Coast.
7. Mark Andrews
If you're looking a big WR with has good hands who can catch in crowds and become a terror in the red zone, then Andrews is your guy.
From Arizona, Andrews is a 6'6", 225-pound receiver. There's a chance he may grow into a being a TE, but for now we'll leave him on the WR board.
Andrews caught 81 passes 1,590 yards and 22 TDs last year. Arizona, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma stand out in this recruiting race, per 247Sports.
6. Drake Harris
Harris is another tall receiver at 6'4", 180 pounds. He's from Michigan and has excellent ball skills, strong hands, solid speed and runs good routes.
Harris doesn't get too rattled when he sees a CB come up to press him, because he knows he has the length to stay clean. He's a smart guy that knows where overage voids are vs. zone schemes.
After catching 91 balls for 2,015 yards and 25 TDs, Harris comes into his senior season already committed to Michigan State, but continues to explore his options.
5. Shaq Davidson
Davidson is a 6'0", 170-pound WR from South Carolina who can flat out ball. He can excel as a burner with his speed to get past the safeties, but also has the ability to take short routes for big gains. Davidson can also be a threat in the return game.
He can play in the slot if you need him to or work on the perimeter. Davidson can release well, elude press coverage with quickness and is a good weapon to have on offense.
This is South Carolina's race to lose.
4. Speedy Noil
Noil, from New Orleans, plays some QB for his high school team Edna Karr in New Orleans, but receiver may be his long term best position. He's a 5'10", 175-pounder with good speed, agility, quick feet and explosiveness.
As a dual-threat QB in 2012, Noil passed for 2,235 yards and 22 TDs, while running for another 1,345 yards and 20 TDs. He also caught another 18 passes for 248 yards and three TDs.
I'd be pretty surprised if he ended up anywhere other than LSU.
3. KD Cannon
Cannon is a very heady and aware receiver that finds a way to get open in the passing game. He can separate and uncover well from defenders and is a reliable catcher.
He's thin, even lanky, at 6'0", 158 pounds, but the Texan is productive. As a junior, Cannon exploded for 102 receptions,1,600 yards and 26 scores.
247Sports reports Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas as schools that just might have the inside track.
2. Trevion Thompson
Thompson is a 6'2" WR that weighs a bit over 180 pounds out of North Carolina. He has deceptive strength, solid speed and is one of the top pure athletes in the country for 2014.
He faced double and triple teams frequently as a junior but, when he did get the ball, he shined. Thompson can go highpoint a ball in flight, come down and race to end zone or work the chains in the intermediate areas.
North Carolina, NC State, Clemson, Florida and Ohio State are schools to watch for him.
1. Ermon Lane
Lane is a WR that stands between 6'2" and 6'3" and weighs over 190 pounds. He's from Florida and has smooth athleticism, flashes some release quickness and has outstanding ball skills.
I've seen this guy catch in crowds with ease, highpoint balls and show good speed to threaten the third level. He separates solidly and can get out of his cuts well.
He's the top WR on my 2014 board right now and Miami, Alabama, Florida and Florida are the big four that I'd advise to keep an eye on with Lane.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.