NFL Draft 2013: Teams That Must Grab a WR in 1st Round
While this draft class doesn't offer up a dominant wide receiver worthy of a top-five draft slot, there are a handful with the talent to warrant a first-round selection.
Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter, California's Keenan Allen, USC's Robert Woods, West Virginia's Tavon Austin, Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins and possibly several more are all wide receivers with talent, generating buzz that they could go in the first round.
This deep crop of receivers is great news for the following teams. These three teams not only need to add a receiver, but one who also has the kind of No. 1 potential that is reserved for receivers going in the first round.
The Texans boast one of the NFL's most complete teams. However, this team slumped at the end of the season as they were just 2-4 in their last six games (including the playoffs). In that six-game stretch, the Texans averaged just 18.7 points per game.
At the heart of this problem was the lack of talent to stretch out a defense.
While, at 31, Andre Johnson is still a dominant receiver, he isn't getting a lot of help. Johnson led the Texans with 1,598 receiving yards last season. The next closest Texans receiver was Kevin Walter with 518 yards.
The Texans need someone to help take some of the extra attention off of Johnson and the running game.
While Houston could wait until the later rounds to find receiver help, they would be better off going for a stud. This way they could groom that receiver to take over for Johnson when he is injured and/or starts to decline with age.
Last year, Josh Gordon led the Browns with 805 receiving yards, and Greg Little led them with 53 catches.
While both of these youngsters have talent and will likely continue to progress as they have just three combined years of NFL experience, it is hard see either guy ever capturing the consistency needed to be a true No. 1.
If I'm the Browns, who draft at No. 6, I would field calls to slide back a few spots in the draft and target a receiver.
This would likely lead to an extra pick or two in the draft for the Browns while allowing them to get a good value pick on a potential No. 1 receiver.
This would allow the anemic Browns' offense to continue to progress as the extra wide receiver will be a huge boost to Brandon Weeden, or whoever is the Browns' starting quarterback next year, and also help stretch out a defense for running back Trent Richardson.
Ryan Tannehill suffered through an up-and-down rookie season at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, and he will continue to be inconsistent until this team gets him some weapons to throw to.
Brian Hartline had a solid year by posting 74 catches for 1,083 yards. However, he also had just one touchdown, and I don't think anyone whose last name isn't Hartline is under the impression that the 26-year-old is a true No. 1.
The Dolphins must find someone with No. 1 potential. This will help ease the pressure on Hartline and allow Davone Bess to stick to the slot.
Last year the Dolphins made a big investment in Tannehill. This year it is time to find someone who helps ensure his success.
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