2014 NFL Draft: Every Top Receiver's Ideal NFL Complement
In the NFL, matchups make teams dangerous. And by pairing up each of these top 10 receivers with their NFL complements is how these NFL teams could be truly dangerous. It is also how these receivers will show their talents the best.
These pairings could compete with Chicago's Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall for best wide receiver tandem in the league.
10. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Ideal NFL Complement: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Jordan Matthews is extremely similar to Roddy White. The biggest difference is that he has a few more inches in height and length and doesn't have the experience in the league that White has right now. Matthews has to improve as a route-runner before he gets to White's level, too.
However, he's strong against the press, plays physically at the line and understands how to get open. The combination of him and Julio Jones would be scary for teams to face. Both men are big, strong and physical wide receivers. With White teaching Matthews how to emulate him, Matt Ryan would stay happy with his targets.
9. Cody Latimer, Indiana
Ideal NFL Complement: Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
Cody Latimer is a big, physical receiver with speed. He's a true No. 1 who uses his body effectively against cornerbacks and the press. He boxes out defenders and can be a possession receiver that Brian Hartline just isn't at this point and time.
Combining Latimer with the speedy, deep threat that Mike Wallace provides would give the Dolphins a pair of receivers who could take advantage of Ryan Tannehill's arm strength and intermediate accuracy. Wallace blowing the top off would allow Latimer to cut up the middle of the defense.
8. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
Having big, physical receivers who play on the outside and allow the slot man to gain as many yards as possible inside gave the Denver Broncos the best offense in the game in 2013. Donte Moncrief has a physical profile similar to Julio Jones.
Combining him with Demaryius Thomas would almost be unfair. Thomas and Moncrief are perfect fits for Peyton Manning because they fight for the ball on every snap and can beat a defense deep. Even more than that, Moncrief and Thomas are both solid run-blockers for Denver's zone game.
7. Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Ideal NFL Complement: Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a quarterback away from being competitive on offense. However, a No. 2 wide receiver would help them out a ton. With Josh Gordon as arguably the best wide receiver in football today, a great complement for him would be Jared Abbrederis.
He is sure-handed, quick off the line and intelligent in and out of his breaks and with his routes. The Wisconsin product has good size, great hands and enough speed to make a defense pay. But he also can run the intermediate routes and give the Browns the perfect complement to Gordon on the outside.
6. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Ideal NFL Complement: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
As good as Dwayne Bowe is, he could use a speed complement across from him who is better than Donnie Avery—especially since Dexter McCluster is now with the Tennessee Titans. So Brandin Cooks is the playmaking speed receiver that the Chiefs need.
However, unlike most pure speed guys, Cooks can run the interior slants effectively similar to DeSean Jackson. He's also able to take screens and turn them into huge gains the way Steve Smith did in his prime. The combination of Cooks and Bowe with Avery in the slot would be ideal for Alex Smith.
5. Marqise Lee, Southern California
Ideal NFL Complement: Eric Decker, New York Jets
The New York Jets need someone who can provide what Eric Decker can't on the other side of the field. Decker is a great possession receiver, but he's not very good with screen passes, and he doesn't blow the top off a defense going deep.
Marqise Lee basically ran two routes for the majority of his tenure with the Trojans—the screen and the go. Lee and Decker would be able to line up next to each other in a similar fashion to the way Decker did with Demaryius Thomas in Denver and run combo routes all day.
4. Davante Adams, Fresno State
Ideal NFL Complement: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant is a No. 1 receiver who can do it all. He's the next great receiver in the NFL if he keeps his attitude in check and makes sure that he is always on the same page with his quarterback. However, he could use a No. 2 who is just as well-rounded as he is.
And that guy is Davante Adams. He is similar to Bryant in that he's good at every aspect of being a wide receiver. Nonetheless, Adams isn't great at any one thing, and this hurts him when compared to the top three guys.
3. Odell Beckham Jr., Louisiana State
Ideal NFL Complement: Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably the best all-around receiver in this year's draft. While he isn't the speed specialist that Sammy Watkins is or the possession guy that Mike Evans is, he understands how to attack the ball and is a monster in the return game.
His fearless attitude would be a perfect complement to Vincent Jackson in Tampa Bay. Jackson is the big, quick No. 1 receiver who would be ideal for Beckham to play behind. Beckham and Jackson would be a good pair of starters for whoever winds up as the starting quarterback in Tampa Bay in 2014 and beyond.
2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Ideal NFL Complement: Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Mike Evans is the ultimate possession receiver in the 2014 draft. His large frame and tight end-esque ability to box out defensive backs would be useful in the NFC East, which has a ton of physical guys to line up against. Victor Cruz is a speed receiver who could be the perfect contrast in ability to Evans.
With Evans lining up in the slot in something of a joker tight end role, the Giants could have Cruz burning the defense on the outside. The combination of the two could make for the best receiving corps in the NFC East.
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Ideal NFL Complement: Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson is the best all-around wide receiver in the NFL. Golden Tate is definitely a good No. 3 receiver to play across from him, but Sammy Watkins is a special player. He's a home run threat every time he touches the ball and brings return ability to the Lions as well.
Johnson and Watkins would be scary for any defense to go against. But adding in Tate would allow the Lions to put Watkins in the slot next to Johnson. Watkins as a slot receiver would destroy any semblance of coverage that would line up across from him. Defenses should be scared if this happens.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN.com, CFBStats or NFL.com. All combine and pro-day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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