I think the 2010 NFL Draft's receivers can be broken down into three categories. One,
receivers that will make an immediate impact. Two, receivers that will be vying for a spot in training camp to make an immediate impact. Three, receivers that have potential in future years to replace aging players and make an impact.
Dez Bryant—Dallas Cowboys
Many believe Bryant is the best WR talent in the draft. He goes to a team with a solid, young QB (a wide receiver's best friend). Yes, he will have to compete for balls against Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Felix Jones, and Marion Barber. It is conceivable, though, that he catches five balls a game, which would put him in the 75-80 catch range, with about 1,100 to 1,200 yards, and probably six TDs in his rookie season alone. You have to like him as a solid WR2 option in most draft formats.
Demaryius Thomas—Denver Broncos
Out steps Brandon Marshall, in steps Thomas. He was a solid playmaker in college and should be able to establish himself as a solid go-to receiver in the Denver offense. His prospects are even more improved because the team drafted Tim Tebow to develop as the quarterback of the future. Thomas should be a WR2 option as well in most draft formats.
Arrelious Benn—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Benn steps onto the field easily as the top receiving option in Tampa. With that being said though, his options are limited until Josh Freeman can develop more as a quarterback. I see Benn as a WR3 option.
Golden Tate—Seattle Seahawks
Tate figures to play in a Percy Harvin-type role for Seattle. I would project him to have a similar rookie season to Harvin.
Possible Immediate Impact
Damian Williams—Tennessee Titans
Word out of Titans' offseason workouts this year is that head coach Jeff Fisher is not too enamored with last year’s first-round pick Kenny Britt. He appears to have been slacking in the offseason and not coming to work prepared. This may open up an opportunity for Williams in training camp. That is something to keep an eye on during the summer months.
Brandon LaFell—Carolina Panthers
LaFell will be competing against Dwayne Jarrett in camp for the WR2 slot in Carolina opposite Steve Smith. Jarrett hasn’t impressed so far, so LaFell has a definite shot at cracking the starting lineup.
Mardy Gilyard—Saint Louis Rams
Gilyard is in a similar situation to most of the guys on the possible impact list. He needs to beat out Laurent Robinson and Brandon Gibson for a starting spot. That’s a task he could easily do.
Mike Williams—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yes, it is conceivable the Bucs also go with Williams at the other WR slot. He only has to beat out veteran reject Reggie Brown and holdovers Maurice Stovall and Sammie Stroughter for a position.
Marcus Easley—Buffalo Bills
Easley could slide into a starting role with the Bills. His main competition is James Hardy and Steve Johnson for the WR2 slot opposite Lee Evans. You would have to think he has an outside chance at it.
Carlton Mitchell—Cleveland Browns
Even though Mitchell was drafted in the sixth round, he still possesses enough talent to challenge the receivers in Cleveland for a starting spot. I could even see him turning into the go-to receiver there if Massaquoi and Robiskie don’t develop fast enough.
I will just merely list these players along with the potential player they may replace once the veteran player moves on.
- Jordan Shipley—Cincinnati Bengals (Antonio Bryant)
- Eric Decker—Denver Broncos (Jabar Gaffney)
- Taylor Price—New England Patriots (Randy Moss)
- Dezmon Briscoe—Cincinnati Bengals (Chad Ochocinco)
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