A wide receiver is an integral part of an offense because of their ability to break open a game instantly.
Other than quarterback, wide receiver is perhaps the most high-risk, high-reward position in the NFL. For every superstar that has made their name in the NFL, there is one who vastly underachieved based on their draft position.
NFL teams want a playmaker who spreads the field, makes spectacular catches and help lead his team to victory.
Last season, a number of rookie wide receivers made their presence felt throughout the NFL such as Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and the 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Percy Harvin.
Despite needs for every team at various positions, a dominant wide receiver could very well be the difference between making the playoffs and an early off season.
Here are five receivers who can help their teams make a playoff run.
Dexter McCluster was a running back at the University of Mississippi where he finished his final season with the Rebels rushing for eight TDs while adding three scores receiving.
The Kansas City Chiefs drafted McCluster with the #36 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft and converted him into a WR.
Receiver play was a big issue for Kansas City last season but with QB Matt Cassel having a year of learning the offense as well as the full services of WRs Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers, the Chiefs look to build a strong receiving corps.
McCluster could have the advantage for the slot receiver position due to his speed and versatility.
He is a small but crafty athlete with the ability to create separation and make big plays for his team.
With RBs Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles keeping defenses modest, look for McCluster to make an impact with the Chiefs and have himself a solid rookie season.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted former Notre Dame WR Golden Tate in the second round of the NFL Draft with the hopes of replacing Nate Burleson, the only receiver capable of stretching the defense.
Tate finished the 2009 season with 1,496 receiving yards and 15 TDs for the Fighting Irish.
Tate, who shows his speed and agility on a regular basis is an excellent run after catch receiver and can show his ability on a receiver depleted roster.
QB Matt Hasselback is coming off of one of his worst seasons in the NFL due to injury and problems on the offensive line. If he can stay healthy or backup QB Charlie Whitehurst can prove himself, look for Golden Tate's stock to rise.
Expect Tate to move into the #2 receiver position by mid-season and make a solid impact for the Seahawks.
With the departure of playmaking WR Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins, Demaryius Thomas may be in perfect position to fill the vacated #1 receiver role.
Third year WR Eddie Royal will need to bounce back from a disappointing sophomore season or else Thomas will be the main target for starting QB Kyle Orton.
Denver selected Thomas in the first round with the #22 overall pick to make an immediate impact.
During his junior season at Georgia Tech, he had 1,154 receiving yards and eight TDs.
At 6'3" and 229 pounds, Thomas is a big, physical receiver capable of easily breaking arm tackles and using his strength to pick up extra yardage.
Although he has a tendency to drop easily catchable passes and lacks the exceptional speed to create separation, he has the size and strength to become a dominant wide receiver for the Broncos.
Brandon LaFell is my sleeper pick from this year's crop of rookie WRs.
LaFell, who finished with 792 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns his final season at LSU, has the size and strength to create big mismatches on the field.
With no receiver on the Panthers' roster establishing themselves as the #2 receiver, LaFell could come in and become a nice complement to #1 receiver Steve Smith.
With long-time Carolina QB Jake Delhomme being released for inefficiency, backup Matt Moore will take the reins the Panther's signal caller.
Moore, who threw eight touchdowns and two interceptions in his 4-1 record as a starter in 2009, can only help bring good things for LaFell.
Given the situation in Carolina, LaFell could be on the receiving end of a breakout rookie campaign.
Former Oklahoma State standout Dez Bryant has the potential to become a starter very quickly in Dallas and perhaps push a rejuvenated Miles Austin for the #1 receiver position.
In Bryant's last full season playing for the Oklahoma State Cowboys he had remarkable numbers amassing 1,480 receiving yards and 19 TDs.
He was then suspended for the final nine games of his junior season following a violation of an NCAA bylaw.
Work ethic, maturity and route running are areas he needs to improve on if he wants to develop into a breakout star.
Bryant possesses a rare combination of size, speed and power which is essential to becoming a bonafide playmaker in the NFL.
However if Bryant can move up the depth charts early in the season, he is capable of making an immediate impact for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010.