So, if you had the opportunity to build a prototype wide receiver by combining the greatest attributes of the best receivers in the NFL, whose skills would you use? Here are my picks:
Speed: Devin Hester
Now that Devin is a full time wide receiver, there is little doubt that he is the fastest man at his position in the NFL today. In fact, in a very recent video on NFL.com of the top 10 fastest NFL players of all time, Devin actually appeared on the list, even though he is still very early on in his NFL career. In short, Devin’s ferocious speed makes him a deep threat at any given moment in a game.
Route Running: Chad Johnson
Without any question, there is no one in the NFL that can run routes better than Chad Johnson. His precision is always immaculate, and his first step in making a cut is as quick as anyone’s in the NFL. In fact, a cable television show known as “Sports Science” did a study to test just how quick Chad could be. In their study, they found that Chad can actually decelerate from his maximum speed to zero in under .1 second, an almost unrealistic feat. This quality makes Chad one of the most dangerous receivers in the game. Therefore, there is no doubt that my prototype receiver needs to be able to run routes like Chad.
Catching: Randy Moss
Simply stated, Randy Moss’ receiving ability is absolutely incredible. He has the rare capability to adjust his body angle in almost any given situation to make the catch, even when a throw is off target. In addition, Randy is extremely effective at bringing down balls that are thrown high in the air, a quality that makes him particularly dangerous in the red zone.
Blocking: Hines Ward
In the entire history of the NFL, there may have never been a better blocking receiver than Hines Ward. Hines puts everything he has into his blocks, thereby providing his team with a valuable weapon in running situations. There is absolutely no question that my prototype receiver should have this quality.
Toughness: Wes Welker
In the NFL today, there are many talented wide receivers that make names for themselves by dominating on their outer parts of the field. However, it is a rare commodity to find a receiver who consistently is willing to break to the middle and make an important catch, even while knowing that they are only seconds away from being slammed by a safety or possibly even a linebacker. While there were several worthy names that came to mind whom I believe hold this quality of toughness, Wes Welker is the player who seems to exemplify it the most. While I certainly dislike the New England Patriots as a whole, I have a certain respect for the way Wes plays. He consistently makes his catches on the inside the hash lines, and has no problem with taking the punishment that soon follows. Therefore, I would want my prototype wide receiver to have the toughness of Wes Welker.
Body: Calvin Johnson
At 6’5”, 239 pounds, Calvin Johnson has the prototype body for an NFL wide receiver. Calvin’s massive frame allows him to both make catches over shorter defenders as well as break through them once he has the ball. Furthermore, in spite of Calvin’s tremendous size, his body frame still allows for a maximal amount of speed and agility, thereby making his body absolutely ideal for the NFL.