2011 NFL Mock Draft: A Look Back at First Round WRs Since 2001, No Guarantees

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IDecember 1, 2010

2011 NFL Mock Draft: A Look Back at First Round WRs Since 2001, No Guarantees

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    Going back to the 2001 NFL Draft, there have been a total of 40 total first round receivers that have been drafted.

    The draft is really a process of making the best case guess for any position because there is no sure thing.

    This is just a message to address caution in simply assuming that A.J. Green or other receivers could become the next Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald.

    Here is a list of all the receiver drafted in the first round since 2001.

2001 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 8 - Chicago Bears - David Terrell

    Pick 9 - Seattle Seahawks - Koren Robinson

    Pick 15 - Washington Redskins - Rod Gardner

    Pick 16 - New York Jets - Santana Moss

    Pick 25 - Philadelphia Eagles - Freddie Mitchell

    Pick 25 - Indianapolis Colts - Reggie Wayne

    Quick thoughts:

    Moss and Wayne are the highlights in this group and they are true top-tier Pro Bowl talents that have produced solid and consistent numbers since they were drafted.

2002 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 13 - New Orleans Saints - Donte' Stallworth

    Pick 19 - Denver Broncos - Ashley Lelie

    Pick 20 - Green Bay Packers - Javon Walker

    Quick thoughts:

    Stallworth is the only one still left in the NFL even though all three looked promising early on in their careers. All three should be considered first round busts.

2003 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 2 - Detroit Lions - Charles Rogers

    Pick 3 - Houston Texans - Andre Johnson

    Pick 17 - Arizona Cardinals - Bryant Johnson

    Quick thoughts:

    Andre Johnson by far is the name to talk about from this first round draft class and he has quietly become one of the top five receivers currently in the NFL.

2004 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 3 - Arizona Cardinals - Larry Fitzgerald

    Pick 7 - Detroit Lions - Roy Williams

    Pick 9 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Reggie Williams

    Pick 13 - Buffalo Bills - Lee Evans

    Pick 15 - Tampa Bay Buccaneeers - Michael Clayton

    Pick 29 - Atlanta Falcons - Michael Jenkins

    Pick 31 - San Francisco 49ers - Rashaun Woods

    Quick thoughts:

    Fitzgerald is the top receiver from this class and even though Evans is still a starter with the Bills, his career has been plagued by inconsistent quarterback play. Roy Williams has been on and off with both the Lions and now with the Cowboys.

2005 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 3 - Cleveland Browns - Braylon Edwards

    Pick 7 - Minnesota Vikings - Troy Williamson

    Pick 10 - Detroit Lions - Mike Williams

    Pick 21 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Matt Jones

    Pick 22 - Baltimore Ravens - Mark Clayton

    Pick 27 - Atlanta Falcons - Roddy White

    Quick thoughts:

    Edwards has had his issues with inconsistency, drops and an ego--so that makes the pick of this class easily White, who is another under-the-radar receiver who can be spoken in the same breath as the top 10 receivers in the NFL right now.

2006 NFL First Round WRs

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    Pick 25 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Santonio Holmes

    Quick thoughts:

    Holmes is a Super Bowl MVP and a playmaker on offense in the past for the Steelers and currently for the Jets this season.

2007 NFL First Round WRs

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    Pick 2 - Detroit Lions - Calvin Johnson

    Pick 9 - Miami Dolphins - Ted Ginn Jr.

    Pick 23 - Kansas City Chiefs - Dwayne Bowe

    Pick 29 - New Orleans Saints - Robert Meachem

    Pick 30 - San Diego Charger - Craig Davis

    Pick 32 - Indianapolis Colts - Anthony Gonzalez

    Quick thoughts:

    Johnson stands high above in this class but Bowe is quickly becoming more dangerous as the weeks go by for the Chiefs and Meachem is the deep threat on a potent Saints' offense too.

2008 NFL First Round WRs

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    There were no receivers taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft but there were 10 taken in the second round.

    DeSean Jackson highlights that list and he was selected by current Browns' general manager Tom Hekert.

2009 NFL First Round WRs

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    Pick 7 - Oakland Raiders - Darius Heyward-Bey

    Pick 10 - San Francisco 49ers - Michael Crabtree

    Pick 19 - Philadelphia Eagles - Jeremy Maclin

    Pick 22 - Minnesota Vikings - Percy Harvin

    Pick 29 - NY Giants - Hakeem Nicks

    Pick 30 - Tennessee Titans - Kenny Britt

    Quick thoughts:

    This class is looking to be the most talented crop of receiver talent in recent memory with Nicks leading a very promising group in his second season as of Week 12, but do not doubt that Crabtree, Maclin and Britt can all becoming primetime players too.

2010 NFL Draft First Round WRs

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    Pick 22 - Denver Broncos - DeMaryius Thomas

    Pick 24 - Dallas Cowboys - Dez Bryant

    Quick thoughts:

    Thomas was considered a reach and has been fighting through injuries this season which have plagued him even coming into the 2010 Draft.

    Bryant had a ton of critics and drama surrounding him coming out of college, but he is putting all of it to rest showing that he is indeed a playmaker in the NFL and he will be Pro Bowl bound sooner than later.

2011 NFL Draft First and Second Round WR Talent Possibilities

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    The following at the top receiver talents who could be in next April's 2011 NFL Draft. (* denotes juniors)

    A.J. Green*, Georgia, 6-4, 208 lbs.

    Julio Jones*, Alabama, 6-4, 211 lbs.

    Jon Baldwin*, Pittsburgh, 6-5, 230 lbs.

    Michael Floyd*, Notre Dame, 6-3, 225 lbs.

    Ryan Broyles*, Oklahoma, 5-11, 183 lbs.

    Leonard Hankerson, Miami, 6-3, 205 lbs.

    Ronald Johnson, USC, 6-0, 185 lbs.

    Greg Little, North Carolina, 6-3, 220 lbs.

    Niles Paul, Nebraska, 6-1, 220 lbs.

    Titus Young, Boise State, 5-11, 170 lbs. 

    Nick Toon*, Wisconsin, 6-3, 218 lbs.

    Quick thoughts:

    Green is on top of this list, but a player to watch is Baldwin--he has tremendous size and speed and if he declares for the draft early, then he could be a gem in the second or third round too.

    In theory, if all of these juniors declare early for the Draft in 2011, then look for the teams like the Cleveland Browns to pick one and possibly two of these receivers since this class would be loaded.