I continue my NFL Draft review with a look at the wide receivers drafted in the first three rounds.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
I feel bad for DHB. As people criticize Al Davis and the Raiders’ No. 7 selection of the speedy wideout, they are putting a damper on what should be an exciting time in his life. Yeah, he’ll have plenty of rea$on$ not to care, but it still has to sting a little.
So congrats, Darrius.
But on to the breakdown: He’s a speedster that will need to work on his hands. I believe the third-year WR rule will be in effect here. It’s going to take some time for him to get to the big-time, and I don’t see a big contribution this year.
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
I love the pick for the 49ers, though I wish Crabtree was paired with a better quarterback. Good thing Nate Davis could eventually make his way up the depth charts.
Until then, Crabtree will just have to make do. I think he’ll still be one of the best Rookie receivers this year.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
I love this pick by the Eagles, and I love Maclin’s prospects this year. In fact, I think Maclin will be the most productive rookie wideout. He gives McNabb another young, talented target.
With Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Westbrook, and McCoy, Donovan has more weapons than in recent years. I expect big things from the Birds in 2009.
Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
He has a ton of talent, and he’ll make a big impact and change the dynamic of the Viking offense. I’m just afraid he’ll miss a couple games to injury.
When he’s healthy, he’ll make explosive plays.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Nicks will make an impact right away for the G-Men, just not a major one. The Giants have a lot of young talent at WR, so he’ll have to earn his way onto the field.
He may be fantasy-worthy next year.
Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans
Britt will get a chance to play right away, as the Titans are hurting for receivers, but I’m not sure how much impact a rookie on a run-first team will make.
I love him long-term, though.
Brian Robiskie & Mohamed Massaquoi, Cleveland Browns
The Browns needed wide receivers in the worst way.
They did not trade Braylon Edwards as rumored, but they clearly aren’t happy with him. Donte Stallworth could be going to jail, and at the very least will be suspended by the league.
To me, Robiskie seems more likely to make an immediate impact and could earn the No. 2 role. Massaquoi will take a little longer to develop.
Pat White, Miami Dolphins
Pat will be used in the slot and at quarterback when the Dolpins run the Wildcat. And while he will be a valuable player for the Dolphins, I don’t see him holding much fantasy value.
Derrick Williams, Detroit Lions
I don’t know why the Lions didn’t focus on their defense a little more. Williams has a chance to be decent because Calvin Johnson draws so much attention, but his ceiling is fellow Nittany Lion Bobby Engram.
Brandon Tate, New England Patriots
Tate will mainly serve as a special teams player and will perhaps make an impact with his returns. He could possibly make his way on the field more in a couple years.
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wallace could serve as a vertical threat replacing Nate Washington, who went to Tennessee. Perhaps down the road he can earn some fantasy relevance, but that will be in a couple years at best.
Rames Barden, New York Giants
Barden will take longer than Nicks to develop. The potential is there, I just don’t see anything happening any time soon.
Patrick Turner, Miami Dolphins
With receiver being an area of need for the team, I’m not surprised Miami took wides in both the second and third round.
With Turner, the Dolphins get a big target (6′5″, 220 lbs.) to give them something in the red zone. Ten of his 49 receptions went for TD in his senior year with USC.
Deon Butler, Seattle Seahawks
Butler has explosive speed (as a 4.38 40 time attests), but he’s undersized and best suited for the slot position.