NFL Draft 400: Top WRs for 2018 NFL Draft

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 9, 2018

NFL Draft 400: Top WRs for 2018 NFL Draft

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    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    Scouts and general managers have called the 2018 NFL draft class average, but we still have questions. Who is the best overall player? How about the best at each position?  

    The goal of the NFL Draft 400 series is to figure that out.

    The top 400 players were tracked, scouted, graded and ranked, with help from scouting assistants Marshal Miller, Dan Bazal and Jerod Brown. Together, we viewed tape of a minimum of three games per player—the same standard NFL teams use.

    Oftentimes, we saw every play from a prospect over the last two years. That led to the grades, rankings and scouting reports you see here.

    Players were graded on strengths and weaknesses, with a pro-player comparison added to match the prospect's style or fit in the pros. The top 400 players will be broken down position by position for easy viewing before the release of a top-400 big board prior to the draft.

    In the case of a tie, players were ranked based on their overall grade in our top 400.

44. Tavares Martin, Washington State

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Tall, lanky receiver who can high-point with ease.

    —Improved college production over three years with angry competitiveness.

    —Can go off on any given day with big-time playmaking ability.

    —Understands leverage and manipulation throughout routes to create separation without elite traits.

    —Mental processing to identify zone weakness in motion for easy completions.

          

    NEGATIVES

    —Cut from Washington State and an early entrant into draft.

    —Not an explosive athlete and lacks NFL-caliber athletic traits.

    —Boom-or-bust prospect from play to play with inconsistent efforts.

    —Thin, lengthy frame is a major concern from a fluidity and play-strength lens.

    —Stalls at the line of scrimmage when clear release isn't given.

          

    OVERALL

    Tavares Martin has moldable traits that will encourage a team to bring him in for at least a training camp, but his lack of consistency is a major flag. The locked-in Martin is a quality player who can be a developmental prospect. The checked-out Martin is a locker room issue who can be far more of a headache than his talent is worth. Martin will have to prove that his time at Washington State is behind him and show a commitment to building physically and fundamentally as a receiver.

            

    GRADE: 4.90 (Camp Body)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jalin Marshall, New York Jets

43. Devonte Boyd, UNLV

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    Gary Kazanjian/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Understands spatial relationships of defensive players to work open on slants and comebacks.

    —Willing to play bigger than his size suggests.

    —Lateral agility is good enough to attack off coverage with in-breaking routes for easy completions.

    —Enough speed and acceleration to challenge for additional yardage after the catch.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Broken arm in 2016 and a continued dip in collegiate production as a four-year starter.

    —Routinely chewed up by even adequate press corners that can disrupt release with ease.

    —Thin frame; will need to add weight and muscular bulk at NFL level.

    —Downfield concentration and hands are inconsistent at best.

    —Hops out of stance or uses false steps that waste motion and throw off timing.

                

    OVERALL

    Devonte Boyd saw a steady decline in production as a four-year player for the Rebels. With a slight frame and inability to compete against physical corners, his future as an every-down wide receiver is severely limited. Boyd has the requisite skills to earn a training camp opportunity, but he'll struggle to differentiate from other receivers without any top-tier traits.

            

    GRADE: 4.90 (Camp Body)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Malachi Dupre, Buffalo Bills

42. Bryce Bobo, Colorado

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Strong outside foot in routes to stab and explode out of inside-breaking routes to gain separation.

    —Solid run-blocker who understands angles and leverage on the boundary.

    —Tough runner after the catch with the frame to handle physicality.

    —Ideal height and size at 6'2", 205 pounds to be high-quality intermediate possession receiver.

          

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks any top-tier trait to hang his hat on.

    —Double moves are easily telegraphed and show a lack of change-of-direction skills.

    —Downfield speed won't threaten even average cornerbacks in the NFL.

    —Acceleration after the catch is underwhelming and won't contribute to explosive plays or scores.

          

    OVERALL

    Bryce Bobo has the NFL size and strength that teams will be looking for as an intermediate receiver with the ability to make contested catches in traffic. His inability to separate down the field from NFL speed will be an issue that limits what he can do at the next level. His best bet is spending time on a practice squad to continue developing the technical aspects that will help him be successful in the NFL.

          

    GRADE: 4.99 (Camp Body)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Allen Hurns, Dallas Cowboys

41. Ray-Ray McCloud, Clemson

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Versatile athlete who was used in a wide variety of ways at Clemson.

    —Special teams value as returner.

    —Handles contact well with thick lower body for an undersized player.

    —Major production as high school RB in Florida that demonstrates athletic ability.

    —Three-year contributor at Clemson.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks defined position and is more of a gadget player than every-down RB.

    —Undersized for NFL standards and doesn't have above-average traits to compensate.

    —Inexperience at wide receiver is obvious; lacks refined technique as a route-runner.

    —Isn't as dynamic in open field as other players of similar size and lacks burst out of breaks.

         

    OVERALL

    Clemson routinely produces top-tier NFL receivers. Unfortunately, Ray-Ray McCloud is unlikely to follow in some of the former Tigers' footsteps. Despite a highly productive high school career, McCloud has struggled to find a specific position at the collegiate level, which has clearly stunted his development. The versatility and special teams experience will be what McCloud relies on as he tries to compete for a practice squad position on a team with an innovative offensive coordinator.

           

    GRADE: 5.00 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans

40. Davon Grayson, East Carolina

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Flashy hands that pluck passes out of the air.

    —Smooth in-breaking route-runner with explosiveness to create separation early against off coverage.

    —Decisive runner after the catch to chew up yardage.

    —Meets requisite speed and athleticism needs to challenge NFL defenses.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —2016 back injury kept him out entire season.

    —Struggles to get back into route stem after press at the line of scrimmage.

    —Doesn't have the play strength to bend into leverage downfield to create separation.

    —Doesn't run a complete route tree and struggles to vary his route speed.

    —Lacks length or skills to high-point downfield throws against average or better competition.

         

    OVERALL

    Davon Grayson will have to face injury concerns as he looks to land with a team at the next level after sitting out an entire season with a back injury. Additionally, his work against press exposes weakness in his frame and physicality that make him one-dimensional at the line of scrimmage and down the field.

             

    GRADE: 5.20 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Austin Collie, retired

39. Robert Foster, Alabama

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —6'2" and almost 200 pounds with legitimate 4.4 speed.

    —Highly coveted high school player with potential to develop.

    —Accelerates on crossing routes with speed and spatial awareness to gain depth and separation.

    —Twitchy athlete with some YAC ability.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lack of collegiate production and playing time.

    —Shoulder surgery that ended his season in 2015 and dirt bike accident over summer of 2017.

    —Stops routes short and fails to burst out of breaks to keep working for separation.

    —Looks lost on the field too often and fails to play through the whistle.

    —Risky ball-carrier who will have to clean it up or risk fumbling often in the NFL.

         

    OVERALL

    Robert Foster struggled to find any consistent playing time at Alabama and as a result failed to maximize his athletic potential. Some NFL teams will see a player with raw skills who can develop into something good, while others will see a player who not even Nick Saban could make effective. Foster has the speed and athleticism to compete for a roster spot, but he's an underdeveloped prospect who will need serious coaching before being expected to make any sort of impact.

          

    GRADE: 5.20 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Pharoh Cooper, Los Angeles Rams

38. Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Natural hands that absorb passes in and outside of frame.

    —Understands spacing and positioning among full route tree to create target for QB.

    —Excellent downfield blocker that uses good leverage and consistent effort.

    —Excels at pressing vertical and turning for back-shoulder throws; shows timing, body control and awareness to routinely create route leverage near the goal line.

    —Comfortable making contested catches at all levels of the field.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Routinely forced to make contested catches because he can't separate against average-or-better talent.

    —Looks even slower than tested speed of 4.59 and doesn't intimidate as a boundary receiver.

    —Missed entire 2015 season with a back injury.

    —Will struggle to separate on in-breaking routes that require quick feet and explosiveness.

          

    OVERALL

    Dylan Cantrell's size and consistency as a receiver should be enough to warrant an opportunity to spend a year on the practice squad. He excels at using spacing and toughness to make contested catches at all levels. The consistency with which Cantrell hauls in contested catches is impressive, though it is entirely due to an overall lack of athleticism and ability to separate.

              

    GRADE: 5.30 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Amara Darboh, Seattle Seahawks

37. Jake Wieneke, South Dakota State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Over 5,000 receiving yards as a four-year starter for South Dakota State.

    —Ideal frame to be a moveable piece and exploit matchups.

    —Above-average body control for his size with ability to stack on top of defensive backs and high-point the football or contort for back-shoulder throws.

    —Excellent spatial awareness to use leverage and positioning throughout route stems.

    —Mental processing is above-average with ability to identify zones and spacing while working to get open late in plays.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Buildup speed that doesn't burst off of the line to threaten defensive backs.

    —Underwhelming change-of-direction skills limit his route tree.

    —Very little threat of yards after the catch if he can't run through someone.

    —Slow feet at the line of scrimmage will make press coverage a problem.

    —Level of competition will make evaluators question his production.

         

    OVERALL

    Jake Wieneke is the ideal type of matchup player becoming the fad in today's NFL. He'll struggle to separate from NFL defensive backs, but he excels in tight spaces with the size and body control to give quarterbacks a massive target. The collegiate production is eye-popping and suggests there's enough there to take a look at, but Wieneke will have to hope a team really likes his scoring threat as a singular playmaking option.

           

    GRADE: 5.30 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Tanner McEvoy, Seattle Seahawks

36. Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    POSITIVES

    —Numerous one-handed and acrobatic catches on film.

    —Height (6'5"), weight (218) and speed (4.56) will have scouts and coaches begging to develop him.

    —Able to use his body and height to win positioning on jump balls.

    —Dangerous in the red zone and jump-ball situations.

    —Tracks and finds the ball in traffic.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Heavy-footed runner.

    —Lacks lateral quickness and burst in routes.

    —Dominated lower level of talent.

    —Allows corners to work back into his routes and undercut throws.

    —Even though he is a bigger receiver, he struggled with physical corners.

           

    OVERALL

    Jaleel Scott burst onto the scene with a very impressive game against Arizona State. Length, catch radius and ability to track and find the ball make him a red-zone dream. Lacks ability to separate from defenders but uses his body to keep good position.

           

    GRADE: 5.30 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Rueben Randle, free agent

35. Ka'Raun White, West Virginia

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    Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

    POSITIVES

    —Talented route-runner with a diverse tree that projects well to an NFL offense.

    —Uses his body (6'1", 206 lbs) well and plays bigger and stronger than he's listed.

    —Understands timing, leverage and footwork technique to get open; high football IQ.

    —Good length and concentration that turns into a big catch radius.

    —Tough as nails and is willing to sacrifice his body to make grabs.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Quicker than fast and posted a 4.52 in the 40 at the combine.

    —Hands are inconsistent, and too often he fights the ball.

    —Has to be stronger working back to the ball and not letting DBs jump routes.

    —Bested poor competition and struggled when challenged by pro-caliber corners.

           

    OVERALL

    The brother of Kevin (Chicago Bears WR) and Kyzir (draft prospect, safety), Ka'Raun White has athletic traits but never took over games in college despite playing in a pass-happy scheme. He's a solid overall athlete with the traits of a possession receiver, projecting best as a WR4.

          

    GRADE: 5.39 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: James Jones, retired

34. Richie James, Middle Tennessee State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Big-time production when healthy, including 1,334 and 1,625 receiving yards in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

    —Electric with the ball in his hands after the catch.

    —Runs hard post-catch and will fight for extra yards.

    —Legit game speed that shows up on seam and in-breaking routes.

    —Versatile weapon who lined up as WR, RB and Wildcat QB.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Broken collarbone that ended 2017 season.

    —Succeeds entirely as an above-average athlete, lacks route-running nuance.

    —Strength and frame make him primarily a slot option and liability in the run game.

    —Frequently false-steps at the line of scrimmage; will disrupt timing of routes in NFL and allow stronger press corners to win reps early.

    —Lacks creativity to separate on second move when pure downfield threat is minimized.

          

    OVERALL

    Richie James posted tremendous numbers in the Middle Tennessee offense in 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, his frame and underwhelming route running make his transition to the NFL a concern. James has largely succeeded by purely running by people and will have to develop some of the secondary skills necessary to be an effective receiver at the next level. Play speed is coveted and will earn him a roster spot if he can show even a slight bit of promise in training camp.

          

    GRADE: 5.39 (Priority Free Agent)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Travis Benjamin, Los Angeles Chargers

33. Javon Wims, Georgia

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Excellent WR1 size at 6'3", 215 pounds.

    —Body control and balance are impressive playing the ball in the air.

    —Uses his frame to outmuscle defenders to the ball; can be a weapon in the red zone.

    —Shows the ceiling to continue developing as a route-runner.

    —Strong hands and doesn't double-catch; looks the ball in and locks it away.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Zero twitch; won't shake defenders at the line or after the catch.

    —Route running is limited to fades where he can win 50-50 balls.

    —Tight hips and heavy feet when asked to break back to the ball.

    —Doesn't have the deep speed to separate vertically down the field.

    —A one-speed player who struggles to hit a second gear and accelerate.

         

    OVERALL

    Javon Wims had a very good senior season, which points to the potential to continue developing as a prospect, but his lack of burst and agility severely limits how we see him being used at the next level. With no return skills, Wims becomes a scheme-dependent pick who needs to land with a team that'll utilize him in the red zone and outside the formation as he develops.

           

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Chad Hansen, New York Jets

32. Jester Weah, Pittsburgh

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Ideal NFL size and downfield speed.

    —Natural intermediate receiver that is confident attacking the football.

    —Secure, confident receiver in traffic.

    —Muscular frame leads to quality blocks on the edge.

    —Angry runner with yards-after-catch ability.

           

    NEGATIVES

    —Hops out of his stance at the line of scrimmage, disrupting timing and rhythm.

    —Slow on the accelerator and takes almost 15 yards to hit top speed.

    —Underwhelming production across all statistical categories.

    —No sort of suddenness out of breaks, which will limit where he plays.

    —Physical corners can lock him up before he ever gets into his route stem.

         

    OVERALL

    Jester Weah doesn't have the statistical production of other receivers in this class but is built for the physicality of the NFL. He takes time to get revved up, but his downfield body control and strength are worth taking a late-round flier on. The lack of polish in his route running will have to improve if he plans on sticking around as a developmental prospect.

          

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: DeAndre Smelter, Indianapolis Colts

31. Darren Carrington II, Utah

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Good size at 6'2" and over 200 pounds.

    —Smooth athlete who moves with more fluidity than his size.

    —Awareness on field to work open for a quarterback in trouble.

    —Unique route-running style that changes speeds mid-route to lull corners.

    —Strong hands to attack the football with consistency in and outside of his frame.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Off-field flags after failing a drug test before sophomore season and being dismissed from Oregon program after DUI in the summer of 2017.

    —Loose with the football after the catch and lackadaisical carrier, which will lead to fumbles in the NFL.

    —Doesn't play tough over the middle of the field and often constricts target out of fear of contact.

    —Separation out of breaks is bouncy and segmented rather than smooth and explosive.

    —Press corners that punch before he accelerates can stun his processing and ruin the route before it even begins.

         

    OVERALL

    Darren Carrington II comes with off-field concerns that he'll have to prove he has gotten past. If so, an NFL team could be getting a major bargain in the late rounds. He's a productive receiver with an NFL-caliber frame and enough speed to be an effective secondary offense. The nuance of route running will have to be developed over time, but Carrington offers the hands and athleticism that should buy him at least a year on a practice squad.

          

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers

30. Braxton Berrios, Miami

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Sacrifices his body for every ball possible.

    —Catches the ball in crowds and isn't afraid to work the middle of the field.

    —Separates from defenders while the ball is in the area, using his body as a shield.

    —Big-time punt returner.

    —Excellent short-area quickness to make cuts and get through traffic.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Undersized; at 5'9", 186 pounds, will struggle to stay healthy playing in the NFL.

    —Limited to slot receiver in NFL schemes.

    —For a shifty receiver, Berrios doesn't create much after the catch.

    —Can high-point the football; his high point just isn't very high.

         

    OVERALL

    Braxton Berrios is a typical Bill Belichick guy—a quick intermediate and middle-of-the-field route-runner. Shows exceptional quickness and burst while catching the ball in traffic. Size and durability will be huge question marks for Berrios in the draft. Getting injured at the Senior Bowl after constantly being on the ground may have hurt or helped his stock, depending on who you ask.

          

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys

29. Trey Quinn, SMU

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Sure-handed with massive 10 ⅛" mitts.

    —Uses quick, choppy steps on breaking routes to get open and can separate underneath.

    —Exceptional understanding of space, timing and leverage on short-breaking routes.

    —Used as an inside- and outside-the-hash receiver at SMU.

    —Not afraid to make tough catches away from his frame and in traffic.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Limited speed (4.55) for his size (5'11", 203 lbs) will limit his vertical and YAC ability.

    —Might top out as a WR4 and offers no special teams value in the return game.

    —Athletic traits hint at issues getting off the line of scrimmage against press coverage.

    —Scheme helped create space for him to operate in as a route-runner.

    —Only had one solid year of production and could be a product of the system.

         

    OVERALL

    It might be stereotypical, but Trey Quinn projects as an NFL slot receiver. He doesn't have the size or speed to operate outside the formation and will get bullied at the line of scrimmage if matched up one-on-one. That said, his hands and quickness make him a viable option as a depth receiver.

         

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jordan Shipley, retired

28. Korey Robertson, Southern Miss

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Plays like a much larger receiver than measured (6'1", 212 lbs) and is incredibly physical.

    —Excellent on breaking routes over the middle of the field.

    —Uses his body to out-position defenders and boxes out on slants.

    —Tough runner after the catch and will fight for yards.

    —Strong hands and doesn't get intimidated by defenders on his back.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks speed for his size with a timed 4.56 in the 40.

    —Slow breaking off routes and doesn't have twitch to his game.

    —Ability to separate down the field is a major question mark.

    —Thick frame worked in Conference USA against smaller competition.

    —Bottom line: Can he get open in the NFL? His traits make it doubtful.

         

    OVERALL

    Korey Robertson's tape is a lot of fun because he's physical and aggressive, but once you break it down, you see a slow, heavy-footed receiver who will struggle to get loose in the pros. Robertson is a very good threat on slants and comebacks, but he lacks the speed to create space on those routes in the pros.

          

    GRADE: 5.40 (Round 7)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Anquan Boldin, retired

27. Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Used all over the field as a receiver, runner and returner.

    —Runaway speed that helps him pull away as a threat to score every time he touches it.

    —Special teams skills alone are good enough to make a roster.

    —Get-it-and-go type of returner who doesn't waste time dancing to find space.

    —Able to effectively get to edge and stab upfield with timing and anticipation.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks any sort of technique or refinement as a route-runner.

    —Lack of defined position that shows up in varied skill set without any true top-tier traits.

    —Will struggle to play an auxiliary role on the field; he either has to have the ball or he's a liability.

    —Plays revved up and lacks spatial awareness to throttle down when burning by isn't an option.

    —Slot receiver at best who doesn't have the toughness to be a routine intermediate receiver over the middle of the field.

         

    OVERALL

    Quadree Henderson is an explosive returner who is a threat to score any time he touches the football. He'll bring tremendous value on special teams, but the necessary skills to be even a developmental prospect at wide receiver in the NFL are missing. Henderson is best when used on gadget plays that take advantage of top-notch play speed and a frenetic pace that can separate on the way to the end zone.

          

    GRADE: 5.45 (Round 7)
    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: De'Anthony Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs

26. Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Vocal leader, captain and coach on the field for Northern Iowa.

    —Strong work ethic, sees what he needs to correct and goes and does it.

    —Plays taller than he is. At 6'1" Fountain is often making catches over corners.

    —Shows athletic ability and utilizes a multi-sport background. Division I track athlete. 

    —Bails out quarterbacks with contested catches in traffic.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Struggled when he faced Power Five talent.

    —Ran a 4.46 at his pro day but struggled to stretch the field and separate at UNI.

    —We're guilty of liking the person more than the player. High-quality character, average player.

    —Raw route-runner; will struggle to get open against quality defender.

         

    OVERALL

    Electric pro day performance showed the athletic ability that we saw on film. Daurice Fountain's most impressive trait is his personality and work ethic. He won't wow you on film but says and does everything right in interviews. Loves to coach and be coached.

          

    GRADE: 5.50 (Round 6)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jaelen Strong, Jacksonville Jaguars

25. Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Excellent height (6'5") and length that will be coveted as physical mismatch.

    —Smooth runner with legitimate downfield speed despite lengthy strides.

    —Cornerbacks respect his speed and length, leaving short to intermediate routes open early and often.

    —Once in his route, has spatial awareness to stack CBs and manipulate space to create separation.

    —Upfield turn after catch is explosive, showing ability to immediately transition to runner after the catch.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Saw a statistical drop in production in 2017 after an encouraging 2016 campaign. Poor quarterback play was part of the problem, but St. Brown didn't take the leap many expected.

    —Doesn't seem like a natural receiver and can struggle to make the expected seamless catches.

    —Struggles to deal with physicality at the line of scrimmage.

    —Technical aspects of route running have to improve as he relies on pure physical talent far too often.

    —Doesn't attack the ball over the middle of the field and will allow throws to get in on him when he could create YAC by turning up his competitiveness.

          

    OVERALL

    Equanimeous St. Brown has the ideal height and length to be an issue for most cornerbacks in the league. Throw in his downfield speed and it's hard not to be intrigued by what he can offer in the NFL. He'll have to develop into a more nuanced route-runner after failing to live up to expectations in 2017. At first glance, he's got all of the desired traits to become a quality NFL receiver.

          

    GRADE: 5.50 (Round 6)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers

24. Byron Pringle, Kansas State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Big-play receiver with speed to stretch the defense.

    —Honorable Mention All-Big 12 returner in 2017. First team All-Big 12 returner in 2016.

    —Utilizes double moves to keep defenders off balance.

    —Long-stride runner; faster than he looks.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Off-field issues forced Pringle to go the JUCO route. Age will be a factor in where he is drafted as well. He will be 25 as a rookie in the NFL.

    —Looked very good against lesser Big 12 defenses but struggled against talent at Senior Bowl practices.

    —Struggled to get into routes and off the line against physical corners at the Senior Bowl.

    —Recorded a lot of drops in a run-heavy offense.

    —Will be asked to play special teams as well as return, but may lack interest in special teams play.

         

    OVERALL

    Typical Bill Snyder JUCO player. Byron Pringle played two years at Kansas State and had an instant impact on the offense and as a returner. Off-field trouble and age will impact his draft stock more than his on-field play.

         

    GRADE: 5.50 (Round 6)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: DeVier Posey, Baltimore Ravens

23. Allen Lazard, Iowa State

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Massive frame that can handle NFL contact over the middle of the field.

    —Hands and concentration to make contested catches with physicality to post defenders up.

    —Above-average spatial awareness to judge balls in air while simultaneously battling for positioning.

    —Four-year contributor at Iowa State with experience at boundary, in the slot and at returner.

    —Natural receiver who attacks the ball.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Doesn't have the play speed to beat average talent down the field.

    —6'5" height becomes an issue when sinking into breaks.

    —Average route-runner at best with mediocre change-of-direction ability that is highlighted on timing routes off the line of scrimmage.

    —Doesn't have immediate burst to become a threat post-catch; long strides that limit spacing.

    —He'll struggle to create spacing for himself against NFL talent and will need to be schemed open.

         

    OVERALL

    Allen Lazard has the big-time college production that NFL teams want to see. Additionally his frame makes him an intriguing offensive weapon who can be a moveable piece at the next level. Lazard's athleticism in the open field is a concern and leaves much to be desired as a boundary receiver. While his ability to make contested catches is top-notch, separating against NFL defensive backs will take more than pure size.

           

    GRADE: 5.60 (Round 6)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jermichael Finley, retired

22. Deontay Burnett, USC

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    Ralph Freso/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Excels as a breaking route-runner and can separate off the cut.

    —Dominated Penn State in USC's comeback 2017 Rose Bowl win.

    —Will make tough catches over the middle and has physical mentality.

    —Looks to get up field and can produce yards after the catch with good quickness and open-field moves.

    —Hands-catcher with a good catch radius for his size.

          

    NEGATIVES

    —Short with a thin frame (6'0", 186 lbs).

    —Doesn't have the bulk to handle outside WR duties and will be a slot only.

    —Gives up ground in routes and must be stronger on cuts.

    —Plagued by numerous injuries throughout his USC career; lack of frame causes durability concerns.

    —Route tree lacks development.

         

    OVERALL

    Deontay Burnett enjoyed nice production at USC but doesn't have the physical or athletic traits to project as more than a WR3 or WR4 in the NFL. His lack of contribution on special teams only further limits value.

         

    GRADE: 5.60 (Round 6)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Rashad Greene, Jacksonville Jaguars

21. Auden Tate, Florida State

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Big, physical receiver who uses size to out-rebound defenders down the field.

    —Touchdown machine with high-point ability. 

    —Above-average body control down the field for a player his size (6'5", 228 lbs).

    —Awareness to identify zones and sit for easy completions.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Speed is a major concern when his size won't be enough to compensate in the NFL.

    —Slow feet in and out of breaks that telegraph routes at all levels.

    —No wiggle to his game and won't be a viable YAC producer in NFL.

    —Separated shoulder in 2017.

    —Separation skills are a concern and will be exploited by press corners.

          

    OVERALL

    Auden Tate has top-flight physicality that makes him a legitimate NFL red-zone scoring threat. His ability to box out smaller defenders and high-point throws is extremely difficult to defend. His slow feet and lack of separation skills make him a red-zone threat who will struggle to be effective between the 20s. Tate will get plenty of looks in the NFL as a matchup threat to score when it matters most.

          

    GRADE: 5.70 (Round 5)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Mychal Rivera, free agent

20. Jordan Lasley, UCLA

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Legit deep speed that will translate to the NFL immediately.

    —Press corners can't miss because his route stems are some of the best in this class in terms of fluidity.

    —Decisive open-field runner who can cause problems after the catch.

    —Change-of-direction skills highlight his lateral agility in tight spaces.

    —Identifies zones while in motion with body control to throttle down easily.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Hands are a major concern at all levels of the field.

    —Competitive toughness comes and goes in waves.

    —Frame looks smaller than weight suggests and lacks muscular definition to compete against average press corners.

    —Doesn't use leverage to create spacing when a defensive back remains in phase. Won't help the quarterback out by creating target down the field.

    —Home run hitter post-catch but won't come down with the electric plays of a stud No. 1 receiver.

         

    OVERALL

    Jordan Lasley has all of the athleticism of an NFL starter. His hands, however, are a major concern and show a lack of concentration and consistency down the field. Lasley will have to pack on more weight or risk being bullied at the line of scrimmage every week. The big-play potential is obvious every time he has the ball, but the routine plays are far too inconsistent.

          

    GRADE: 5.75 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Will Fuller, Houston Texans

19. Cedrick Wilson, Boise State

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Highly productive two-year receiver at Boise State with over 1,500 yards in 2017.

    —Spatial awareness to create leverage and separation in red zone before high-pointing the football.

    —Explosive open-field moves to become viable weapon after the catch.

    —Creative route-runner who understands manipulation in short-to-intermediate areas.

    —Above-average competitiveness that shows in all phases.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Makes the consistent plays but never comes up with the flashy ones. Struggles to make elite catches that are required of top-flight NFL receivers.

    —Tall with a thin frame that lacks muscular chest. 

    —Press corners disrupt his release and force him off of his plan easily.

    —Slow back foot out of stance that leaves him tardy on timing routes.

    —When rushed, his athleticism declines and balance becomes an issue down the field.

         

    OVERALL

    Cedrick Wilson has the competitiveness and production to warrant a look as a potential backup and starting option on wide receiver-needy teams. He'll need time to develop an upper body that can compete in the NFL as a blocker, but the technical route-running aspects of being a receiver are already evident in limited experience.

          

    GRADE: 5.90 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Brian Quick, Washington Redskins

18. Tre'Quan Smith, Central Florida

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Scott Frost offense demanded he impact the run game as a blocker.

    —Excellent jump-ball receiver who can win with high-pointing.

    —Times his move on the ball well and shows natural athleticism playing above the turf.

    —Has the speed to stretch the field and can run off defenders.

    —Productive down the field and flashed the ability to pick up chunk plays after the catch.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Big catch radius but struggles with drops.

    —Thin frame allows press coverage to slow him down.

    —Frame is maxed out and looks stiff when asked to break off routes.

    —Weak through traffic and can be timid at the catch point.

    —Frame and catch radius limitations might limit him to a slot role only.

         

    OVERALL
    Tre'Quan Smith excelled at UCF with his speed and big-play ability but needs to refine his game as a route-runner and work on using his length to his advantage. He's solid but likely tops out as a mid-round pick.

         

    GRADE: 5.90 (Round 4)
    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Devin Smith, New York Jets

17. J'Mon Moore, Missouri

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Used more as a blocker than most receivers in Missouri's spread-screen pass offense.

    —Length and speed will get him plenty of looks by scouts.

    —Snags the ball out of the air with good catch radius and hands away from his body.

    —Good lateral quickness and after-the-catch ability for a tall (6'3") receiver.

    —Plenty of potential with untapped route-running ability.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Became frustrated by physical corners at the Senior Bowl.

    —Limited route-runner due to college offense.

    —Tested slower than his film.

    —Struggled to get into routes and let corners force him to the edge.

    —Questionable focus and drive for the NFL.

         

    OVERALL

    A raw talent coming out of a spread scheme, J'Mon Moore wasn't asked to run a variety of routes at Mizzou but could quickly develop if given time in the NFL. Scouts question his focus and drive, which led to drops and lapses in play. Good athlete with a lot of potential as an NFL receiver.

             

    GRADE: 5.95 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins

16. Keke Coutee, Texas Tech

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Explosive vertical threat who projects well in the slot.

    —Has the speed to chew up yards and take the top off a defense.

    —Experienced kick returner with a 92-yard touchdown on his resume.

    —Does a great job finding zones and could be a dangerous threat on option routes in the pros.

    —Handled a big role in an all-pass offense and never backed down from the spotlight.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Short and small (5'9 ¾", 181 lbs) frame.

    —Can get pushed around in his route tree and has to be protected by his alignment pre-snap.

    —Ran in a scheme dominated by space and hasn't been asked to make plays in traffic.

    —Small frame and timid style of play had one scout tell us he's soft.

    —Teams are concerned about durability in the pros.

          

    OVERALL

    Keke Coutee is a fun prospect with the speed and stretch game to be an asset in an offense that needs a vertical player in a three- or four-receiver set. He does bring value as a kick returner, but a small frame and questions about toughness hurt his grade.

         

    GRADE: 5.95 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

15. Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Attacks the ball in flight to secure contested catches.

    —High-points down the field better than most receivers in this class.

    —Clean and consistent hands at all levels of the field.

    —Oklahoma State offensive system runs varied route tree.

    —Can drop weight well to drive out of breaks and cause separation at intermediate levels.

          

    NEGATIVES

    —Missed entire 2016 season with foot injury.

    —Clunky runner that struggles to make sudden changes of direction.

    —Lackluster technique as a blocker despite ideal frame.

    —Slow by NFL standards and not particularly strong; reps against press were an issue at Senior Bowl.

    —Oklahoma State's conference isn't known for defense; Ateman played with a strong QB and better receiver on the opposite side of the field.

          

    OVERALL

    Marcell Ateman's experience in an explosive Big 12 offense is either a benefit or drawback based on the evaluator. His size and downfield strength were highlighted as a go-up-and-get-it receiver for the Cowboys. Despite an ideal frame (6'4", 216 lbs), Ateman struggles to consistently show the strength needed to routinely block cornerbacks in the run game, and his work against press coverage is underwhelming. Nonetheless, with size and reliable hands, he should have no problem building as an eventual matchup receiver, particularly down the field and in the red zone.

           

    GRADE: 5.95 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets

14. Antonio Callaway, Florida

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Athletic tools are among the best in the class (4.41 40).

    —Played a Percy Harvin role as a runner, receiver and returner.

    —Graceful, explosive athlete who makes it look easy cutting and sprinting down the field.

    —Has legit speed and will run away from coverage; hits his second gear and is gone.

    —Can beat jams with quick feet at the line of scrimmage.

    —Makes playing receiver look easy.

    —Attacks the ball and is an aggressive competitor.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Missed 2017 season after being suspended following credit card scandal at Florida.

    —Sexual assault hearing in 2016; found not responsible by school-appointed hearing officer.

    —Cited for marijuana possession in May 2017.

    —Smaller frame (5'11", 197 lbs) that could break down under his play style.

    —Production was limited but could be due to QB situation at Florida.

          

    OVERALL

    On sheer talent, Antonio Callaway would be a top-three receiver in the 2018 class. Unfortunately, off-field issues matter and Callaway's are bad. There will be teams that have him completely off their board. Of course, it only takes one and Callaway's talent is enough that someone will bite.

         

    GRADE: 5.99 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Percy Harvin, retired

13. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Dominated Ohio State in Week 1 with box-out plays on 50-50 balls.

    —Has an excellent frame (6'3", 220 lbs) and plays to his size.

    —Uses his arms well to reach over the top of defenders for the ball.

    —Dynamic red-zone threat due to size and awareness when the ball is thrown.

    —Comeback route specialist who wins with size and positioning.

    —Has the concentration and hand strength to make several impressive one-handed grabs.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks play speed to separate over the top and tested poorly (4.64).

    —Missed most of 2016 with ankle injury.

    —Arrested at Jason Aldean concert in summer of 2017.

    —Big, physical cornerbacks gave him fits.

    —Drops were an alarming issue and might be more scary than lack of speed.

         

    OVERALL

    Simmie Cobbs came out red-hot to start the season but faded down the stretch as teams learned how to take away the comeback route and jump balls. He projects best in a scheme that will throw it up in the red zone or utilize him on comebacks and back-shoulder fades.

          

    GRADE: 5.99 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota Vikings

12. Russell Gage, LSU

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Versatile athlete with reps as a receiver and runner.

    —Huge impact on special teams with 11 tackles.

    —Raw, moldable prospect held back by the anemic LSU passing game.

    —Easy mover in the open field who has the straight-line speed to stretch the field but shows the agility to break off routes with loose hips and quick feet.

    —Coaches raved about his work ethic, leadership and team-first mentality.

    NEGATIVES

    —Limited production as a receiver (26 catches in two years).

    —Lean frame may keep him limited to a slot role (6’0”, 186 lbs).

    —Needs to keep learning the position as a one-year starter.

    —Workout warrior? Wasn’t invited to the Combine, Senior Bowl or premier all-star games but blew up after his pro day.

    OVERALL

    A late add in the scouting process, Russell Gage is a name to remember late on Day 2 or early in the fourth round. He’s an athlete with upside at the position and NFL coaches told us they believe he’ll be better in the pros than he was at LSU.


    GRADE: 5.99 (Round 4)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns

11. Anthony Miller, Memphis

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Huge playmaker who tore up defenses after the catch.

    —Has speed to take screens and slants for six.

    —Tracks the ball well down the field and can stretch vertically.

    —Routes are crisp, tight and clean.

    —Can shake defenders at the line of scrimmage and beat jams with moves.

    —Former walk-on who coaches love due to work ethic and competitiveness.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Has an issue with bobbled passes and drops, especially short balls.

    —Flagged for age at 24 years old.

    —Scouts told us he's red-flagged medically from foot injury.

    —Fumbles an issue throughout his career.

    —Might be dependent on his scheme to get him open on inside routes.

         

    OVERALL 

    Anthony Miller was one of the nation's most exciting players this season. He's fast, fiery and super productive. There will be those teams that can't get past his age or his foot injury, but if Miller is healthy he's an awesome fit as a slot receiver.

         

    GRADE: 6.00 (Round 3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams

10. DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Catches the ball well in traffic; huge positive for a slot receiver.

    —Great route-runner; showed his ability at the Senior Bowl; quick in and out of breaks, getting defenders to constantly flip their hips.

    —Great leader on the football field and problem-free off the field.

    —Quick feet allow him to create after the catch and utilize the quick slant

    —Productive receiver out of the Big Ten despite quarterback play.

    —Return and special teams-type player who goes hard every snap.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Body catcher.

    —Needs to add bulk and strength to withstand playing slot in the NFL.

    —Struggles to get off the line against press coverage.

    —Hasn't shown second-gear speed to take the top off the defense.

         

    OVERALL

    DaeSean Hamilton was a four-year starter and team captain at Penn State and has shown solid leadership skills on the field and kept himself out of trouble off the field. He wowed everyone in Mobile with excellent route running and ability to catch in traffic. He lacks quickness and top speed to be drafted high but brings a solid work ethic and can contribute on special teams while providing depth as a solid slot receiver.

         

    GRADE: 6.25 (Round 3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers

9. Michael Gallup, Colorado State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Athletic wide receiver prospect who still has potential to improve.

    —Effort blocker who can be an asset in the run game.

    —High-cut, long strider who's faster than he looks on tape.

    —Shows balance and concentration on sideline routes.

    —Solid play speed (4.45 at pro day) but is quicker than fast.

    —Very good post-catch.

    —Better route-runner than expected given his high-cut frame.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Was shut down when facing Alabama and beat up a bad conference for big numbers.

    —Would like to see aggressive attempts on 50-50 balls.

    —Pigeon-toed runner/stepper.

    —Rounds corners on out routes; needs to fight to hold tight line on cuts.

    —Only two years of Power Five football.

         

    OVERALL

    Michael Gallup is an interesting prospect because he fits the bill with size, athleticism and hands. The biggest adjustment will be going from limited time at Colorado State to the NFL. He's a player to watch for in Year 3 and to not expect a ton from right away.

         

    GRADE: 6.25 (Round 3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles

8. Dante Pettis, Washington

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Excellent punt returner with nine career touchdowns.

    —Smooth route-runner with nice footwork, timing and leverage.

    —Has the second gear to run by coverage and displays concentration and balance on deep balls.

    —Dangerous when he gets open underneath thanks to speed after the catch.

    —Athletic bloodlines: father, Gary, played major league baseball and cousin, Austin, played in the NFL.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Missed combine and pro day with ankle injury. 

    —Lean, slight frame (186 lbs).

    —Disappeared as a receiver against big competition.

    —Won't beat press coverage with strength; might be a slot WR only.

         

    OVERALL

    Dante Pettis' production as an underneath option, deep threat and punt returner gives him excellent NFL value. As a pure receiver he's not worthy of a Round 3 pick, but add in what he brings in the return game and he's potentially an earlier pick. If Pettis can land with a team that'll use his inside/outside route skills, he could be a major hit.

         

    GRADE: 6.45 (Round 3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

7. Deon Cain, Clemson

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Speedy route-runner who can stretch the field.

    —Very good after the catch with the ball in his hands; vision to find running lanes and speed to get yards.

    —Plays bigger than his listed size when competing for the ball.

    —Body control and balance are impressive.

    —Can line up to the boundary or in the slot and is position-versatile.

    —Well-coached route tree shows up on film. 

    —Ideal stretch receiver with vertical speed and vision. 

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Disappeared at times; could be related to poor QB play.

    —Hands are below NFL threshold for size (8 ¾"). 

    —Dropped too many easy balls.

    —Poor play strength; can be thrown off routes.

    —Seems to make mental errors often (i.e. route timing, false starts, drops).

         

    OVERALL

    Deon Cain didn't live up to some of the hype surrounding him once Mike Williams left Clemson for the NFL, but he has the traits to become a better player in the pros than he was in college.

          

    GRADE: 6.50 (Round 2-3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs

6. James Washington, Oklahoma State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Incredibly productive, consistent player coming out of Oklahoma State.

    —Dominated Senior Bowl week with hands and vertical ability.

    —Can take the top off a defense despite not having great timed speed (4.54).

    —Tracks the ball well and uses his size to box out on 50-50 balls.

    —Strong strider who chews up yards going down the field.

    —Averaged more than 20 yards per catch in 2017.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Played in a scheme that created tons of space for him to operate; didn't have to separate on his own.

    —Short (5'11"), high-waisted player.

    —Dominated very poor competition in the Big 12; surrounded by talent that drew attention from him.

    —Doesn't use his stocky build to wall off cornerbacks on comeback routes.

    —Route tree is somewhat limited.

         

    OVERALL

    James Washington's production at Oklahoma State and his performance at the Senior Bowl are hard to overlook. He may be limited to a WR2 role (or the slot), but his vertical-push ability and consistent hands make him a very attractive target in the late-second to early-third range.

         

    GRADE: 6.50 (Round 2-3)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Michael Crabtree, Baltimore Ravens

5. D.J. Chark, LSU

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Excellent height with enough weight to be featured receiver in an offense.

    —Explosive down the field and throughout break points.

    —Double moves are violent and instantaneous and can create separation in a hurry.

    —NFL-caliber deep speed with suddenness to stack routes on top of DB immediately; body control to fight down the field in motion.

    —Shot plays are valuable in NFL, and that's what Chark is best at. His one trick is a very good trick.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Doesn't have the upper-body strength or technique to separate from quality press corners.

    —LSU doesn't do any favors to receivers in helping project them to NFL.

    —Tendency to telegraph intermediate in-breaking routes with rounded crossover step from outside foot.

    —Limited route-runner overall that has to prove he can win without the theatrics of a double move.

    —Slow pace when he's getting hammered at the line of scrimmage that will disrupt timing routes on offense.

           

    OVERALL

    D.J. Chark has prototypical NFL size (6'3", 199 lbs) and speed (4.34) as a boundary receiver. He can open up and run past defenders or use double moves to create separation on intermediate routes. Chark will have to develop as a technician to continue succeeding against NFL cornerbacks. With a long frame and thinner upper-body, he is going to be challenged by even average press corners that can disrupt his timing off the line of scrimmage. Fortunately, Chark has enough athleticism and natural size to warrant a few years of coaching to become a top-tier wide receiver.

         

    GRADE: 6.75 (Round 2)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

4. D.J. Moore, Maryland

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Elite player after the catch; eats up yards with powerful, quick moves.

    —Burst is above-average.

    —Can run past coverage and is strong enough to swat away press coverage.

    —Relied on to be the entire Maryland offense and didn't falter.

    —Powerful, thick body on 5'11" frame.

    —Reliable hands in traffic and few drops outside of deep routes

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Quicker than fast.

    —Routes can get lazy with round corners and poor timing.

    —Limited catch radius.

    —Might be limited to slot. 

         

    OVERALL

    Moore enjoyed a breakout 2017 season and became a favorite receiver among our crew. He's short but stocky and has very good agility to break away pre- and post-catch. He does need some work as a route-runner on timing and spacing, but Moore could step right in to a WR2 or slot role as a rookie.

         

    GRADE: 6.75 (Round 2)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills

3. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Strong hands with very few drops on tape.

    —Uber-competitive, alpha dog type.

    —Has a second gear to run away from coverage and make plays post-catch.

    —Short, but has a thick frame and his play strength is good.

    —Can be an asset as a return man immediately.

    —Quick enough to beat fast corners. 

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Will get caught dancing instead of attacking routes and plays post-catch.

    —Short arms on a short frame (5'10").

    —Played in a lot of space at Texas A&M and must improve as a route-runner.

    —Might be limited to the slot because of size.

         

    OVERALL

    Christian Kirk is a fiery, fast wide receiver prospect who could make an immediate impact as a slot receiver and return man. The key will be getting him into the right scheme where he can be used as a short-to-intermediate receiver with plenty of room to make plays after the catch.

         

    GRADE: 6.99 (Round 2)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

2. Courtland Sutton, SMU

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Big-body receiver who excels playing above the rim.

    —Has a huge catch radius.

    —Physical and tough through traffic. Won't get beat by press at the line of scrimmage.

    —Can run through contact before and after the catch.

    —Times the ball well on jump balls and high-points with long arms.

    —Concentration and vision are excellent when looking in the ball.

    —Boxes out like a basketball player.

         

    NEGATIVES

    —Lack of separation via speed causes concerns.

    —Dominated small-school competition.

    —Doesn't sink into breaking routes and can play tall.

    —Offers almost nothing after the catch. 

         

    OVERALL

    Courtland Sutton looks the part of an NFL outside receiver (6'3", 218 lbs), but there are questions about speed and agility that weren't answered when he declined a Senior Bowl invite and then failed to wow in testing at the combine. Sutton is a gamble due to unknowns, but the payoff in the right scheme could be huge.

         

    GRADE: 6.99 (Round 2)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles

1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    POSITIVES

    —Polished, pretty route-runner.

    —Has the speed to accelerate away from coverage.

    —Runs like a gazelle with an agile stride and quick, light steps.

    —Extends well and attacks the ball with his hands.

    —Has the wheels to make big plays after the catch.

    —Is versatile enough to play in any alignment and get open.

    —Stats were held back by an awful QB situation at Alabama.

       

    NEGATIVES

    —Lacks size to separate against elite cornerbacks and has to win with speed.

    —Drops were an issue throughout his career.

    —Has a maxed out frame.

    —Could struggle to beat press coverage given lack of size and length.

    —Will be a 23-year-old rookie.

       

    OVERALL

    Ridley is a smooth operator as a route-runner and has a natural, easy way about him catching the ball. Teams may be turned off by his lack of size (6'0", 189 lbs) or production, but he’s clearly the best receiver in the 2018 class. 

        

    GRADE: 7.05 (Round 1)

    PRO PLAYER COMPARISON: Reggie Wayne, retired