If you are like me, you have given up on something big happening in FA (not a bad thing) and have began to watch every college football highlight video you can get your hands on. I cannot wait for the draft and hate that it is so late this year.
Anyway, I personally feel that a Wide Receiver is a position that will need to be taken at somepoint, but where and who I can't decide. I honestly have grown to like a lot of the WRs in this class. They all seem to have the tools that we need to take the offense to the next level, but will they make the jump. So since I am bored at work, I decided to compile the breakdowns of some of the top WR prospects that we would have a shot at, aka not Sammy Watkins :( . *I have taken what they have written on NFL.com and comprised it here along with my own thoughts* (also i tried to put videos in but this formatting thing is too smart for me)
ODELL BECKHAM JUNIOR 6ft 0in 194lbs 4.43 40 yard/ 38.5in vert/ 3.94 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Quick hands and feet to slip the jam. Fluid and fast. Good balance. Sinks his hips and changes gears to create separation. Quick hands to pluck off his frame. Terrific leaping ability -- climbs the ladder to snatch throws. Creates after the catch -- shows burst and shiftiness as a runner. Has playmaking ability. Confident and competitive. Has kickoff- and punt-return experience. Productive three-year starter.
WEAKNESSES: Adequate height. Lacks elite top-end speed to separate vertically. Could stand to polish the finer points of his route running. Inconsistent making contested grabs -- can be out-muscled in a crowd. Has some concentration drops. Can improve as a blocker. Was not an impact punt returner. Was held in check by Florida and Alabama.
BOTTOM LINE: Talented, competitive, productive, inconsistent college split end who projects as a flanker or slot receiver in the pros, where a creative offensive coordinator can take advantage of his run-after-catch skills. Could be a productive No. 3 option with added value as a kick returner.
ODJ is by far the pick that most experts have us taking with the pick. He catches with his hands and has the ability to make a man miss. He, to me is the most well rounded prospect that we could get, but something tells me he will never be that #1 guy we need to replace Bowe. The PR and KR experience makes him hard to pass on if he is there.
BRADON COOKS 5ft 10in 185lbs 4.33 40 yard/ 36in vert/ 3.81 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Light on his feet with terrific balance. Sinks his hips with ease and pops out of breaks to separate. Tracks and adjusts. Quick hands. Good concentration, body control and boundary awareness. Can turn a short throw into a long gain. Shows elusiveness, creativity and vision after the catch. Unafraid to play in the tall trees. Highly productive -- totaled 195 receptions for 2,881 yards (15.4-yard average) and 21 TDs in last two seasons. Confident and competitive. Has been exceptionally durable dating back to high school. Team captain. Will be a 21-year-old rookie.
WEAKNESSES: Size is just adequate -- is small-framed and lacks ideal length and bulk. Vulnerable to the jam and reroute. Relatively small catch radius. Has small hands and double-catches some throws. Lacks elite, blazing speed to run by NFL corners and safeties. Will struggle to play "above the rim" at the next level. Was not an impactful punt returner. Limited run strength. Poor blocker.
BOTTOM LINE: Short, speedy, nifty-footed receiver who was unaffected by the departure of Steelers 2013 third-rounder Markus Wheaton, establishing himself as a playmaker in his own right by leading the nation with 133 yards per contest as a junior. Projects as a useful slot receiver with run-after-catch ability and some utility as an outside receiver.
FAST, FAST, FAST and FAST. This guy is lighting in a bottle...the downside is it is a tiny lighting strike. Brandon Cooks is small. That isn't always a bad thing, but it does limit him if we want our #1 guy. He played in a top conference and did win the Biletnikoff though. If we aren't looking for our new #1, then I choose Cooks because....like....FAST!
MARQISE LEE 6ft 0in 198lbs 4.52 40 yard/ 38in vert/ 4.01 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Very good athletic ability. Is a nifty runner after the catch -- can navigate through traffic and create with the ball in his hands. Can shift into top gear and run by tacklers -- terrific acceleration and short-area burst. Fine route runner -- understands how to set up defensive backs and has an innate feel for coverage. Understands how to manipulate man and zone coverage and can create separation when he needs to uncover. Very good hand-eye coordination. Tracks the deep ball very well -- has a knack for running underneath it. Attacks the ball and plucks it out of the sky. Very good competitive, functional playing speed. Has game-breaking return ability -- exceptional vision and traffic burst.
WEAKNESSES: Average size and run strength. Does not break many tackles. Was slowed by nagging injuries, and body is not built to withstand a lot of punishment. Can do a better job securing the ball through traffic -- has shown a tendency to flag the ball. Long-term durability could become an issue.
BOTTOM LINE: An extremely motivated, dynamic, playmaking receiver, Lee's junior season was plagued by shoulder, knee and leg injuries and a revolving door at head coach, where he cycled through three. Showed all the traits desired in a No. 1 receiver early in his career and has overcome a lot of adversity in his life to get to this point.
This guy is the one that scares me. At the start of all of this, I liked Lee the most. Any guy who can do all of that his sophomore year has true, true talent. But then there was his knee. I am a Mizzou fan, so I have seen what a knee injury can do to an all world WR (see Danario Alexander). But dang is it tempting. If the knee is healthy than I like him, but if there is even a question about it, just say no.
KELVIN BENJAMIN 6ft 5in 240lbs 4.61 40 yard/ 32.5in vert/ 4.39 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Rare size -- is a physical mismatch vs. defensive backs and linebackers. Eats cushion and separates with long strides. Strong approach to the ball -- is not easily knocked off course and will enter the middle on crossers. Outstanding jumpball catcher -- climbs the ladder, plucks the ball at its highest point and regularly snatches it out of the air with superb body control and the grace of a ballerina. Very good separation speed. Adjusts surprisingly well for the low ball and tracks it well over his shoulder. Energetic football demeanor. Confident and competitive. Strong-handed. Uses his body well to shield the defender from the ball and can beat double coverage. Good run strength after the catch (see three tackles broken on TD run vs. Florida) and does not go down easy. Strong enough to handle defensive ends when motioned inside to chip and delivered some head-snapping, crackback blocks (see North Carolina St.). Emerged as a clutch, go-to, big-play receiver -- caught the game-winning TD in the national championship game vs. Auburn and consistently was targeted in critical situations and in the red zone. Scorched Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy and created mismatch problems from the slot.
WEAKNESSES: Lacks elite, top-end speed and many catches are contested. Hand use could improve releasing vs. tight, press coverage. Overly grabby. Is not yet a nuanced route runner and does not sink his hips and pop in and out of his breaks. Does not shake many defenders after the catch. Will make the easy concentration drop and focus could stand to improve at the break point (three drops vs. Florida). Seeks to run before securing the ball and double-catches more than he should. Blocking effort/sustainability has room to improve on the move.
BOTTOM LINE: A monster-sized, intimidating, big-play receiver, Benjamin has the overall strength, length and wide catching radius that will demand extra coverage be rolled his way. Showed continual improvement, is still growing into the position, and possesses the traits to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver. A very intriguing mismatch weapon with ascending talent.
This guy is big. He isn't fast (relatively) and he cannot jump that high (again relatively). But the due is HUGE. It is fair to see a lot of Jon Baldwin in him. He has only had one year of real production and it was on one of the most dominate teams in CFB history. I think Reid and Dorsey would have to see something in him to take the risk. Big Boom or Bust pick.
THE DARK HORSES
DONTE MONCRIEF 6ft 3in 227lbs 4.40 40 yard/ 39.5in vert/ 4.30 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Terrific size. Smooth accelerator -- jets off the line, eliminates cushion and has speed to stretch the field vertically. Good balance and body control. Can stem his pattern and leverage defenders. Drives off cornerbacks and creates separation. Knows where the sticks are. Outstanding leaping ability to elevate and pluck throws out of the air. Flashes playmaking ability. Able to sidestep the first tackler and pick up chunk yards after the catch. Gives effort as a blocker to engage and seal. Has experience going head-to-head with NFL-caliber cornerbacks. Will be a 21-year-old rookie and has upside.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to sharpen his route running. Inconsistent ball reactions, particularly in traffic -- better running through or under passes. Does not always play to his size -- gets outmuscled for "50-50" balls and is still coming into his own as a dependable go-up-and-get-it guy. Average hand strength. Tends to trap some throws against his body and occasionally drops catchable balls. Could be more physical. Average elusiveness and open-field electricity. Showed he could be contained -- seven games of 60 yards or less as a junior.
BOTTOM LINE: Big, physically gifted "X" receiver with deep speed, "above-the-rim" potential and playmaking ability. Has a ceiling as a No. 1 or No. 2 in a vertical passing offense, and his best football is in front him. Likely to elevate his stock at the combine and in workouts.
I am, like many AP readers, in love with this kid. He has to speed, he has the size, the leaping ability and the hands. He is a #1 future impact player. I for the life of me cannot see why he isn't supposed to be in the first round. I guess there is still time, but this is the WR i really want and would mind reaching to get him.
PAUL RICHARDSON 6ft 1in 170lbs 4.40 40 yard/ 38in vert/ DNT 20 yard shuffle
STRENGTHS: Jab steps and accelerates into routes. Fluid and field fast. Chews up ground with long strides. Stretches the field vertically and can run under deep throws. Can drive off corners, break off and work back to the quarterback. Can extend to pluck off his frame. Shows he's capable of making the spectacular grab. Productive despite a poor supporting cast. Team captain.
WEAKNESSES: Is very lean. Needs to bulk up and get stronger. Has been injured and durability could be an issue. Vulnerable to the jam. Does not separate consistently -- needs to become a more refined, deceptive route runner. Average burst out of breaks. Lets some throws into his body and drops throws he shouldn’t. Gets out-muscled at the catch point for 50-50 balls. Limited run strength. Underpowered blocker.
BOTTOM LINE: Very lean, narrow-framed, finesse "X" receiver who made an immediate impact at Colorado before knee injuries derailed his progress. Measurables will go a long way in determining his ultimate draft value, and his success at the next level is dependent upon his ability to make plays in the vertical passing game. Has a boom-or-bust element. Size and durability are question marks
The guy is a twig, but a fast twig with long strides that can pull away in a very smooth motion. Could be one of "Pioli's right 53" meaning he was a stand up guy in college and a team captain. Seems like a good locker room kind of guy. If we were to miss on our #1 prospect, Richardson wouldn't be a bad back up plan.
Cody Latimer 6ft 3in 215lbs 4.40 40 yard/ 39in vert/ DNT 20 yard shuffle (Pro Day Numbers)
STRENGTHS: Very good size. Shows a jab step to get into routes cleanly and is equipped to combat the jam. Can use his frame and physicality to create separation on slants and "post-up" throws. Nice catch radius -- extends to snag throws off his body. Soft, dependable hands. Nice strength after the catch. Good blocker -- subdues cornerbacks, shields, stalks and sustains. Improved steadily over three years as a starter.
WEAKNESSES: Is high-cut and shows some lower-body stiffness in his route running. Average burst off the line. Not a quick-twitch athlete -- could struggle to shake loose from more athletic corners. Lacks foot speed to separate vertically. Is straightlinish after the catch and will not make anyone miss. Marginal special-teams utility. Football was not his first love.
BOTTOM LINE: A prep basketball standout, Latimer is a well-built, sure-handed, West Coast possession receiver whose hardwood background is evident in his leaping ability, body control and hand-eye coordination. Lacks ideal explosiveness, gear change and flexibility. Could be effective running slants and making contested catches to beat zone coverage and succeed in the red zone. Has a ceiling as a No. 3.
This is more of a guy to keep your eye on. Matt Miller especially is really behind this kid. He didn't run at the Combine because of a broken toe, but he did put up 23 reps on the bench press. His numbers at his pro day are intriguing to say the least. Big and fast are two good things to go through life as. Had good production at a bad football school. Worth a look in the later rounds.
There you have it. Analysis on each of (who I deemed) the top WR prospects in the draft. Who should we draft? Is there someone else that the Chiefs need to look at? Have fun with the debate!