Top 10 WR’s Rankings of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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By: James Johnson

(Image by Nike)

It’s been a while since I wrote my last true article, but I’ve been fairly busy. Have no fear though because with the draft coming next week I’m going to really put in some work to get as much draft content out as possible on my end by May, 8. You all have already seen my QB rankings, now as I pick up where I left off, we’ll continue on the offensive end with my WR rankings. Hope you all enjoy!

Sammy
(Photo by AP)

1.) Sammy Watkins, Clemson – I mean what is there to say? Watkins is a blue-chip prospect and one of the highest that I’ve graded in this years draft. He was the man since day one of stepping on to the practice fields of Clemson. Most draft experts put him in the same tier as prospects like Julio Jones and A.J. Green, and as a big time follower of the SEC I’d certainly agree that he’s is of the same level as both.

(My Grade: Top 5 pick)

2.) Odell Beckham Jr, LSU – Beckham really impressed me on tape as I feel he has a variety of skills to offer. He has solid speed and acceleration out of his routes, offers great abilities after the catch (partially because of his great vision), displays great cutting abilities, and doesn’t shy away from giving a defender the shoulder to name a few. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a very good special teams player too? As most prospects do …Beckham has his flaws, but scouts biggest gripe about him is that they wish he was a bit taller. Nevertheless, they still hold him to high regards. I’d go as far as saying that Beckham is one of my favorite WR’s in this class.

(My Grade: Top 25 pick)

3.)  Mike Evans, Texas A&M – I’m not as high on Evans as some despite most have him graded as their #2 WR on their boards. I personally feel Beckham offers more as an all-around threat though Evans is no scrub. At 6-5, and 225 lbs, he was a man amongst boys in his tenure at A&M, and he also solidified himself as Johnny Manziel’s go to guy. Personally, I feel as though Manziel may owe a lot of his highlights to Evans, but that’s another story for another time. His ability to go up for jump balls is unparalleled and he has as ridiculous of a catch radius as you will find in a WR. Most importantly his physical presence is top notch (which again, goes back to his size). Unfortunately, he doesn’t possess a quality I’m very high on, and that’s the ability to separate. If you want to know how crucial of an attribute separation is, go back and watch the Jags WR’s of the Jack Del Rio era, I’ll warn you…it’s not pretty.

(My Grade: 1st round pick)

(Image by USATSI)

4.) Brandin Cooks, Oregon State – To my fellow Jags fans out there, this kid is Ace Sanders all over again. I’d be willing to bet your next question is,”But why is he graded much higher than Ace” ? Well for one, he tested better than Ace at the combine (at least as far 40 times go running in the 4.3’s), and two, he was way more productive as a college prospect. Not that my statement is a knock on Ace (who is one of my favorite players by the way), but the point I’m trying to make is that Cooks is Sanders and a bag of chips. As for Cooks, he indeed was THE most productive WR in college during 2013 season and was also deservedly the winner of the Biletnikoff Award (given to the the top college WR of the year). He ended the season with 128 receptions for 1,730 yard, which was good for 1st in the FBS in receiving yards, and 2nd in the FBS in receptions. So if you are one of those stat guys/gals that want to talk about production, he’s the definition of it.

(My Grade: Late 1st round pick)

5.) Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt – I guess I’ll start by saying this young man is the cousin of the legendary Jerry Rice, and with that in mind, I’m just going to take a wild guess that his solid route running, nice size/speed ratio, and great concentration is no coincidence to Rice. Now….I’m not saying he’s Jerry Rice because Jerry is the best receiver EVER in my book, but Matthews does share some traits with him. Furthermore, Matthews was ultra-productive in what most consider is the best conference in football. I got a chance to catch up with Matthews in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and he spoke highly of the Jaguars staff and their WR’s coach Jerry Sullivan who worked with him throughout the week.

(My Grade: Early to mid 2nd round pick)  

6.) Dante Adams, Fresno State – Ok this is getting repetitive, but he too is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. I really enjoyed watching Adams and Derek Carr light it up at Fresno State. The first thing you’ll notice about him when watching the tape is his size and ability to go up and snag jump balls out of the air. He also did the dirty work for Fresno State at times by catching a few down the middle when needed (Got to love the toughness!). As I previously stated with Carr, the level of competition Fresno faced will worry some scouts, which is why he won’t quite break into the first round.

(My Grade: Early to mid 2nd round pick)

7.) Kelvin Benjamin, FSU – I’ve heard the name “Baby Megatron” thrown out there, but unfortunately that’s not who he is. I do however REALLY like Benjamin despite the fact that he’s not necessarily a fit for every team. That said, if your team is one that likes to vertically challenge your opponents, this is your guy. I think that if the right team gambles on him, with the right staff, and right system….we may just be looking at the next Alshon Jeffery. Once he trims down and work on sinking his hips a bit more you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

(My Grade: Early to mid 2nd round pick)

8.) Marqise Lee, USC – Some might see this as a huge drop on this list, but we all know why I have him this low, and that’s due to injury. When he is on the field I love his abilities after the catch as well as his acceleration (which to me is unreal). He’s also shown the ability to run across the middle while navigating through commotion. His route-running is on point as well. I would have loved to put him higher on the list, but due to the time he missed I feel like the rest of this dynamic class caught up to him. Had he played more, there is no question he’d be ranked higher.

(My Grade: Early to mid 2nd round pick)

(AP Photo/John Beale)

9.) Allen Robinson, Penn State – Robinson and the WR below him are very similar to me. Only thing is Robinson is bigger, faster, and stronger. He’s just as dangerous in the slot as he is on the outside, and very hard to catch/bring down in the open field. You can also bet that he’s well coached and a little more prepared for NFL than most being that he played with Bill O’Brien a bit. My biggest concern with Robinson however is his long speed, but he makes up for it  in other ways to the point where is not a deal breaker to pass on him.

(My Grade: Mid to late 2nd round pick)

10.) Jarvis Landry, LSU – (See Robinson for description) One thing Landry does have over Robinson however, is that he played in a harder conference. Landry also made more circus catches in my book. Most will point to his 40-time as a flaw, but on tape he plays a lot faster on the field. Think of Landry somewhat as the “Ace Sanders” of this years draft.

(My Grade: Mid 2nd to early 3rd round pick)

 

So how was it? Feel free to agree or argue with me on Twitter (@IES_Don). In the meantime I’ll be working on more rankings, mocks and big boards lol.

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