FanPost

WR Draft Profiles & Potential Value

Taking a WR in the upcoming draft has definitely become a hot topic of conversation here on BBV and it’s pretty likely at some point in this year’s draft JR will pull the trigger on a WR. We already know he has a great eye for evaluating WRs and values the position almost as much as DEs. And now with Manningham leaving for greener pastures and several expiring WR contracts looming it’s almost a certainty you will hear Goodell declaring a wide receiver as a New York Football Giant’s selection.

So who’s it going to be? Day 1, 2, or 3? What round will our WR come off the board? Well this WR class is one of the deepest in recent years. Most pundits agree there aren’t really any can’t miss Calvin or Andre Johnsons out there (the top of this year’s crop comes close); however in the absence of that elite talent there is an abundance of gifted WRs left in the mix. That depth will lend itself well to Jerry’s BPA draft strategy.

Here’s my little disclaimer: Most of the below opinions are taken from Draft Analysts and draft sites; take that for what it is – with a grain of salt, especially if a particular analysis isn’t your cup of tea. Collectively the pundit analysis ends up creating the whole draft landscape anyway, as these guys have the pulse of GMs across the league in mind when providing their ultimate decisions. I haven’t watched hours of tape on these prospects - the only thing I’m concerned with is the value of a particular prospect and where they are expected to be drafted.

So let’s start with the WRs that are expected to come off the board well before the 32nd pick. If any of these guys fall to the Giants I’d take them before any of the WRs I will touch on later (some more strongly than others):

· Justin Blackmon

· Michael Floyd

· Kendall Wright

· Stephen Hill

The next tier of WRs will be of interest to JR as the draft rolls around to our pick, as most of these guys are expected to be available @32. It would be ideal if one of these guys falls to our 2nd round pick. These prospects all pretty much have a late first / second round grade (all measurements are best taken from combine/pro day):

Alshon Jeffrey, 6-3, 216

40 yd Dash: 4.48
Vertical Jump: 35 ½
3 Cone: 6.71
20 yd Dash: 2.63
10 yd Dash: 1.64
Expected draft round: 2

Here is what Greg Cosell had to say about him in a recent article (found here):

Given his measurements — 6-foot-3, 216 pounds — he fits the Colston profile. Jeffery’s best attributes are his size and his hands. He has very strong hands with a wide catching radius. He has shown the ability to make contested catches both at the intermediate and deeper levels. Jeffery is a great example of a wide receiver whose 40-yard-dash time is irrelevant. He’s not vertically explosive. At his best, he’s a long strider with some build-up speed. He will not tilt coverage (i.e. force a safety to play over the top) or dictate double teams. The question then becomes: How is he best utilized in the NFL? Can he line up outside and win? Is he ultimately a Colston-type inside receiver who can effectively use his big body to maximum advantage against nickel backs, linebackers and safeties? The answer to that question will determine where he is drafted.

Strengths/Weaknesses via nfldraftgeek.com:

Strengths:

  • Physically imposing. Has great size, and the strength to bully defensive backs
  • Strong, massive hands. Great focus and concentration to make acrobatic catches. Never Drops the ball
  • Has the height and vertical leap to almost require a double team in the Red Zone
  • Does a good job working the middle of the field. Willing to take the hit to make a catch
  • Understands defense. Does a good job finding soft spots, and working back to the QB
  • Deceptively fast. Better game speed than timed speed
  • Beats press coverage with ease

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn't play with great suddenness or quickness
  • Sometimes will struggle to create separation
  • Route running leaves something to be desired
  • Timed speed is average
  • Disappeared far too often in Junior season
  • Weight management, and work ethic have been questioned

Mohammad Sanu, 6-2, 211

40 yd Dash: 4.54
Vertical Jump: 36
3 Cone: 6.88
20 yd Dash: 2.62
10 yd Dash: 1.59
Expected draft round: 2

Here is what Greg Cosell had to say about him in the same article:

Another receiver who fits this conceptual template is Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is 6-1 1/2 and 211 pounds. He often played out of the slot at Rutgers, so he has meaningful experience in that role. He was outstanding between the numbers, consistently making difficult catches in traffic. Sanu’s 40 time is also not important to the evaluation process. He’s a short-to-intermediate route runner who relies more on working in confined areas where subtle moves and change of direction are at a premium. Sanu is a smoother, naturally quicker athlete than Jeffery. If the consensus is Jeffery cannot align outside and win, then Sanu is a more valuable and functional NFL prospect. At this point, Sanu is a more effective slot receiver.

Strengths/Weaknesses via nfldraftgeek.com:

Strengths:

  • Tremendous athlete. Great bulk and strength, but extremely athletic
  • Maybe the best hands of any receiver in the draft. Massive hands, along with excellent concentration and body control
  • Very physical. Beats jams off the line, great blocker too
  • Great with the ball in his hands, breaks a ton of tackles
  • Has the size to go up and win jump balls
  • Versatile. Works good out of the slot, can be a #1, good out of the backfield as well
  • High football IQ. Good football instincts. Great off the field, good person. Has great focus and effort on every play

Weaknesses:

  • Doesn't have elite speed
  • Takes a few steps to get going
  • Raw route runner. Was not asked to run very complex routes in college
  • Not overly agile in the open field. Will run over you instead of around you

Rueben Randle, 6-3, 210

40 yd Dash: 4.43
Vertical Jump: 31
3 Cone: 6.99
20 yd Dash: 2.57
10 yd Dash: 1.52
Expected draft round: 1-2

Here is what Greg Cosell had to say about him in the same article:

A big wide receiver who I believe can align on the outside and run the complete route tree is LSU’s Rueben Randle (6-3, 210). The more games I watch, the more I like Randle. He is smooth and athletic, with better acceleration off the ball than either Jeffery or Sanu. In some ways, he reminds me of the New York GiantsHakeem Nicks, who was not drafted until the 29th pick in the first round in 2009. Nicks was the fifth wide receiver selected that year (after Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin), but he’s clearly been the most productive of the bunch. Where Nicks has been very effective — and I project Randle playing a similar role — is at "x iso", the single receiver to one side of the formation. When you’re aligned at "x," you must be able to win versus man coverage.

Strengths/Weaknesses via nfldraftgeek.com:

Strengths:

  • Excellent size. Ideal height, bulk, with large hands
  • Above average speed (4.55) for a guy his size
  • Very strong hands, catches the ball away from his body
  • Shows excellent body control. Effectively shields defenders body from the football
  • Size and strength allow him to beat press coverage off the line
  • Good Red-Zone target; nice leaping ability, and grabs the ball at its apex
  • Experienced and effective Run Blocker

Weaknesses:

  • Effort level is inconsistent. Doesn't always give 100%, takes plays off
  • Under-achiever in college
  • Doesn't accelerate very quickly, takes a few steps to get going
  • Doesn't possess a sharp burst, not an explosive player
  • Route running skills are underdeveloped
  • Lacks agility; Doesn't get many yards After the Catch

This next tier has some value, as these prospects have fell slightly for various reasons.

Juron Criner, 6-3, 224

40 yd Dash: 4.54
Vertical Jump: 38 ½
3 Cone: 7.15
20 yd Dash: 2.71
10 yd Dash: 1.58
Expected to be drafted 2-3 round.

Matt Waldman said the below about him in a recent article found here. This article is a very good read, as Matt breaks down a corner fade in tight coverage that results in a 7 yd touchdown. He compares his ‘go up and get it’ skills to Larry Fitzgerald.

University of Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner isn’t fast, he isn’t a strongman at his position, but his game screams "trust me," louder than he could ever say it.

He’s one of my favorite players in this rich draft class of receivers. He may not be a safe pick, but I like intuitive players with strong hands and awareness of their body in space.

Here’s what Cecil Lammey and Matt Waldman said after watching his Senior Bowl performance:

Criner lacks top-end speed, but he is quick enough to get behind defenders and tells enough of a story to win separation on vertical routes. His speed places him at least a tier below the top receivers in this draft, even if he eventually develops into a productive option for an N.F.L. squad. If he had better speed, he would be among the top prospects at the position. From the pure standpoint of what he brings to the field, his upside is higher than his likely value in April.

Strengths/Weakness via draftace.com

Strengths:

Prototypical size and overall build for a No. 1 receiver. Does a nice job finding soft spot in zone coverage; gives his quarterback a big target. Has the potential to be a quality possession receiver. Good all-around athlete; will make some plays after the catch. Good vision as a runner after the catch.


Weaknesses:

Route running is often sloppy; doesn’t make sharp cuts and will struggle to break free from man coverage at the next level. Extremely careless running with the football after the catch; frequently carries the ball away from his body and will have it stripped occasionally. Inconsistent adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Inconsistent hands; will make some nice plays but will also drop some very easy passes. Typically catches with his body. Limited speed; not a serious deep treat. Effort as a blocker is inconsistent. Hospitalized during 2011 offseason to undergo neurological testing; reportedly was deal with some personal issues, but the details were never made public – this may not be an issue, but teams certainly need to ask questions about the situation.

Brian Quick 6-4, 220

40 yd Dash: 4.53
Vertical Jump: 34
3 Cone: 7.10
20 yd Dash: 2.59
10 yd Dash: 1.47
Expected draft round: 3

Here’s what Cecil Lammey and Matt Waldman said after watching his Senior Bowl performance:

He does not know how to use his sizeable frame to shield defenders away from the ball, and he won’t square his shoulders to the line of scrimmage. He also has poor sideline awareness and did not display the ability to drag his foot on receptions near the sideline. He spent much of the practice session receiving numerous quick pointers and corrections on routes.

Quick has a good first step, and if you’re an optimist, there’s enough in his physical build, athleticism and talent to see how he could eventually become a good receiver. He’ll need to land with an N.F.L. team that wants to give him time to learn the fundamentals of the position. Ultimately, the trajectory of Quick’s potential career is in his hands. If he approaches the game like a professional and is driven to work, he can become a starter. However, he’s behind his peers and will need to work hard to catch up.

Strengths/Weaknesses via DraftAce.com

Strengths:

Elite size and strength. Very good hands. Excellent body control; does a great job timing his jumps to pluck the ball at its highest point; also looks comfortable working the sideline. Runs hard after the catch; capable of breaking tackles of smaller defensive backs. Willing to go across the middle and doesn’t shy away from contact. Fairly strong blocker for a receiver, and has the size to continue to get better.

Weaknesses:

Lacks breakaway speed; probably won’t be able to stretch the field at the next level. Ball security could become an issue; often runs with the ball away from his body. Level of competition is a concern; hasn’t faced many cornerbacks that could match his skill level. Route running is inconsistent and effort doesn’t always appear to be there; wasn’t really forced to fight to get open very often at the FCS level. Suffered season-ending back injury in 2007.

Marvin Jones, 6-2, 199

40 yd Dash: 4.46
Vertical Jump: 33
3 Cone: 6.81
20 yd Dash: -
10 yd Dash: -
Expected draft round: 4

Here’s what Cecil Lammey and Matt Waldman said after watching his Senior Bowl performance:

Jones once again looked like the best deep threat on the North roster. He easily got deep in drills against defensive backs. If one particular pass had not been overthrown, Jones had an easy touchdown up the left sideline. He also demonstrated good sideline awareness, regularly getting two feet down when running routes at the boundary. He is adept at tucking the ball away after the catch, and he has strong hands. He doesn’t draw oohs from the crowd, but his play is making a loud statement to those with a discerning eye.

Strengths/Weaknesses via DraftAce.com

Strengths:

Adequate height and strong overall build. Shows great body control along the sideline. Does a nice job adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Gives a reasonable effort as a blocker; has the size to improve in this area. Excellent route runner on short and intermediate routes; does a nice job against zone coverage finding soft spots. Very reliable hands; catches away from his body and quickly secures it. Does a nice job going up and plucking ball at it’s highest point. Looks very comfortable in jump-ball situations; will come down with some athletic catches in traffic. Playmaker after the catch; good vision and is quick on his feet.

Weaknesses:

Struggles to separate over the top. Route running could use some work on deep routes; has a tendency to take too many steps before making his move which adds just enough time that it can disrupt timing and/or allow defense to recover/get into better position. Blocking technique could use some work; puts in the effort, but tends to block with just his arms, doesn’t always get his body into it, which means he tends to just slow guys down rather than finish them off. More quick than fast; straight-line speed is very average. Missed time with sprained knee in 2008. Suffered knee injury during Senior Bowl.

This next group of prospects are set to be drafted anywhere from the 5th to the 7th round.

Marvin McNutt, 6-3, 216

40 yd Dash: 4.54
Vertical Jump: 37
3 Cone: 7.09
20 yd Dash: -
10 yd Dash: -
Expected draft round: 5

Here’s what Cecil Lammey and Matt Waldman said after watching his Senior Bowl performance:

McNutt has his share of admirers, and for good reason. He knows how to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball, and he’s strong, physical and hard to jam off the line of scrimmage. Although not a quick-twitch guy, he uses his hands well to fight off defenders.

McNutt will climb the ladder to go get high passes, and he does not hear footsteps when running routes over the middle. He will make hard catches in stride, and he displayed this skill with a spinning reception when the pass was behind him (he was able to turn and continue running upfield). He also does a good job of coming back to the ball. As with Marvin Jones, McNutt immediately tucks the ball safely away after the catch.

Strengths/Weaknesses via profootballweekly.com

Strengths:

• Long, big-framed
• Rare leaping ability
• Boxes out CBs
• Concentrates, tracks and adjusts
• Able to control and contort his body
• Makes the difficult and clutch catches

Weaknesses:

• High-cut
• Builds to speed
• Could stand to polish route running
• Inconsistent blocker
• Average strength, elusiveness after catch
• Will not factor on special teams

Tommy Streeter, 6-5, 219

40 yd Dash: 4.40
Vertical Jump: 33
3 Cone: 6.97
20 yd Dash: -
10 yd Dash: -
Expected draft round: 5-6

Here’s what draftace.com said about him:

Streeter has the size to catch your attention, and also the speed to stretch the field. However, his raw talent is all he has going for him right now. He lacks the hands to produce as a possession receiver and his timed speed is misleading. He can stretch the field, but his route running is sloppy and he lacks the quickness to shake man coverage. He is definitely worth a mid-to-late round pick due to his raw skills, and he may develop into a quality receiver, but he is also very likely to be over-drafted due to his potential.

Strengths:

Elite height. Built like a true No. 1 receiver. Adequate straight-line speed; will be able to stretch the field on occasion at the next level. Has the raw talent to develop into a No. 1 or 2 option.

Weaknesses:

Inconsistent hands; will drop some very easy passes. Traps the ball against his body far too often and generally displays shaky fundamentals when putting himself in position to make a catch. More fast than quick; isn’t very explosive or elusive in tight spaces; takes time to get up to full speed. Isn’t nearly as good in traffic as you’d expect considering his size; leaping ability is average and doesn’t do a consistent job timing his jumps to pluck ball at its highest point. Route running is slow and deliberate; lacks the quick, fluid hips to shake corners.

Cody Pearcy, 5-10, 162

40 yd Dash: 4.31
Vertical Jump: 44
3 Cone: 6.67
20 yd Dash: 2.43
10 yd Dash: 1.47
Expected draft round: 7/undrafted but moving up on draft boards

CBS Sprorts Joe Rang said this about Pearcy:

Pearcy is certainly smaller than scouts would prefer at 5-feet-10, 161 pounds, but his numbers otherwise were off the charts. Pearcy was clocked as fast as 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash, posted a 44-inch vertical jump—each of which would have led all combine participants this year.

This kid is the definition of flyer, but I just thought I’d include him on this list as extreme on the other side of the spectrum, and hey you never know; the Raiders might take him in the first round. He recorded one of the fastest times in the short shuttle.. ever so I imagine one team will take a chance on him at one point in the draft.

I’m not going to say this player is better than this player, all I am going to say is look at the measurements, look at the write ups; in my opinion some of these players have striking similarities concerning their attributes. In some situations you can tell why one prospect is touted higher than another one but in general if I see two WR prospects that have a similar skill set and one is going in the second round and the other is going in the 4th round as a result of a poor combine, a character concern, or an injury risk I’d much rather use the 2nd round pick on the best available player and take my chances with the WR in the 4th round because he has more value. That’s exactly what JR did with Bradshaw, a 7th round gem (Gold Jerry, Gold!), and exactly why all pro running back Arian Foster ended up going undrafted. Foster had the skill set but he had glaring injury concerns. At the end of the day we don’t know how a prospect will perform in the NFL but we do have information; whether it be from a prospect’s combine, pro-day, or collegiate career to make an educated gamble. I say if you are going to gamble you might as well take the pick with the most value. What do you guys think?

FanPosts are written by community members. This is simply a way for community members to express opinions too long to be contained in a comment.

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