|Daily Blog • March 19th, 2010|
Over the next couple of weeks my daily blog will breakdown the top players at each position for this year's NFL draft. In today's blog, I have included my top wide receivers/tight ends complete with strengths, weaknesses and an overall projection of what round each prospect will likely be drafted in.
If you need complete rankings, career statistics, pictures and draft projections for this year's wide receivers/tight ends download my 2010 Draft Guide absolutely free! Also included in the draft guide is pro day workout dates, a draft order for the 1st two rounds, combine invitees by position plus college teams with most draft losses!
Keep checking the guide regularly to get all the latest and greatest information on this year's draft as we will be adding new information daily. I will be back on Monday with the top OL prospects. Have a great weekend!
Top WR Prospects for 2010 Draft
1. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma St
40 Time: 4.52
Strengths: Can make the tough acrobatic catches over defenders. Is a weapon in the red zone and adjusts his body well in the air. Helps QB out by coming back to the ball. Great quickness and size.
Weaknesses: Does not explode off the line. Not experienced in running pro style routes. Does not always give full effort when blocking and needs to be more aggressive. Has character issues that resulted in the NCAA suspending him in his senior season.
Overall: Bryant has all the tools (size, strength, hands) to become a premier WR in the NFL. He has great ability to turn inaccurate throws into big plays with his in-air adjustments to the ball. His character issues will drive down his draft stock a little, but he will certainly be drafted in the 1st round and most likely the top 15.
2. Arrelious Benn, Illinois
40 Time: 4.57
Strengths: Has strong hands. Uses his size and strength to overwhelm defenders when blocking them. Can be dangerous after the catch and is not afraid to run over would-be tacklers and does not shy away from contact.
Weaknesses: Inconsistent with his concentration which has led to many drops. Does not have elite burst or acceleration. Does not have the experience in running a variety of routes.
Overall: After having great frosh and soph seasons, Benn’s production slipped in his junior year mainly due to inconsistent QB play. Benn has the physique and the running ability after the catch to be an impact player at the next level, but he will have to continue to improve the mental part of his game. Overall, Benn will likely go in the 1st round and can contribute immediately especially in the return game.
3. Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
40 Time: 4.5
Strengths: Big play threat every time he touches the ball evidence of his 25.1 ypc his senior season. Redzone threat with his ability to bring down jump balls. Plays physical and can shake off would be tacklers. Great blocker who enjoys getting crack-back blocks on defenders.
Weaknesses: Drops the ball too often. Does not have experience in many pass routes coming from an option offense. Has problems exploding off the ball. Suffered broken foot prior to combine.
Overall: Thomas came out early after having an exceptional junior season with 1,154 yds (25.1) and 8 TDs. He had a chance to have a great combine, but broke his foot and now there will be some durability questions. Despite those concerns, Thomas is clearly a 1st round talent and has the chance to become a big play WR at the next level. Look for his name to be called in the late 1st round.
4. Golden Tate, Notre Dame
40 Time: 4.42
Strengths: Great hands and despite being rather short at 5-11 has the ability to outjump defenders and get the ball at the highest point. Dangerous runner in the open field and can change directions instantly. Has good lower body strength, which allows him to break arm tackles.
Weaknesses: Runs upright. Will have to improve his blocking technique and be more active. Struggles against press coverage. Lacks elite burst and speed.
Overall: Going into the combine, NFL scouts questioned Tate’s straight line and breakaway speed. Tate quieted those questions after clocking an impressive 4.42 time in the 40-yd dash. Tate also was surprising in his route running ability and displayed a good attitude throughout his interviews. There is a very good chance he’ll be one of the Top WRs off the board especially with Demaryius Thomas’ foot injury.
5. Brandon LaFell, LSU
40 Time: 4.6
Strengths: Shows good athleticism for being a big receiver. Turns up field quickly after catch. Holds onto the ball well after taking big hits. Uses size and strength to run thru arm tackles and is always fighting for extra yards.
Weaknesses: Lacks elite speed and explosiveness. Sometimes is slow getting into a route. Needs to improve blocking skills.
Overall: LaFell can be a quality starter at the next level but he lacks the speed and explosiveness of other big receivers, which will hurt his chances being the #1 guy. At the combine LaFell did not stand out in any drills and he probably is looking at a 2nd round selection.
6. Damian Williams, USC
40 Time: 4.53
Strengths: Excellent receiver that rarely drops any passes thrown in his direction. Not afraid to catch the ball in traffic. Can make things happen in the open field. Shows good instincts and vision when running after the catch. Is a smooth route runner that is deceptively quick.
Weaknesses: Does not possess home run speed. Is not very explosive with his first couple of steps. Needs to improve his blocking in every phase. Lacks ideal size of the more common bigger WRs in the NFL today.
Overall: Williams probably made the wise decision coming out early as he was never going to overcome his size and speed weaknesses that would put him in 1st round territory. NFL teams will use him in the slot and look for him to have a very productive career. As a rookie he will get utilized in the return game as well. Overall, Williams has the hands and athleticism to warrant a 2nd round selection.
7. Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati
40 Time: 4.62
Strengths: Great hands. Shows good concentration and makes nice adjustments when the ball is in the air. Good route-runner that has the speed and elusiveness to make big plays happen whenever he touches the ball. Dangerous returner that shows good vision to find open lanes.
Weaknesses: Will have to improve his strength considerably especially his lower body. Sometimes gets tripped up too easily. Not an effective blocker due to his size and strength.
Overall: Gilyard was a dynamic player at Cincinnati and had the ability to carry the entire team with his big plays in the receiving/return game (Pittsburgh ’09). Gilyard also plays best when the lights are brightest and had a good Senior Bowl game. However, Gilyard will have to overcome questions about his size and he did run a disappointing 4.62 at the combine, which will drive his draft value down to the 3rd round.
8. Jordan Shipley, Texas
40 Time: 4.64
Strengths: Shows good balance and can run well in traffic. Smart receiver that can find the open spots especially vs zone coverage. Uses his body well to go up and grab jump balls. Has a knack to make big plays with the game on the line.
Weaknesses: Despite having four relatively healthy seasons, he did miss the entire ’04-’05 seasons with leg injuries. Does not possess elite speed. Has trouble holding onto the ball after getting hit hard by DBs.
Overall: Shipley had an outstanding career at Texas that seemed to last forever. Despite the great productivity, he projects as a 3rd round prospect due to his lack of great speed and size. He will have a lot of improving to do if he wants to be an consistent starter.
9. Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas
40 Time: 4.7
Strengths: Can turn a simple route into a big play with his run after the catch ability. Can go up and get the ball at its highest point. Uses his height to shield defenders from the ball. Does a decent job of blocking. Very athletic and nimble for his size.
Weaknesses: Has had off the field problems and has to mature. Has had problems holding onto the football. Does not possess great speed.
Overall: While he has the size and athletic ability to be a #1 receiver at the next level, Briscoe has seen his stock fall significantly this season. At one time Briscoe received some 2nd round consideration, but because of the off the field concerns along with a poor performance at the combine, he will likely fall to the 4th round.
10. Mike Williams, Syracuse
40 Time: 4.55
Strengths: Is not afraid to catch the ball in traffic. Can take a big hit and hold onto the ball. Surprisingly sharp route runner that is not afraid to be creative with his route when QB rolls out of the pocket. Aggressive blocker that uses his strength to overpower defenders.
Weaknesses: Has some character issues after being suspended for the entire ’08 season and then left the team midway thru last season. Also does not have elite speed and explosiveness. Sometimes drops easy passes. Struggles with physical DBs jamming him at the line of scrimmage.
Overall: Williams has all the skills (size, hands and blocking ability) that teams are looking for in big-time receivers. His willingness to keep runs alive with his downfield blocking is an added bonus. While Williams has 1st-2nd round talent, his character issues will drop him to the 4th round.
11. Eric Decker, Minnesota
40 Time: 4.6
Strengths: Tough physical player that is willing to sacrifice his body to make the big catch. Can read defenses well and finds the open spots in zone coverage. Does a nice job of adjusting to inaccurate passes. Nice work ethic and hustles on every play. Is very dangerous in the red zone.
Weaknesses: Struggles when he goes up against press coverage. Durability a factor after a foot injury sidelined him for the last part of his senior season. Tends to round off routes and needs to make better cuts.
Overall: Decker was looking at a possible 2nd-3rd round selection but after the foot injury, he is now looking at a 4th-5th round pick. Decker was also a solid baseball player in college, but has recently said that baseball is on the backburner for now. Decker is a very smart player and he if fully recovers from the foot injury, he can turn into a dependable receiver at the next level.
12. Riley Cooper, Florida
40 Time: 4.55
Strengths: Knows how to get open easily and can read defenses. Takes care of the football in traffic. Is a weapon on slant routes with his ability to go over the middle. Consistent, tough blocker. Can play on special teams.
Weaknesses: Struggles against press coverage. Has problems beating his man off the ball. Goes down too easily for his size. Not very elusive in the open field. Lacks experience in a pro-style offense.
Overall: Cooper has the size and smarts to be a productive player at the next level, but lacks the explosiveness and speed to be a consistent playmaker. Look for him to be a contributor on special teams and become a 3rd down possession receiver.
13. Jeremy Williams, Tulane
40 Time: 4.6
Strengths: Nice athleticism especially in the open field. Cuts quickly and smoothly. Has the ability to find soft spots in coverage. Does a nice job getting the ball at its highest point and going over cornerbacks in jump ball situations. Has nice balance and plays under control.
Weaknesses: Does not possess top end speed nor explosiveness to elude defenders consistently. Needs to be more physical especially with his blocking.
Overall: Williams had a very productive career in college with 2807 receiving yds (14.2). While he has excellent hands and has the ability to get open often, he did struggle at the Senior Bowl, which will hurt his draft stock. Look for him to get drafted in the mid to late rounds. Williams does have the ability to be a nice #2 receiver.
14. Carlton Mitchell, South Florida
40 Time: 4.49
Strengths: Great length. Has big-play capabilities with his superior run after the catch instincts. Has a really quick first step that allows him to accelerate past defenders. Does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air.
Weaknesses: Does not have great hands and lets the ball into his body rather than going up and getting it at its highest point. Plays smaller than his size. Will have to be more physical in his play especially his blocking. Has issues with work ethic.
Overall: Williams has the size and speed to become a consistent #2 option for any team at the next level. However, he is going to have become more physical and use his size to his advantage as he often plays like a small slot receiver. He probably could have used another year to hone his overall skills but after his solid combine, look for Mitchell to get drafted in the mid-rounds.
15. Andre Roberts, The Citadel
40 Time: 4.46
Strengths: Plays bigger than his size. Known for stepping up game against better competition. Can return punts. Has nice agility and can make defenders miss in the open field. Creates separation from defenders with timely double moves.
Weaknesses: Will have to add bulk and strength to become a more durable player at the next level. Drops too many catchable passes. Needs to get better burst with his first step off the line to prevent getting jammed by the bigger more physical CBs at the next level.
Overall: Has been rising on many draft boards after his solid performances at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Roberts can use his speed and ability to return kicks to see the field right away. Look for him to get drafted in the mid-rounds, but he has a chance to go higher if he continues to impress.
16. Danario Alexander, Missouri
40 Time: 4.6
Strengths: Nice athleticism for his size and runs smoothly. Very dangerous on inside slants over the middle and has the ability to break tackles in the open field. Turns up field quickly and runs with authority that gives him a lot of extra yards especially with his long stride.
Weaknesses: Not very explosive. Will have to run cleaner more crisp routes. Has missed a lot of time with a knee injury so durability is a major question.
Overall: Alexander had a great senior season with 1781 receiving yds (15.8) after struggling most of his college career with injuries. He has a lot of potential with his size and toughness and could grow into a TE someday. However, the question marks about his knee will hurt his draft stock especially since he missed the Combine. Look for him to get drafted in the middle rounds.
17. Jacoby Ford, Clemson
40 Time: 4.28
Strengths: Speed, Speed and Speed. Ford is very explosive and can make a big play happen whenever he touches the ball. Can accelerate to top speed quickly and create separation from DBs. Consistently makes the first man miss as a returner.
Weaknesses: Size, Size and Size. Ford lacks the ideal size and strength of typical NFL receivers and durability will be a question. Also needs to improve his hands as he drops way too many passes. Not a great route runner.
Overall: Ford’s 4.28 40 at the Combine was one of the best ever and that alone will get him a chance to be drafted as high as the 3rd round. However, Ford’s small stature is a concern. It should also be noted that he avg 13.9 ypc in his career which isn’t spectacular for a guy with his speed. He can be a playmaker in the return game if he stays healthy and look for him to get drafted in the mid rounds.
18. Marcus Easley, Connecticut
40 Time: 4.46
Strengths: Great arm length and size. Can run well after the catch with his long stride. Nice blocker that initiates contact on defender.
Weaknesses: Very raw with only 1 year as a starter. Developmental route runner that has average instincts. Is not very explosive and has problems separating from defenders especially against press coverage. No real experience on special teams.
Overall: Easley was a former walk-on who came on his senior season with 893 yards (18.6). He is still very raw, but has a lot of upside. His 4.46 40 he ran at the combine coupled with his nice size has him shooting up a lot of draft boards. He is going to be a bit of a project with his route running and instincts so look for him to get drafted in the mid rounds.
19. David Reed, Utah
40 Time: 4.58
Strengths: Has very nice hands. Has good vision in the open field and does a good job tracking down the ball while it’s in the air. Adjust his routes and his body to turn what would be incomplete passes into acrobatic big plays.
Weaknesses: Lacks experience with only 1 full-year as a starter at the Division 1 level (Juco 1st two years). Not a great blocker and does not possess ideal size. Does not have great explosiveness or the ability to create separation.
Overall: Reed showed great big play ability in his only year as a starter. When you consider he was playing with inexperienced QBs, his 1616 yds (15.2) is rather impressive. While he does not have great top end speed, he was able to consistently get open. He will have to improve significantly as a blocker. Look for him to get drafted around the 5th round.
20. Taylor Price, Ohio
40 Time: 4.41
Strengths: Had an excellent combine showing off his size, strength and speed (4.41). Has the ability to separate from defenders and helps the QB out by continuing routes when QB is flushed out of the pocket.
Weaknesses: Lacks elusiveness and does not cut that well. Can get knocked off his routes and struggles against press coverage. Needs to use hands better instead of cradling the ball. Can be a better runner after the catch.
Overall: Price has been shooting up draft boards after his impressive combine workout. He is going to have to improve in several areas especially his pass routes and blocking. Price does have a lot upside with his speed and athleticism and look for a team to take him in the mid rounds.
10 Others To Watch
21. Christian McGaha, Arizona St
40 Time: 4.6
Great hands. Can become a good possession receiver. McGaha missed the combine with a hamstring injury, which will drive his stock down.
22. Kerry Meier, Kansas
40 Time: 4.65
Former QB that has great size and body control. Can make the difficult catches and would be a nice #3 or #4 receiver and a special teams contributor.
23. Blair White, Michigan St
40 Time: 4.5
Productive receiver who plays smart and is a tireless worker. Does not have great speed or explosiveness but uses all of his abilities to get the job done.
24. Shay Hodge, Mississippi
40 Time: 4.65
Nice competitor that can make the difficult catch. Lacks speed and explosiveness to be a big playmaker.
25. Emmanuel Sanders, SMU
Very productive player with 285 career receptions and 3,791 yds. Has been impressing in offseason workouts, which has him rising on many draft boards.
26. Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
40 Time: 4.65
Set the all-time NCAA mark for single season receptions with 155 last season. Played several positions in college and does a nice job after the catch. Can be a good possession receiver, but lacks great speed and explosiveness.
27. David Gettis, Baylor
40 Time: 4.55
Has nice size and speed. Struggles with inconsistencies catching the football and needs to improve his cut-making ability.
28. Seyi Ajirotutu, Fresno St
40 Time: 4.63
Nice size and is a dependable pass catcher. Does not get separation from defenders and will struggle to make big plays down the field at the next level.
29. Alric Arnett, West Virginia
40 Time: 4.53
Lean frame and will have to put on weight to become an every day player. Can make plays down the field.
30. Antonio Brown, Central Michigan
40 Time: 4.59
Dangerous returner who can make an instant impact in the return game. Is raw at the receiver position and will need to improve his blocking and route running ability.
Top TE Prospects for 2010 Draft
1. Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
40 Time: 4.68
Strengths: Smooth, fluid receiver that turns up field quickly with the ball in his hands. Catches passes behind him without losing forward movement. Does a nice job blocking on runs when in position. Has good work ethic.
Weaknesses: Drops too many easy passes. Runs upright which opens up his body to taking big hits. Not a great blocker. Suffered serious knee injury that sidelined him all of the ’09 season.
Overall: Gresham showed great durability during his first three seasons and could have been a 1st round draft pick last year but decided to return for his senior season and did not play a single down. The knee injury will raise many durability questions, but Gresham has the strength, speed and toughness to be a big playmaker at then next level. He will probably need a year to adjust to a pro style set and test his knee, but look for Gresham to have a solid pro career after getting drafted in the late 1st to early 2nd round.
2. Rob Gronkowski, Arizona
40 Time: 4.7
Strengths: Shows strong hands when catching the ball. Dominant blocker that can deliver devastating crack back blocks. Can use his superior strength to get past jams at the line of scrimmage. Runs surprisingly nice routes for his size.
Weaknesses: Lacks great speed and elusiveness to make defenders miss. Does not possess the acceleration to pull free from man-to-man coverage. Missed all of ’09 season with a back injury.
Overall: Complete player that has the catching and blocking ability to be a great pro. His injured back and limited lower body flexibility will raise concerns, but Gronkowski can start as a rookie and look for him to go off the board in the 2nd round.
3. Aaron Hernandez, Florida
40 Time: 4.65
Strengths: Great hands. Was very effective catching inside option passes and turning upfield without hesitation to move the chains. Has good body control and balance. Shows nice vision and elusiveness in the open field.
Weaknesses: Limited experience running pro-style routes. Does not possess elite speed and will have to become a stronger blocker. Will need to put on weight and become more of a physical player. Torn muscle in back prevented him from working out at combine.
Overall: Hernandez can be a great situational TE on 3rd-down passing situations. He will need to become bigger and stronger at the next level if he wants to become an every down caliber player. Look for Hernandez to go somewhere in the 2nd round.
4. Ed Dickson, Oregon
40 Time: 4.65
Strengths: Has the ability to catch-off target passes. Runs fluidly in the open field. Very durable with no significant playing time missed in his career.
Weaknesses: Needs to be more aggressive in his blocking and explode off the ball in his routes. Needs to run his routes more crisply and cleanly to create separation from defenders. Has average instincts.
Overall: With his size, speed and the way he moves in the open field, Dickson looks the part of an NFL TE. He will have to become a more consistent blocker and be more explosive. If he improves in those areas, he will be a solid pro. Look for Dickson to be drafted in the 3rd round.
5. Anthony McCoy, USC
40 Time: 4.75
Strengths: Consistent blocker that runs nice routes and shows good speed in the open field. Has good hands and has great leaping ability for his size to go up and win jump-ball situations against defenders. Not afraid to take a hit.
Weaknesses: Lacks explosiveness. Needs to be more aggressive in his blocking. Was not very effective in red zone. Is knocked off his routes too easily in underneath coverage.
Overall: McCoy is a solid TE prospect that does almost everything well, but does not have any features that make him stand out from the others. He can someday become a NFL starter if he can improve his quickness. Because of his all-round skills, look for him to go off the board in the 3rd round.
6. Dennis Pitta, BYU
40 Time: 4.68
Strengths: Great pass catcher with nice athleticism. Excellent career production with 221 career receptions and 2,904 yds. Can go up and catch the ball at the highest point. Very mature player that has great work ethic.
Weaknesses: Will need to add weight and improve his strength. Lacks explosiveness coming off the line. Does not have the elusiveness in the open field to make defenders miss. Is not a strong blocker that can finish off the defender.
Overall: Pitta can be a very effective player right away at the next level in passing situations with his outstanding hands. If he can improve his blocking he has a chance to be an every down player. Look for him to get drafted somewhere in the 4th round.
7. Tony Moeaki, Iowa
40 Time: 4.69
Strengths: Nice soft hands and shows good athletic ability and body control. Not afraid to catch the ball in traffic and has good vision in the open field. Experienced in a pro-style offense and runs good routes. Smart player that can find the soft spots in zone coverage. Good blocker.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size. Will need to add weight. Can be knocked off his route too easily. Has serious durability questions after missing 15 games the last three seasons with a multitude of injuries.
Overall: Moeaki is an all-round talent with great pass catching ability and good blocking technique. If he did not have all the injury concerns he would be rated much higher. Look for Moeaki to go in the 4th round range.
8. Andrew Quarless, Penn St
40 Time: 4.69
Strengths: Nice size with good arm length. Very durable with no significant loss time due to injury. Not afraid to catch the ball in traffic. Nice blocker.
Weaknesses: Not a high character player with 3 suspensions in two years. Does not grab the ball at its highest point and often lets the ball into his body instead of snatching it in the air. Lacks explosiveness and acceleration off the line. Not a down field threat.
Overall: Quarless does not possess a lot of upside with his limited burst and quickness. He does a lot of things well but nothing great. He can become a solid #2 TE at the next level and will get picked up in the mid rounds.
9. Colin Peek, Alabama
40 Time: 4.85
Strengths: Smart player that is a reliable blocker and pass catcher. Runs nice routes and can make the tough catches over the shoulder. Plays aggressively and gives an all out effort on every down.
Weaknesses: Lacks the speed and explosiveness to be a big playmaker at the next level. Missed combine workout due to hamstring pull. Struggles as a blocker especially against bigger defenders.
Overall: Peek will be more of a workmanlike player that will be used primarily in blocking situations. He will probably make it as a backup and look for him to go in the 4th-5th round range.
10. Jimmy Graham, Miami, Fl
40 Time: 4.56
Strengths: Great size and speed. Very effective in the red zone. Stretches the field vertically and showed the ability to run in traffic after the catch. Showed improvement in all areas throughout the season.
Weaknesses: Very raw with limited experience. Does not always look comfortable catching the ball and has too many drops. Struggles in press coverage. Will need to improve his strength. Not a willing blocker.
Overall: Graham only played 1 season of football after playing 4 years of basketball. Despite his inexperience, Graham has a lot of upside and athleticism. His 4.56 40 at the combine raised a lot of eyebrows and he can definitely be a weapon in the passing game. He will have to improve his blocking significantly. If Graham can go to a patient coaching staff, he can become a solid starter someday, He will probably go in the 4th-5th round.
5 Others To Watch
11. Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois
40 Time: 4.8
Nice thick frame with good arm length. Can take a hit and hold onto the ball. Limited speed and quickness. Marginal career production.
12. Nate Byham, Pittsburgh
40 Time: 5.00
Great size and an effective blocker. Lacks speed, quickness and athleticism. Will be primarily used as a blocking TE at the next level.
13. Jereon Mastrud, Kansas St
40 Time: 4.7
Has great versatility and is a solid route runner. Competes on every play. Needs to add more weight to his tall frame and be more aggressive. Will be a solid backup in the NFL.
14. Dedrick Epps, Miami, Fl
40 Time: 4.7
Good athlete that is quick off the ball. Will need to get much stronger and improve his blocking technique and show more willingness in blocking situations.
15. Garrett Graham, Wisconsin
40 Time: 4.75
Smart player that shows good body control and balance. Reliable pass catcher with soft hands. Lacks the ideal size to be an every day TE and will be used more in a H-Back role.