2011 prospect watch (WR edition) - Nov. 18th

  I didn't have time to put together a full watch list for this week, but I thought I could revisit a series I did last year at positions of interest - the position big board.  Last year, I did big boards for DEs, QBs, DTs and, not surprisingly, WRs.  I thought it would be a good week to look at my top 10 WRs and some sleepers and snoozers this week, whether they're in action or not.  For reference, here's MTD's WR big board as of early October.  Let's get the obvious top two out of the way, and then after the jump I'll go through the rest of my board as of today.

  Only eligible redshirt sophomores make the board right now, so Alshon Jeffrey (WR, S. Carolina), Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers) and Denard Robinson (QB, Michigan) are all ineligble for this board as they are true sophomores.  The scouting reports come from Mocking the Draft (MTD), Walter Football (WF), Draft Countdown (DC) or ESPN (ESPN, genius) if available.

1 - A.J. Green, Georgia - Jr. (MTD, ESPN)

  Green can do it all.  The only knock I have on him is that he plays his weight, which is pretty thin considering dude is 6'4".  Still, he can add bulk in the next two years and not lose much speed if any.

When to watch him: Georgia only has one regular season game left before bowl season, and Green should light it up when Georgia faces Georgia Tech, Nov. 27.  It's a night game on ESPN2, so if you haven't watched Green live, you've got two more chances if this ends up being his last season playing NCAA football.

2 - Julio Jones, Alabama - Jr. (n/a)

  I started dropping Julio's name around TST at the end of the 2008 NFL season and that following offseason, and his trajectory never changed.  It wobbled last season, but injuries can do that to the best players.  He's been healthy this season, dropping the kinds of stats you expect from a top WR prospect: 58 rec, 799 yards and 4 TDs.  And he's done against one of the country's best CBs too.  I know he still has some doubters around the country; I'm just not sure why.

When to watch him: Skip tonight's contest against Georgia State, but get ready for next Friday's SEC clash against the Auburn Tigers.  Dis gon be gud.

The rest of the board after the jump.

3 - Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St. - Soph. (n/a)

  Will he come out this year?  I doubt it.  But if he does, he's got an edge on Green and Jones: power.  Blackmon plays very heavy even though he moves light.  And his numbers are absolutely ridiculous.  He's getting it done every single game.

When to watch him: Bedlam, baby.  OSU v. OU, Nov. 27.  This game will be repeated later on.

4 - Jerrel Jernigan, Troy - Sr. (ESPN)

  I've tried to get TST on the Jernigan bandwagon.  You want a DeSean Jackson type?  Small but stupid fast and quick with hands to boot?  Yup.  Now he, like Jackson, suffers physically.  But if you can work him into an offense where he gets sent down the field (do Rams fans even remember what that looks like?), he can be an incredibly valuable piece of the puzzle.

When to watch him: If you get ESPN3.com or ESPN GamePlan, Saturday against South Carolina (plus you get to see Alshon Jeffrey).  If you get ESPNU, Troy goes to Florida Atlantic, Dec. 4.  If you don't get either, get crafty.

5 - Michael Floyd, Notre Dame - Jr. (ESPN)

  Floyd's got issues with his hands, but you probably wouldn't notice it as easily if he wasn't so good at getting open.  Braylon Edwards 2.0?

When to watch him: I'm sure plenty of TSTers are already planning on watching this one, but Notre Dame v. USC is the flex game for ABC on Saturday, Nov. 27.  Some good receivers on the Trojans' side of the ball too...

6 - Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh - Jr. (ESPN, WF)

  That Walter Football scouting report compares him to Brandon Marshall.  I don't think that's apt.  Marshall has shown more agility and broken tackle ability than I think Baldwin will ever have.  But in terms of possession and red zone targetability, it's on point.  Baldwin's height, athleticism and hands make him a legit 3rd down and red zone target.

When to watch him: The next two games are solid immediate showcases (showcasii?): Pitt plays South Florida on Saturday, and a week from tomorrow they'll face West Virginia.  Good scouting to be had in both.

7 - Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma - Jr. (ESPN)

  Broyles doesn't have great end speed and isn't a huge target, but he can run NFL-caliber routes and he uses feet with his quickness as well as any receiver you'll find.  He's not a #1, but he makes a great complementary option.

When to watch him: Again, Bedlam.  Watch it.

8 - Torrey Smith, Maryland - Jr. (n/a)

  Unless you listen to Turf Show Radio every week or your name is Buck Nasty87 and you keep trying to hype up the Terps on TST, you probably haven't heard of Torrey.  You will.  He can absolutely fly, and he's stronger than his frame suggests.  His issue is with short and intermediate routes.  He just doesn't have the experience (having played QB in high school) or the technique (his speed makes it too tempting to just have him beat CBs in sprints).  But any NFL franchise with a strong WR coaching staff will definitely be talking to Smith if he comes out this year.

When to watch him: Saturday night, the Terps and the Seminoles battle for the Atlantic Division of the ACC.  Don't make Buck Nasty the only TSTer to catch the game.

9 - Leonard Hankerson, Miami - Sr. (ESPN)

  Hankerson is built like a #1 WR.  He finishes plays with great hands.  Everything else in between isn't often pretty.  He's got sub-par agility, and his breaks on short routes are just plain sloppy.  It's tough to see how he will make a splash in his first year or two, but I could see him being a valuable receiver on the depth chart for a lot of teams by year three.

When to watch him: Miami faces Virginia Tech on Saturday; the loser will not want to remember the missed opportunities of 2010.

10 - Randall Cobb, Kentucky - Jr. (n/a)

  Cobb has as much pure athleticism as anyone in college football.  He can be used in the Wildcat (change "Wildcat" to whatever incredibly inventive name your team happens to use), in 2- or 3-WR sets, I could even see him as a Reggie Bush type back in shotgun sets.  His versatility is going to be too tempting for teams to overlook.  And MTD picked up a report that suggested Cobb could declare for this draft, so it's a temptation worth exploring sooner rather than later.

When to watch him: If you can catch Kentucky - Tennessee on Nov. 27, go for it.  If not, wait for the bowl game.

Top 5 remaining:

Ronald Johnson Sr., USC
DeAndre Brown Jr., S. Miss
Greg Little Sr., UNC
Austin Pettis Sr., Boise St.
Niles Paul Sr., Nebraska

 

 

 

 

 

There ya go.  A WR-only watch list / big board / mini-scouting report on 10 potential additions that could help Sam Bradford.  Holler.

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