As we all know I did a post a little time back explaining what I think makes a Quarterback elite. That post was pretty controversial (exactly how I like my posts) because I added one player to my elite status who didn't necessarily have all of the criteria under his belt (Manning). But as we look forward most have accepted the fact that we will need to draft a Wide Receiver in the first because it doesn't look like our Front Office necessarily wants a quick fix that will be gone in a few years. We all know there isn't an exact science to determining exactly who will be great in the NFL or who will bust. Honestly, I don't believe most people connected to the NFL know. I believe that when speaking of a player that has the "it" factor, many don't even know exactly what it means. I believe what they're meaning to say is "we have no clue what we're looking for, but that guy looks like he has it.". This leads to late round greats like Brady and busts like Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf. But, I will take a whack at it, by looking at the Wide Receivers in the NFL that I consider Elite and what exactly makes them elite. Next, I will see what exactly these Wide Receivers have in common to determine who exactly we should target. Get ready for the ride, gents!
Now, we come to naming the receivers that I consider to be elite in the NFL, these guys should be no surprise to anybody:
Many people make the misconception that a number one receivers equals elite, but this is not true. A number one receiver, in my opinion, is a product of a system that he is in. Take players like Brandon Lloydand Wes Welker for instance. Brandon Lloyd proved last season when he chose to leave that he would be nothing without McDaniel's offense and Wes Welker was a nobody before he reached thePatriots. People also make this misconception because of gaudy numbers that these players make up, but an Elite Receiver doesn't just put up the great numbers (although that is a part of it), but he can be productive in any system and can do it consistently through adversity of the double team. Normally, these players also have great stature that comes with height and they're bodies are filled out which means they aren't easy to push around and they are phenomenal when it comes to attacking the ball in the air. These players might not have the absolute speed that others do but they don't need it, their games aren't dependent on it. They have the leaping ability to where if they can't outrun you they can certainly outjump you to get the ball. More times then not, these receivers are also deep threats which means they can take the top off of a defense, but they can also make a living in the intermediate games and pick apart a defense that lays off of them. Route Running is also important because you might not have the blazing speed but if you can run an effective route you can create separation.So lets recap..
Great Stature / Uses his body to his advantage and isn't easily push around
Comes down with the jump ball / Great Leaping Ability
Can play in any system/ Adapt
Red zone Threat
Next, we have to clean up some of these. Consistency and Numbers kind of go hand in hand, so lets set down some criteria when it comes to numbers. Getting these numbers I went back to these 3 guy's numbers and averaged them out. So here they are:
Touchdowns: Touchdowns can be weird on the NFL level considering what a system does whether it be a run heaving offense that doesn't require receivers to get that man nor the chance in the red zone. Furthermore, Calvin Johnson lead all of these guys in touchdowns and only had 5. But the number in college was 11 although it is possible I deviate from it.
Now, where do we start when it comes to Wide Receivers. Lets leave the numbers for the last thing to call a player elite. Now these are the Wide Receivers this season that I think have the physical presence that could get it done in the NFL. Not only that, but these players have outstanding potential to play in any system with the ability to attack the ball.
Cordarrelle Patterson (I don't want him on the Rams as we all know, but he has undeniable ability)
All of these players can be number ones when it comes to the NFL, but which have the ability to become elite? Now the numbers come into action. So, when it comes down to it, these are the players that passed.
He didn't consistently get the touchdowns because his average was 9, but in his last season he had 12. When it came to all of the other stats he passed with flying colors. His main problem entering the NFL will be adjusting to the speed and complexity. If he can do so I could see him being elite some day in the NFL.
Hopkins is in the same boat as Williams when it comes to stats and he definitely shows promise moving forward. If you don't know by now, he is my favorite Receiver moving into this upcoming draft and has all of the intangibles to be great and even elite moving forward.
Dude can be a complete stud at the next level. He has all of the ability in the world, but a bit of a problem child. That in and of itself could make him a good receiver for Fisher to go after. Shows all of the ability to be something special at the next level just needs the incentive.
That's it gentlemen, you're (potentially) elite Wide Receivers according to my criteria. Thanks reading and comments are always appreciated. Criticism is also appreciated but expect debate haha