FanPost

Scouting Reports 2014: Wide Receivers

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via buckeyextra.dispatch.com

It's that time again!!!!!!!!!!!! Scouting reports are my one of my favorite pastimes, and have been for a very long time, since I was about 15 to be exact!

Scouting reports to me are so much better when you do it yourself rather going by what someone else says and/or a players stats. You learn so much more by taking the time to watch the tape and really study each position and the players that come with it. Remember the film NEVER lies.

First up will be the wide receivers. This years class is the deepest that I can remember for the last 15 years. No the order they are posted in is not the order I view them in from best to worse. And no, I did not forget "this guy (insert name)" because I didn't list him. I listed the prospects I would not mind seeing in the horns but also would be a nice fit and/or brings something different or extra to what we already have. We are covering this group to get out of the way -yup, you guessed it- Sammy Watkins. You're welcome rock!!

Sammy Watkins

Clemson 6'1" 211lbs

Sammy Watkins Ultimate 2013-14 Highlights ᴴᴰ (via HFX HD)

GOOD

  • Great acceleration
  • Above average hands
  • Average leaping ability
  • Good after catch ability
  • Gives good effort on blocks
  • Very good open field vision
  • Very good top end speed

BAD

  • Needs to develop body more
  • Could add more strength
  • Questionable route tree
  • Needs to show more consistent physicality
  • Doesn't catch a lot of balls in traffic
  • Not very elusive
  • More straight line explosiveness than lateral

Player comparison: Chris Givens (I am going to take a lot of heat for this one lol). He is slightly bigger than Givens but they have scary similar games. You watch tape of them both from college and tell me it's not the same game. Sammy just had more exposure. Watkins is arguably the best right now player in the draft. His explosiveness and consistency gives him the best chances of having the most immediate impact. His biggest downfall, much like Givens, is his reliance on his speed. The best receivers rely more on their route running and ability to make the tough catch. Unless you have a team committed to the deep route (i.e. the Steelers and Mike Wallace), you will more than likely struggle against fast corners with loose hips. I would like to see him get more involved in the intermediate routes.

Marqise Lee

USC 5'11" 192lbs

Marqise Lee || USC Highlights ᴴᴰ (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Explosive athlete
  • Complete route runner
  • Works the entire field
  • Very good acceleration
  • After catch ability
  • Can Play all receiver positions
  • Very good lateral agility

BAD

  • Too many drops
  • Not very physical
  • Does not fight for the ball
  • Has shown a lot of inconsistency
  • Needs to get tougher

Player comparison: Santana Moss. Like Moss, Lee is a very good route runner than can work the intermediate parts of the field while helping the return game. He has the explosiveness to take it to the house on any given play. One would like to see more effort on a consistent basis. He has the ability to take over games, but does not always put forth the effort.

Kelvin Benjamin

FSU 6'5" 240lbs

Kelvin Benjamin || Florida State Highlights ᴴᴰ (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Ridiculous leaping ability (Randy Moss/Megatron like)
  • Very physical
  • Run blocks like a guard
  • Good acceleration
  • Displays an understanding of coverages (choice routes)
  • Best high pointer in the draft
  • Very rare size for a wide receiver
  • Very hard to tackle
  • Strength matches size
  • Amazing effort
  • Jaw dropping catch radius

BAD

  • Too many drops
  • Tries to run before seeing the ball in
  • Could use some polish with routes
  • Tends to round off rather than stick it
  • Questionable top end speed

Player Comparison: Calvin Johnson. He won't test as well in the 40, but expect to see him jump like him. Although he lacks the straight line speed of Calvin they have very similar games. Beating defensive backs with every physical gift they have while also being a willing route runner. They both will run the entire route tree, may not always be the prettiest route but they will do it. And if there is a jump ball, regardless of the amount of defenders surrounding them that ball will be caught. Both players have a tendency to drop balls that should be easy catches because they are looking to run rather than looking to catch. Neither guys is an easy tackle for the defender, linebackers included.

Mike Evans

Texas A&M 6'4" 230lbs

Mike Evans Sophomore Highlight Video 2013 ᴴᴰ (via Tamuhighlights Whoop)

GOOD

  • Runs a complete route tree
  • Very good size
  • Uses body very well
  • Can make some tough grabs
  • Has the size to develop into a quality block

BAD

  • Very inconsistent
  • Routes could use some refinement
  • Not very athletic
  • Lacks burst
  • Would like to see him be more physical
  • Zero lateral agility
  • Cut back on the drops

Player comparison: Dwayne Bowe. Like Bowe, Evans is not he most athletic receiver around. Also like Bowe, he can be very inconsistent and disappear more often than actually appearing. But also like Bowe he possesses the ability to absolutely take over a game. Although neither player displays the physical skills that most think of when mentioning taking over a game, but both uses their size to their advantage to embarrass defensive backs.

Jordan Matthews

Vanderbilt 6'3" 212lbs

Jordan Matthews || Vanderbilt Highlights ᴴᴰ (via Harris Highlights)

GOOD

  • Very big and strong hands
  • Complete route runner
  • NFL ready
  • Crisp sharp routes
  • Reliable hands
  • Makes tough catches
  • Ideal Size
  • Very consistent
  • Physical

BAD

  • May have already reached his ceiling
  • Lacks burst
  • Sub par top end speed
  • Lacks the athletic ability of a true game changer

Player comparison: Keenan Allen. Both Mathews and Allen left college about as pro ready as one can be. Neither player is exactly the most amazing athlete and their testing won't wow you. But both guys have the routes and football IQ as well as consistent hands to be long time productive starters in the NFL.

Paul Richardson

Colorado 6' 175lbs

Paul Richardson - 2013 Highlights (via Cameron Aldredge)

GOOD

  • Very good hands
  • Fights for the ball
  • Great hand eye coordination
  • Very explosive
  • Elusive
  • Better Catch radius than size would indicate

BAD

  • Needs to add more routes to his repertoire
  • Dangerously skinny
  • Needs to add muscle mass
  • Not a very good blocker at all

Player Comparison: DeSean Jackson. Much like Jackson this kid is very fun to watch. He plays bigger than his size would indicate and is very explosive. He jumps off of the screen. He is equally fast and quick, while displaying very good hand eye ability. He catches the ball very well and uses his hands more than his body.

Jared Abbrederis

Wisconsin 6'1" 195lbs

Ultimate Jared Abbrederis Highlights | HD (via TheFootballman175)

GOOD

  • FLAWLESS routes
  • Very quick
  • Elite level of body control
  • Adjusts to the ball as well as anyone
  • Very reliable hands
  • NFL ready
  • Very good straight line speed
  • Understands coverages
  • Very consistent
  • Security blanket

BAD

  • Not terribly physical
  • Does not break a lot of tackles
  • Could add more muscle

Player Comparison: Antonio Brown. Probably my favorite receiver that I scouted, and by far my favorite route runner. He will kill defensive backs off of routes alone. If he was 2 inches taller and 20lbs heavier and (sad to say it) not a white receiver this kid would be a sure fire first rounder. But the race biases that exist in the NFL are holding his stock back. His most common comparisons are Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, but he plays nothing like either player. He is faster and quicker than what many are saying. And his hands are phenomenal. He makes the best acrobatic catches in this class from what I have seen. He may sneak into the second but he deserves 1st round consideration. He has the route running skills, body control, and hands of Antonio Brown. No ball is uncatchable with this guy.

Devante Adams

Fresno State 6'1" 212lbs

Ultimate Davante Adams Highlights | HD (via TheFootballman175)

GOOD

  • Top of the line after catch ability
  • Very good speed
  • Very good agility
  • Good strength
  • Open field vision
  • Makes contested catches
  • Uses hands to pluck the ball out of the air
  • Very good at high pointing
  • Natural hands catcher

BAD

  • Was his production strictly because of the system
  • Could show his physical side more consistently
  • Needs to expand his route tree
  • Rounds off his routes too often
  • Needs to display better attention to detail

Player Comparison: Justin Blackmon. If Blackmon was not an idiot off the field this is who he would be. Although Adams is slightly better after the catch. Truth is he is without question the best after catch guy in this draft class. He has the speed, strength, vision, and agility to dominate in YAC totals yearly. The best part about YAC is its mostly an effort stat, which tells you a lot about a guy. He shows the mindset of someone looking to score every single play and that's the reason his YAC was so impressive as well as why he lead the nation in touchdowns (24).

My top ten wideouts (entire class) are:

  1. Sammy Watkins
  2. Kelvin Benjamin
  3. Jared Abbrederis
  4. Devante Adams
  5. Brandon Cooks
  6. Mike Evans
  7. Marqise Lee
  8. Jordan Mathews
  9. Odell Beckham Jr.
  10. Paul RIchardson

Most Pro ready:

Jared Abbrederis/Jordan Mathews

Most Potential:

Kelvin Benjamin

Most explosive:

Sammy Watkins

Biggest bust potential:

Mike Evans

Sleeper:

Devin Street

-Street was not mentioned anywhere above but he is an impressive kid. A brief overview would be

Could be a Jermaine Kearse type of steal. Like Kearse does a great job of catching in traffic and high pointing jump balls. He is a big kid at 6’3" 200 almost identical to Kearse, and has very strong reliable hands, with some smooth route running skills.

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