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2016 NFL Draft: WR Scouting Reports

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Next up on the scouting report list is the wide receivers. This years class may not have as much dominant talent as years past, or speed, but they might have the best hands...

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The wide receiver class is not as good as the classes have been in the last tw o or three years. There's not as much first round talent. This class also lacks a lot of game breaking ability. However, this class does have some of the best hands over the last 4 years.

I am often asked how I grade players and how I go about ranking them. Well this year I have decided to add to the scouting reports my ten most watched attributes and the grading system I use to determine where that player falls among his peers. Everything is graded on a scale of 1-10 with ten being elite, and one being terrible. I also give a grade for potential. I make potential separate because more times than not, a player never reaches his full potential, so potential should not be a heavy factor in grading a player, but has to be included still. Therefore it is it's own separate entity. The highest grade for potential is an A+, which would mean you could be a Tom Brady or Adrian Peterson caliber player. The lowest grade for potential is a C which just means you ceiling is average.

Skills Grading System

1

Terrible

2

Bad

3

Poor

4

Needs Attention

5

Below Average

6

Average

7

Above Average

8

Very Good

9

Game Changer

10

Elite

Skills Grading Total system

50-60

Career Backup/ST

61-70

Needs to develop 1-3 yrs

71-80

Instant Starter

81-90

Rookie of the Year

91-100

Rookie All-Pro Potential

Potential Grading System

A+

Hall of Fame

A

Perennial All- Pro

A-

Perennial Pro Bowler

B+

10 Year Vet

B

Pro Bowl

B-

Fan Favorite

C+

Solid Contributor

C

Average Pro at Best

***ALL PLAYER COMPARISONS ARE BASED OFF OF SKILL SET AND BODY TYPES, NOT A PREDICTION OF CAREERS***

Laquon Treadwell

Mississippi 6'2" 221 LBS

Catching

10

Route Running

9

Accelaration

7

Ball Skills

10

Athleticism

7

Top-end Speed

5

RAC Abiilty

9

VS Zone

9

VS Man

9

Toughness

9

OVERALL

84

POTENTIAL: A-

Overview:

Laquon Treadwell is the guy in this draft at his position. A lot has been made of what he run when he finally runs his 40, but frankly I don't care. I trust my eyes. He's going to catch the ball. He's a solid route runner, not the best in this class, but his routes are solid and they get the job done. He has a big strong frame which he has mastered using in his favor. He's the kind of guy that beats corners with size, strength, and ball skills. He high points the ball as well as anyone. He's almost a Dez Bryant clone. From his size, to style of play, to skills. He has a long stride which eats up yards quickly. The knock is long speed, and I agree. I would love to see this kid run a 4.55. But if he runs a 4.65 I am fine with him still. I love the confidence he plays with.

When the ball is coming his way he always appears to be extremely calm regardless of the coverage, almost as if he knows the ball is his no matter. I think he is a day one number one target. Personally my biggest knock on him is he shows good cutting ability when running with ball, but i don't see him regularly cut like that in his route running. I think his routes can be a lot better if he applies better cutting with more precision. The thing about route runners is your speed doesn't matter as much as you precision and quickness. Those are the things that create separation.


Player Comparison: Dez Bryant

Tyler Boyd

Pittsburgh 6'1" 197 LBS

Catching

8

Route Running

9

Accelaration

7

Ball Skills

8

Athleticism

6

Top-end Speed

6

RAC Abiilty

7

VS Zone

7

VS Man

7

Toughness

8

OVERALL

73

POTENTIAL: B

Overview:

Tyler Boyd is that guy that is really solid, but nothing spectacular. He's probably a career number two. But he's likely to be one of the best number two's in the game after a few years. He's going to make a lot of plays if he falls into the right situation. He's going to one of those Mr. Dependable guys. A safety valve of sorts...

Boyd doesn't do much wrong. He actually does mostly everything right. He's a good route runner, he has good hands, solid run after catch ability, high points the ball, good field awareness, and he plays extremely smart. But Boyd just doesn't do anything all that great. For that reason I don't think he'll ever be good enough to become a consistent 1200 yard receiver. He's a legit contender for 850 yards a year when he hits his prime. Again good production, but it's number two numbers. He reminds me a lot of Marvin Jones. Very good player, and will play for 10 years, just not the head honcho. In a way, he has already hit -- or is near -- his pique.

Player Comparison: Marvin Jones

Michael Thomas

Ohio St. 6'3" 212 LBS

Catching

9

Route Running

7

Accelaration

7

Ball Skills

9

Athleticism

7

Top-end Speed

7

RAC Abiilty

9

VS Zone

8

VS Man

7

Toughness

9

OVERALL

79

POTENTIAL: B+

Overview:

Michael Thomas is an interesting case. Thomas is a decent route runner. But lacks the knowledge and understanding of the full route tree. He's not super athletic, just average. He doesn't pull away easily, and he's kind of a two or three trick pony. But what he does do well, is catch the ball. Regardless of the situation he's a good bet to snatch the ball even when extremely well covered. He's also one of the best run after catch guys in the entire draft. He's special after the catch. I think he will ultimately develop into a great route runner. And because his hands and run after catch is so good, I think he will play for a long time.

He's kind of low key in regards to his ego. You don't see a lot of talking and snatching the limelight. With that being said he doesn't have that part of his game in common with the guy he reminds me of. But everything else matches up pretty well, including their size. He's like a more humble and chill Michael Crabtree. Crabtree is an excellent route runner with good hands who really excels after the catch. Both players can make a wide assortment of difficult catches. Thomas is going to develop into a very solid receiver. I think he's best suited as a number two option, but he's a borderline number one go to guy.

Player Comparison: Michael Crabtree

Corey Coleman

Baylor 5'11" 194 LBS

Catching

7

Route Running

6

Accelaration

10

Ball Skills

8

Athleticism

10

Top-end Speed

10

RAC Abiilty

8

VS Zone

7

VS Man

8

Toughness

9

OVERALL

83

POTENTIAL: A-

Overview:

Alright folks, it's time to introduce the most explosive and exciting player in the draft. Standing at 5'11" 200 lbs, Corey Coleman is as explosive as they come. He's from a spread offense that didn't allow him to work on a full route tree, but the routes he has worked on are very good. Because he's so explosive and quick he explodes out of his cuts creating excellent separation. He's got speed for days and can burn you deep, or take a slant -- split the defenders -- and take it to the house.

Coleman is a tough and physical speedster, which is unbelievably rare. He has to learn more of the route tree, especially the more difficult and in-depth routes. His ability to high point the ball, get physical with corners, and jaw dropping run after catch ability, makes him a Steve Smith look alike. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he at some point in his career he averages 16-17 yards per reception.

Player Comparison: Steve Smith

Sterling Shepard

Oklahoma 5'10" 194 LBS

Catching

10

Route Running

10

Accelaration

8

Ball Skills

10

Athleticism

8

Top-end Speed

8

RAC Abiilty

8

VS Zone

9

VS Man

9

Toughness

8

OVERALL

88

POTENTIAL: A

Overview:

Sterling Shepard is special. His knock is his size. Now when I tell you that is all anyone can find on him, I truly mean that is all there is to not like. He is really fast. I mean he can really run.  Though his speed is terribly underrated. But more importantly he's quick. Folks this is the best route runner in the draft. Some may remember how crazy about Deandre Hopkins I was due to his route running. Well this is a faster, quicker, version of Hopkins. Someone is going to get a straight up baller. He catches everything. He can jump out of the stadium and go up and get the ball. A great hands catcher. He just snatches it. He has great field awareness using the sideline as a friend. No one in the draft can make catches on the sideline or corner of the end zone like him. Picture Antonio Brown, who's an average athlete, being an elite athlete. Picture that, and that is what you have in Shepard. He's a workaholic, that already has natural born talent.

I am guilty of being a prisoner of the moment as I have let other players surpass him on recent rankings. But dating back to last year couldn't wait for this kid to enter the draft. As I have began watching him again recently, I have been reminded who the true best receiver in this draft is. Though he's not receiving the hype you're used to seeing from a receiver with this kind of skill and production. I don't give a damn that he's not three inches taller. This kid is going to be one of those guys that's looked at as the best at what he does in a few years. For those who say they want a true number one receiver and go straight to talking about size, I guess you never heard of Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb, John Brown, Steve Smith, etc... The truth is, a baller is a baller, regardless of height. Anyone who says they wouldn't give their left leg for Antonio Brown to be on their team because he's 5'10" is either a liar or a fool.

Player Comparison: Antonio Brown

Below are my rankings of the top ten receivers of the 2016 NFL draft. Included are both the round I think they are deserving of being drafted in, as well as the round I think they will ultimately be drafted in...

Rank

Player

School

Ht/Wt

Projected Rd

1

Sterling Shepard

Oklahoma

5'10" 194

Top 10/1-Late 2

2

Laquon Treadwell

Ole Miss

6'2" 221

Top 10/Top 20

3

Corey Coleman

Baylor

5'11" 194

Top 20/1-2

4

Michael Thomas

Ohio St.

6'3" 212

Early 2/ Late 1-2

5

Tyler Boyd

Pittsburgh

6'1" 197

Mid 2/2-3

6

Josh Doctson

TCU

6'2" 202

Mid 2/2

7

Braxton Miller

Ohio St.

6'1" 201

2/Late 2-3

8

Rashard Higgins

Colorado St.

6'1"196

2-3/3

9

Pharoh Cooper

South Carolina

5'11" 203

3/Mid3-4

10

Paul McRoberts

SEMO

6'2" 203

mid 3/4-6