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ESPN.com blogger Rates the top WRs in the draft


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Handicapping the top WRs

March 20, 2008 4:57 PM

If you talk to enough NFL personnel experts, it's pretty clear that this draft is the biggest crapshoot for wide receivers in the past decade. I can't seem to get anyone to agree on which receiver will go first. Oklahoma receiver Malcolm Kelly (thigh injury) will finally perform for scouts April 9.

Based on conversations with veteran scouts and one receivers coach, I've attempted to handicap the field. I'll list the players in the order they will be drafted, and then include a comment from one of our experts.

1. Devin Thomas, Michigan State: "I watched him walk into the interview at the combine and thought he looked more developed than the other receivers," said an AFC scout. "The one thing that worries us is that he could've been a one-year wonder in college. But right now, he's the guy with the least amount of question marks. He does a really nice job of plucking the ball away from his body. He also has a lot of power, so I think he'll be good after the catch. His speed isn't problem, but he does need to learn how to accelerate sooner after the catch. As of now, he's the No. 1 guy in my book.

2. DeSean Jackson, Cal: "I had an opportunity to see him in person a couple of times and I've watched a lot of film," said a veteran NFC scout. "He's got explosive speed, but he wasn't as productive this year as he was last year. I think he's a little better player than Ted Ginn Jr. He's just as explosive in the return game. Ginn's a little more of a straight-line guy. If you're not afraid of little guys (Jackson is 5-9), there are some good ones. I've warmed up to them recently. I think Steve Smith is one of the toughest guys in the league, although that's not always the case with little guys.

3. Limas Sweed, Texas: "I'd rather have Sweed than [Malcolm] Kelly," said a longtime receivers coach. "Kelly is a little more natural, but he has to make a lot of contested catches because he can't get separation. Sweed does a better job of getting down the field, and I think he can be pretty explosive. Running a 4.5 is pretty strong for a 6-4 kid. I know a lot of people are worried about the wrist, but our guys think he'll be fine.

4. Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma: "Someone has to hope he's like Larry Fitzgerald," said an AFC scout. "Fitzgerald rarely gets much separation, but he can make catches with bodies flying all around him. I like how Kelly catches the ball because it's always clean. He's just not really explosive, but he does have some good quickness for a big receiver."

5. James Hardy, Indiana: "This is the wild card of the bunch. He's got great size (6-6, 217) and scores a lot of touchdowns," said an AFC scout. "I think he'll have a lot of trouble getting off the line against physical corners. He's just not very strong. He has solid speed for a big man, but he's still raw. I see him as a mid second-round player."

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why does espn obsess with small players like jackson and ginn last year

It's not that they are obsessing over small players, it's that they are obsessing over very talented players who just happen to be small. Three of the 5 guys listed are 6'4 and above, one of the guys is 6'1ish but very well built, the only one they are hyping up is djax, and rightly so.

Desean Jackson is one of the most explosive WRs in this class, he gets in and out of his routes well, doesn't loose speed when changing direction, can stretch the field, is more polished than ginn and is a heck of a returner. He would be a fantastic reciever for a team who already has a plaxicor burress or reggie williams, but for us he doesn't fit well. That's why on an ultimate bigboard of talent he may be higher than all these guys, but i'm sure he's not higher on our bigboard. We already have a good return game and are in no need for a short fast reciever.

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In the pros, many more catches are made with people contesting the catch and people hanging all over you than in the college game. The top wide receivers are the types that can snatch balls in traffic and have great hands to battle for balls. Malcolm Kelly is not the 4th best receiver in this draft. Watch him catch the ball.....he has strong hands and snatches everything.

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Last year we went Revis-Harris for this Defense with our first two picks

This year we should go

Round 1, pick #6= McFadden

Round 2, Pick #5= Manningham

In round 4-7 go after another CB, Outside Speed Rusher, IMLB to backup Barton and also some more deph for the O-Line or D-Line.


RB-Thomas Jones/McFadden/Leon Washington

FB-Tony Richardson


TE-Baker/Bubba Franks


That would be a pretty exciting Offesne with a young QB in Kellen that has a whole lot of potential

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