Mike Evans Texas A&M 6 ft. 4 and 6/8th inches 231
Evans surprised everyone with his 4.53 forty time. Evens gets the top spot with great hands, strength, decent speed, good awareness and great size. He battles for the ball and is a willing blocker. He lacks quick hips and does not have experience running an NFL route tree. He is a major threat in the endzone. He will not be the first off the board but should be a top 12 pick.
Sammy Watkins Clemson 6.0.6 211
Watkins has great speed and good size. He also has a 2012 arrest for drug possession. While taking a player with a drug issue is a risk, using a top 5 pick is a career decision. The Jaguars saw how dangerous such a choice can be. Otherwise Watkins is an outstanding prospect that ranks just below A.J. Green from the 2011 draft. He has 4.43 speed with outstanding vision and hands. He can take any pass to the end-zone and is a top 8 pick.
Kelvin Benjamin Florida State 6.5.0 240
The NFL is always looking for tall receivers with speed. Benjamin moved up most draft boards with his 4.61 forty time. He is a TE with the speed of a wideout. He has good hands, very long arms and is a redzone monster. He is a willing blocker but needs better technique. He uses his big body to prevent the defender from getting to the ball. Like most college players he is not a precise route runner and lacks quick hips. He struggles in double move routes but will be a 1st round selection.
Marqise Lee USC 5.11.6 192
Lee suffered from below average play at QB and injuries in 2013. Even so he is a top prospect with great athleticism and fluidity. His 4.52 combine 40 time was a disappointment but he should do better on his pro day. He gets open easily, plucks the ball out of the air and gets yards after the catch due to his vision. The concerns about Lee are his smallish frame and his history of injury. He is a late 1st round value.
Odell Beckham Jr. LSU 5.11.1 198
Beckham helped his draft status with a 4.43 40. He is very fluid with good hips to get off press coverage. He will jump for the high ball and bring it down consistently. He has great hands and vision. He has average height and needs to get stronger to compete for balls in a crowd. He will be an early 2nd round pick.
Under the radar: Brandon Coleman Rutgers 6.6.0 225
Coleman is not fast but averaged almost 22 yards per catch over his career. His 4.56 40 comes from his long strides. He builds up speed rather than a burst off the line. He uses his size effectively and will rip the ball away in a crowd. He needs to work on snatching the ball. He should be a 5th round pick.
Wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole with a 40 foot extension: There is a big drop off between the 15 and 16th WR and those below that level. But this is the deepest WR position I have seen in many years. There are no WR prospects I would put in this category. See, I am not the hater everyone thinks I am.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com/. He has also published several novels onand a non-fiction work at https://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
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My Top 5 Wide Receivers by Bill Smith