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Joe Arrigo's 2012 Draft Series: WR Evaluations

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Arrigo, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Arrigo

    Arrigo Cheesehead

    Feb 4, 2010
    Looking at the wide receivers in the 2012 draft class there is a lot of talent overall. Justin Blackmon is the big, physical, RAC wide receiver most NFL teams covet, while a player like Kendall Wright is the big play threat that can stretch the field. Overall the receiver group in the 2012 NFL draft class is deep and should produce a very good group of rookies.
    Here are my Top 10 Wide Receivers:

    1. Justin Blackmon – Oklahoma State – 6-0 – 207
    [​IMG] A two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the top receiver in the country, Justin Blackmon heads to the NFL with the type of elite production that figures to land him with an overrated grade from some teams at the next level. A two-year starter who filled the large hole that Dez Bryant left at Oklahoma State when he declared for the draft in 2010, Blackmon is not quite the elite prospect that Bryant was, however he still very much a fine prospect in his own right. Over the past three years, Justin hauled in 252 receptions for 3,564 yards and 40 touchdowns, with his best statistical season coming during his red-shirt sophomore season in 2010 when he caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. Shorter than you’d prefer from an elite No. 1 receiver prospect, Blackmon is a physical player who plays bigger than his listed size and owns fine arm length (32 inches) for the position. An explosive player with the burst, acceleration, and quick-twitch agility that you look for, Justin is capable of making a play from anywhere on the field and is a constant threat to take the ball the distance any time he touches it. While his straight-line speed is not going to rank among the best in this year’s draft, he owns great quickness and agility off the line of scrimmage and into his routes, showing the type of nimbleness and burst needed to separate from defensive backs at the next level. He has enough size needed to fight off of a jam at the line of scrimmage and understands how to use leverage down the field as a route runner by shielding the defender away with his long frame. A relatively refined route runner with only minor polishing needed, Blackmon has experience running the majority of the routes on the tree, however because he played in Oklahoma State’s spread offense, he hasn’t run every route that he’ll be asked to use in the NFL. He has proved throughout his career to be capable of catching the ball over the middle, on slants, as a deep threat, as well as working outside the numbers, and also offers the versatility needed to kick inside to the slot if needed at the next level. Justin displays the burst and acceleration in and out of his breaks that you look for with the flexibility and fluidity needed to sink his hips and drive out of his cuts. Owning elite ball skills and body control, Blackmon has a rare ability to attack the ball while it’s in the air. As effective of a receiver as you’ll find on fade routes, he and Brandon Weeden were nearly unstoppable near the goal line the past two seasons when Weeden would loft the ball up while letting Blackmon run underneath it in the corner of the end zone; he offers an elite ability to track the ball over his shoulder and come down with it. While his vertical jump (35 inches) is not considered a great number for a top prospect, he has enough of an ability to climb the ladder and attempt to high point the ball that he should be capable of winning jump balls at the next level. Justin has a great ability to extend his body out to catch the ball away from his body, showing very strong hands to catch and secure the ball while in traffic. He understands how to use his size to his advantage when matching up with smaller defensive backs and will take advantage of the size difference by leveraging or shielding the defender away to give him an opening to bring in the pass. Blackmon was most effective working across the middle and catching the ball before using his explosion and burst once he brings the pass in to cut up the field and accelerate away from the defense; his strength to run through tackles at the second and third level is rare for a receiver, despite only owning average upper body strength (14 reps on bench). With his 4.48 speed, he’s not going to flat out run away from defensive backs in the NFL, which is why he’s not considered an elite deep threat who will consistently stretch the field or take the top off the defense. However, when working against zone coverage down the field, he has a strong understanding of how to find the soft spots in coverage and settle down to give his quarterback an open target to throw to. As a blocker in the run game, Justin offers the aggressive and physical attitude that you look for and has shown enough of an ability to get the job done here that with further coaching he should be able to develop into an effective blocker at the next level. Justin won’t be on the level of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald, however has the tools to work himself into that second tier of elite receivers if he lands with the right team.
    2. Michael Floyd – Notre Dame – 6-2 – 220
    [​IMG] Michael Floyd enters the NFL with an elite combination of size, strength, speed, and athleticism for the receiver position. A 2.5-year starter in South Bend, Floyd leaves Notre Dame as the school’s all-time leading receiver after having re-wrote the record books throughout his career; in four years, he hauled in 271 passes for 3,686 yards and 37 touchdowns; his best statistical season came during his senior year in 2011 when he caught 100 passes for 1,147 yards and nine touchdowns. Owning the height, long arms (32 inches), and lean frame that you look for, Michael is a polished, confident receiver who proved throughout his career to be a dangerous weapon in the passing game because of everything that he brings to the table. Off the line, he has the size and upper body strength to physically overpower defensive backs to beat the jam, however he also displays a nice stutter-step to cleanly disengage as well, and accelerates down the field after releasing. While he owns more build-up speed than explosion off the line, Floyd has the straight-line speed that you look for needed to consistently stretch the field and threaten to take the top off the defenses. A sharp route runner with the explosion out of his breaks to create separation, Michael is a fluid athlete with the loose hips needed to sink in and out of his breaks to drive out with more acceleration. Although he excelled at working as a deep threat down the field, Floyd also had a lot of success in college working the short-to-intermediate range where his size and big frame made it easy for him to work across the middle of the field and make plays in traffic; he has no problem hanging onto a catch after taking a hit thanks to his big frame. Down the field, he’s among the best in the country at tracking the ball over his shoulder while showing elite body control and ball skills to extend out and catch the ball away from his body. He’s proven to be capable of tip toeing the sideline on throws outside the numbers in addition to using his huge frame to his advantage; he can out-muscle nearly any defensive back in college for a jump ball and out-jump (36.5 inch vertical) most of them as well. Owning great hand-eye coordination, Mike does a fantastic job of adjusting his body to the ball while it’s in the air and has proven throughout his career to be capable of diving out and making acrobatic catches. After the catch, Mike is a pure athlete with the combination of strength and quickness to run through tacklers in the open field; he has no trouble breaking tackles at the second and third level with his strength (16 reps on bench), however he also offers the elusiveness to side-step or spin away from defenders. One of the most underrated assets that Michael has as a prospect is his ability to block in the run game out on the edge; he developed as a blocker throughout his career and has emerged as one of the better prospects in the country here. He does a great job of extending his long arms out and gaining control of the defender off the ball before using his upper body strength and large frame to either drive the defender out of play or simply wall him off to create an open running lane. He gives great effort here and it should help his value with teams at the next level. Floyd’s straight-line speed is not elite, however for a player of his size it is better than expected. Because of this, he’s not one that will consistently run away from defensive backs, but rather often relies too much on his large size climb the ladder and high point the ball while shielding off the defender. Although this was very effective throughout his career, he put himself in a number of awkward positions from this and does have some durability concerns because of it. Michael Floyd has the talent and natural athleticism to develop into a legitimate No. 1 receiver for a team in the NFL with the upside and potential to make it to a number of Pro Bowl’s. His success at the next level could largely depend on how badly he wants it; if he can stay out of trouble and stay healthy and on the field, then he has the chance to follow in the footsteps of Larry Fitzgerald as the next premier receiver from the Twin Cities to emerge as a star in the NFL.
    3. Kendall Wright – Baylor – 5-10 – 190
    [​IMG] 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III’s go-to receiver who leaves Baylor as the school’s all-time leading receiver, Kendall Wright is arguably the most explosive receiver in this year’s draft. A four-year starter for the Bears, Wright hauled in 302 receptions for 4,004 yards and 30 touchdowns over the course of his heralded career in Waco. His best statistical season came during his senior year in 2011 when he emerged as one of the top receivers in the country in catching 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the past four years, he’s also rushed for 425 yards and two touchdowns on 75 carries. An elite downfield threat capable of taking the top off of a defense, Kendall is a confident, savvy receiver who has the straight-line speed, quick-twitch agility, and vision needed to be a dangerous weapon for an NFL offense. A playmaker with experience lining up both outside as well as in the slot, Wright brings ideal versatility with the skill-set needed to make plays all over the field. With a burst off the line of scrimmage, Kendall accelerates quickly down the field and into his route. A natural athlete with the light feet and quickness needed to separate from coverage with ease, Wright offers the explosion in and out of his breaks that you look for. While his speed is not elite, I love his ability to snatch the ball out of the air before making one cut and exploding up the field. He’s a reliable receiver both in the short-to-intermediate range where his smaller size projects well, as well down the field as a deep threat, where he has proven to be capable of beating the corner deep before running away from the defense. He shows the toughness that you look for when working in traffic, having taken a number of hits after bringing in the catch, however he always bounces back up afterwards. Kendall owns outstanding body control and ball skills, having shown on numerous occasions that he can track the ball over his shoulder without trouble before securing the catch; his ability to adjust his body to throws down the field as well as make acrobatic catches are among the best in the draft. In addition, he owns the vertical jump (38.5 inches) needed to climb the ladder and compete for jump balls down the field; he also shows great awareness along the sideline to tiptoe the edge of the field while securing the catch. As a runner in the open field, he possesses the vision needed to find the open crease as well as the quickness and burst to hit and accelerate into the open field; he’s a very shifty back who weaves in and out of traffic with the elusiveness that you look for, however what makes him so difficult for defenses to bring down is his understanding of angles and the way that he uses his blocks down the field to force the defense to take the most difficult angle necessary to cut him off down the field. He’s a very hard player to bring down with his natural ability to make defenders miss. As a route runner, Wright still has some minor refinement that he needs with some of his routes, as he was never asked to run the full route tree while at Baylor, however other than a lack of size, he does not have many holes in his game. Kendall Wright is a dynamic, playmaking receiver who has the explosive talent and skill-set worth investing a first round draft pick in. Because of his lack of height, his ceiling could be a bit limit at the next level, however he has the potential and upside to develop into a very good receiver in the NFL.
    4. Stephen Hill – Georgia Tech – 6-4 – 215
    [​IMG] One of the fastest players in this year’s draft who was tied for the second-fastest 40-yard dash of any player at the NFL Scouting Combine, Stephen Hill offers a very intriguing skillset with his combination of size, speed, and raw athleticism. A two-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, Hill leaves Georgia Tech having caught 49 passes for 1,248 yards and nine touchdowns; Stephen averaged 25.47- yards per reception, a gaudy number for the position, and if he had caught one more pass to qualify for the career record book at Georgia Tech, he would have easily broken the school record. Where he did break the school’s record was in 2011 during his junior year when he averaged an incredible 29.3-yards per reception (28 receptions for 820 yards and five touchdowns), the highest number of any player in the country and breaking the school record formerly held by current Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas (25.1) in 2009. One of the premier deep threats in the 2012 NFL Draft, Hill offers a combination of big size and elite straight-line speed that is very hard to find. As athletic of a player as you’ll find in this year’s draft, Stephen was an Olympic-caliber long jumper in high school. He offers a tall, lean frame with the long arms (33 inches) needed to extend out and catch the ball away from his body. Stephen is a fluid athlete who releases very quickly off the line of scrimmage and glides down the field with long strides. Capable of out-running just about any defensive back he matches up with, Hill was primarily a three-route receiver at Georgia Tech who excelled at stretching the field deep and running short slant routes that helped his run-oriented passer get him the ball. I do like the way that he has shown the ability to settle down in the middle of zone coverage to provide a big target for his quarterback down the field, however further development will be needed here. When given the chance to extend out and catch the ball away from his body, Stephen displays outstanding body control and ball skills to make acrobatic catches. In addition his vertical (39.5 inches) to climb the ladder and high point the ball when coupled with his tall frame and long arms make it extremely difficult for any defensive back to compete with him for a jump ball. In addition, he offers great flexibility to adjust to poorly thrown passes. Although he’s not going to offer much short-area quickness due to his big size and long strides, Hill is a smooth, fluid athlete who offers enough agility to occasionally make a defender miss down the field; where he does use his athleticism well is after making the catch and redirecting in the open field to attempt to get up the field and evade oncoming defenders. After hauling in the catch, he has the straight-line speed to run away from defenses, and when he is faced with a defender attempting to make the tackle, he has shown the ability to use his big size to run through tackles; I like the way that he continues to churn his legs through contact to pick up additional yardage, something that you don’t often see from receiver prospects. Thanks to playing in a triple-option offense, Stephen is a fully-developed blocker in the run game and will provide a great impact to his offense here at the next level. Stephen Hill has as much upside as any receiver in this year’s draft. For the team that drafts him, they must be patient as he develops and transitions from the triple-option offense at Georgia Tech to the pro-style offense in the NFL. If he maximizes his talent, Hill projects as a legitimate No. 1 receiver for a team at the next level, however he’d also be a fine No. 2 option on a good team.
    5. Mohamed Sanu – Rutgers – 6-1 – 211 – Junior
    [​IMG] A big, physical possession receiver who lacks the straight-line speed to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL, Mohamed Sanu is a talented, athletic receiver prospect with the physical tools needed to develop into a terrific No. 2 option in a team’s passing game at the next level. A three-year starter for Rutgers, Sanu hauled in a total of 210 passes for 2,263 yards and 12 touchdowns over the course of his career; his best statistical season came in 2011 during his junior year when he recorded 115 receptions for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. Owning a big, lean frame with the long arms (33 inches) that you look for, Mohamed has all of the tools that you look for in a classic possession receiver in the NFL. Off the line, he owns the size and strength (19 reps on bench) needed to beat the jam at the line of scrimmage before building up speed down the field. While not an explosive player, Sanu offers enough acceleration to get down the field and into his routes. He’s a refined route runner who owns the flexibility needed to sink into and accelerate out of his breaks while offering the polished skillset needed to contribute here immediately at the next level. A weapon in the passing game over the middle of the field who has shown the ability to be a dangerous run-after-the catch player, Mohamed has some of the best, most natural hands in this year’s draft. He extends out with ease before snatching the ball out of air with his strong hands and owns some of the best ball skills and body control of any player available for selection this year; he has made numerous one-handed and acrobatic catches through his career and is as reliable of an option to throw to as you’ll find thanks to his elite hand-eye coordination. In addition, he owns the vertical (36 inches) needed to climb the ladder and compete with defensive backs, if not consistently win jump ball situations. Although his straight-line speed will limit him at the next level, he offers enough needed to at least challenge a defense deep, and with his ability to play the ball in the air, he has what it takes to occasionally come down with a big play. He’s shown great awareness when in the back of the end zone or along the sidelines with his ability to keep his feet in bounds while securing the catch. In the open field, Sanu displays great vision to find the open hole and patiently understands how to wait for his blocks to develop before following them down the field. He’s not a quick-twitch player, but rather owns enough agility and shiftiness to work his way through traffic and make defenders miss; he also owns the big frame and strength to run through tackles, as he certainly is not an easy player for defenders to bring down. Mohamed Sanu has the tools and polished skillset needed to
    contribute early in his career and develop into an excellent No. 2 split-end possession receiver on a good NFL team.
    The Next 5
    6. Rueben Randle – LSU – 6-2 – 210
    7. Tommy Streeter – Miami (FL) – 6-4 – 219
    8. Ryan Broyles – Oklahoma – 5-10 – 192
    9. Nick Toon – Wisconsin – 6-1 – 215
    10. Alshon Jeffery – South Carolina – 6-2 – 216

    Overrated: Jeffery. He has the size teams covet but his lack of dedication to the weight room, lack of conditioning and immaturity make him a risk for most NFL teams. He will struggle to separate from NFL DB’s and I am leery of almost every receiver to come out of Steve Spurrier’s system because historically they have not had the type production in the NFL that most thought they would.
    Underrated: Broyles. He is coming off an ACL injury and not much is expected from him. But Brolyes, to me, is the most complete receiver in this draft class. He has it all and what I love about him is he is a smooth receiver with a great feel for the game. He reminds me of Packers All Pro receiver Greg Jennings.
    Small School Sleeper: Jordan White – Western Michigan – 6-0 – 208: Jordan White is player that I am high
    on, as I believe that he has what it takes to develop into a very good No. 3 option in the passing game for a team in the NFL. He
    projects more favorably inside in the slot rather than out wide, as his lack of speed won’t be quite as much of a disadvantage here as it
    would be outside at the X or Z positions. In the right offense, specifically one that runs the spread, he has what it takes to have a rather
    successful pro career, however he needs to land in the right offense to reach his upside and potential.
  2. okcpackerfan

    okcpackerfan Cheesehead

    Aug 4, 2011
    right on with ryan broyles. I hated watching him play (because I hate OU) but saw the talent in him and he is an absolute superstar in finding the soft spot in a zone defense. the comparisons to greg jennings are absolutely correct. Would be great for the packers to pick him up in a later round since he might be on IR for the whole season anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1

    SEWICHEESE Cheesehead

    Nov 13, 2011
    Broyles will be drafted in the late 2nd round. GM's know he's a heck of a player especially if they are comfortable with him recovering from the knee injury he'll be picked high. T.Y. Hilton is very talented too but kinda frail and wreckless with the ball, fumbles too much.
  4. weebles

    weebles Cheesehead

    Mar 13, 2012
    Like Marvin McNutt more than Toon, he was a solid play maker in Iowa. Had a pretty good combine to go with it.


    Was looking at this after post, knew there was major depth in that position, but wow. See some guys ranked in the mid 20s there that will still be good picks.
  5. Wood Chipper

    Wood Chipper Fantasy Football Guru

    Sep 30, 2010
    Shouldn't all these threads be in draft talk?
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. CarolinaPackerFan

    CarolinaPackerFan Packers fan in Panthers country

    Aug 18, 2010
    Another small school sleeper is Brian Quick from Appalachian St. That's where I go to college so I'm very biased, but his size and athleticism can't be passed up. Dude's a monster.
  7. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

    May 2, 2010
    I would have to say YES... one would tend to think since that's what they meant by DRAFT.... good call.
  8. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

    Feb 13, 2010
    I would be somewhat surprised to see TT take a WR, but I wouldn't put it past him if the value is there late
  9. Flpackerfan

    Flpackerfan Cheesehead

    Aug 7, 2011
    I graduated from App in 2010 and I have had the pleasure of watching him over the years grow from dropping a sure TD against Michigan to catching everything in sight. He has great reach and can leap over about anyone and he also has deceptive speed for his size. I would LOVE to see him with the packers. I only regret that App didn't use him like they should have last year. He has great upside seeing that he has only played football for 5 years.

  10. CarolinaPackerFan

    CarolinaPackerFan Packers fan in Panthers country

    Aug 18, 2010
    He's gonna be a hidden gem. Glad to see other Mountaineers on here!

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