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With the 2017 NFL Draft coming up in a couple months, let’s take a look at some of the top wide receivers and where they might go in the draft.
Here are the specs:
Mike Williams – 6’3″ 225 lbs
2016 stats: 98 receptions, 1,361 yards, 11 TDs
Williams has a nice combination of size and speed. Although he doesn’t have lightening speed, he can still stretch the field vertically and make contested catches with his size. The Clemson product is a red zone threat with his rare size and wide catch radius. Plus, he is a great 50-50 catcher that creates separation, but he could still improve his hands. Additionally, he is a superb route runner that operates on all the levels including, short, intermediate, and deep routes. He has all the tools to develop into a number one receiver and can be compared to Plaxico Burress.
Corey Davis- 6’3″ 205 lbs
2016 stats: 97 receptions, 1,500 yards, 19 TDs
Davis’ stats prove that he is a reliable, productive receiver. He creates space with great bursts and tremendous route runner ability. The Western Michigan product can line up outside or in the slot and has a various route tree. His after the catch ability will make tacklers miss. Plus, Davis is a willing blocker and those are tough to come by. He has been compared to Jordan Matthews.
John Ross- 5’11” 190 lbs
2016 stats: 81 receptions, 1,150 yards, 17 TDs
Ross is quite the athlete, displaying amazing quickness and versatility. He can play as a slot receiver or even return punts and kickoffs. Ross is a deep threat with his outstanding straight line speed, hand-eye coordination and ball tracking ability. His average size is a reasonable concern, but he has speed that defense will have to respect and can easily turn what should be chunk yardage into large gains. He is comparable to Tavon Austin.
Juju Smith-Schuster – 6’2″ 215 lbs
2016 stats: 70 receptions 914 yards 10 TDs
Smith-Schuster is an athletic, physical receiver. He has a good combo of size and speed although his speed may not wow you, he still has enough to get some separation.
Juju is a big play waiting to happen with his racability (run-after-the-catch). He can be a possession receiver in the NFL and is compared to Brandon Marshall.
Isaiah Ford- 6’2″ 195 lbs
2016 stats: 79 receptions 1,094 yards 7 TDs
Isaiah is the sleeper of the group. He has got the size and can run various routes at all three levels. He is quick out his breaks and can snag the ball in traffic. Ford helps his quarterbacks by working back and attacking the ball. His slender frame is a concern as well as his reliance on his speed to get open rather than pristine route running. Ford is comparable to Justin Hunter.
Now for the fun. The Tennessee Titans are in need of a true number one wide receiver and a top red zone threat. They own the fifth pick and may decide to make Mike Williams that guy. However, I believe they’ll address a defensive need with this pick. Williams could go to the Chargers at seven. San Diego may seek insurance for Keenan Allen who has injured himself the past three seasons. I don’t think Williams will slide past seven, but if so Cincinnati may consider him at nine. He could even fall to Buffalo at 10 depending on their quarterback situation.
With Williams off the board, the Arizona Cardinals may consider Corey Davis at 13. Larry Fitzgerald is likely to retire at the end of the 2017 season and Michael Floyd was released earlier. My guess is they pass and Davis falls to Philadelphia at 15. The Eagles receiving core needs an upgrade. Zach Ertz led the team in yards and receptions followed by Jordan Matthews and Darren Sproles. They need another wideout to stretch the field.
The Baltimore Ravens need a wideout since Steve Smith decided to retire, but with the top two off the board, I think they’ll pass at 16. Tampa Bay sits at 18 and could use some help. Mike Evans is clearly a dominant force, but that’s it’s. He is only reliable receiver they have. There’s a good chance they select John Ross from Washington.
Next to go I believe is going to be Juju Smith-Schuster. Kansas City could use his help, but I don’t know if they’ll use the 27th pick on him though. My guess is Juju falls into the second round. With the fifth pick, he goes to Los Angeles, giving Jared Goff a legit receiver. Tavon Austin is a gadget player and Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are due to hit the free agent market.
I mentioned Baltimore earlier and they passed. Now in the second round with the 47th overall pick they chose Isaiah Ford from Virginia Tech. They may be reaching a little but they will have a legit replacement for Steve Smith.
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