There really is a lot of pass-catching talent in this years draft. I mean this sincerely. A team that thinks it has good receiver depth is missing out on something special this year. I will bring you ten talents, two for every round.
And as a twist? No Ramses Barden on the list.
Mike Thomas-Arizona: While he is shorter than you would like, he does have a very tasty skill set. His timed speed is spectacular (4.30). And he uses it excellently in his return game. On short routes? Thomas is also dangerous. Don’t expect him to be a Steve Smith-type as a deep threat, but as a Wes Welker? Life is good.
Jarrett Dillard–Rice: He does not have the timed speed that blows you away. But if you throw it anywhere near him, he can get it. He has great hands and an amazing catch radius. He will use his 42 inch vertical to catch the ball at it’s highest point. He’s a high character guy who will get the most out of his solid athleticism.
Brandon Tate-North Carolina: Brandon Tate would have been a Round 1 pick if his knee didn’t get all tore up. He has the return skills to scare the fuck out of opposing teams for a season before they decide to kick the ball away from him. But he also brings good hands and a solid run after the catch ability. He may grade at this round, but he may not stay there.
Austin Collie-BYU: If you’re looking for a solid #2 receiver a.k.a. a complement for the home run hitter? Here you go. His two big skills are his hands of glue and his ability to run routes. His speed isn’t great, but that being said? He’s smart enough to learn how to use his skills to his advantage on the next level.
Johnny Knox-Abeliene Christian: You have a guy with great deep speed, solid athleticism, and good body control. Sure, a part of it was being in a superpowered offense, and you have to make a move up three levels of talent. He also will have some trouble getting off the line. But a 4.29 40-time, solid quickness, and a solid catch radius? You can build on it.
Mike Wallace-Ole Miss: And while Johnny Knox is fast? Mike Wallace is faster. But here’s the thing. He has a reputation as a track guy, yeah? It’s a lie. He has excellent hands and he will go over the middle as well as deep. His game is somewhat raw, but the patient coach will find a stud.
Dominique Edison-Stephen F. Austin: The triangle numbers alone will get him a look (6’3″ 209 4.45), but he has more that he brings to the table. He has the vertical separation that will get him on a roster. He has the soft hands and leaping ability that can make him a contributor. And if you are patient? You will get yourself a starter.
Deon Butler-Penn State: Now if I didn’t limit myself to two sleepers per round, maybe I would pick a Brandon Gibson or an Aaron Kelly. But I’m not saying that to hate on Butler. Butler has explosive wheels and athleticism. His hands are reliable, and he has the grit and determination to run over the middle. So while his profile may grade as a #3 slot receiver? I think he can start.
Sammie Stroughter-Oregon State: He plays faster than his 40 time. He catches the ball in space? He becomes a running back, he can make people miss. He runs great routes and he can catch anything near him. He has grit and guts, and while you will draft him as a special teamer? He has a chance to start.
Dudley Guice-Northwestern State: This is how you know you have found a good source of draft knowledge. They list Dudley Guice as a sleeper. He killed the Texas vs. the Nation game. He’s 6’3″ 209, runs a 4.4 40. He has long arms and an impressive catch radius. He has soft hands and can generate good spearation. Is he the next Marques Colston? You’re goddamn right he is.
I probably am missing a name or three off the list outside of Ramses. And you know what? That’s okay. This is a class of draggers, and there could be 20-25 great contributors who can be culled from this class.
God love the passing game.