1

Last year I did my rankings in a series of articles called The Final Countdown. I did pre-draft, post-draft, and right after the 2013 season. This year I am going to mix up the formula a little bit and list my rankings from #15 – #1 and give you their pros and cons in bullet form. This is what I have observed through film and from various scouting reports (regarding injuries and character). I will also give my personal opinion on each player in a few sentences and tell you whether I like them or not. Today is WR’s! Tomorrow will be TE’s. By the way, at the bottom of each article I will include who my favorite is, who I think will be the biggest bust, and my favorite sleeper.

Check out my 2014 QB countdown article!

Here is my 2014 RB countdown article!

Ranking/Name/Age/School Played For/Speed Score/Scouts INC Grade

*Scouts INC grade is as of May 6th

*Age is as of the beginning of the 2014 season

15

15. Martavis Bryant/22/Clemson/75
Pros

  • Fast (4.42 40 time)

  • Makes amazing acrobatic catches

  • Big receiver (6 foot 4)

  • Good vertical route runner

  • He is exceptional when he has one on one man coverage

  • Finds the soft spots in zone coverage

Cons

  • Missed 2 games in 2012 due to groin injury

  • Suspended for one game in 2012

  • Scouts are worried about “clutter” and “distractions” in his life

  • Telegraphs some routes

  • Too many drops

  • Catches with body too often

  • Just ok effort as a blocker

Martavis Bryant reminds of Justin Hunter from last years draft. Physically gifted? Check. Makes some amazing catches? Check. Drops too many balls? Check. Has issues off the field from being flat out dumb? Check. Martavis Bryant has all the physical gifts and from what I have heard through the grape vine, having a child has made him grow up a lot. He has said he does not want his child to grow up and ask his dad why he threw away all of his physical talents. I like him as someone who could break out in a few years if not sooner.

14

14. Donte Moncrief/21/Ole Miss/70

Pros

  • Played in the SEC

  • Good route runner

  • Can get good separation from defenders

  • Good deep threat

  • Has a pretty good double move

  • Fast on tape (4.4 40 time)

  • Good hands

  • Started 3 seasons

  • Good sideline awareness

  • Can catch balls above his head (good catch radius)

Cons

  • Catches too much with his body

  • Has trouble making corner backs miss in open space

  • Doesn’t put much effort into blocking

  • Average focus when in traffic

  • Does not win many jump balls

Moncrief is a solid all around receiver in my eyes. Heck do you even realize what this means? When the #15 and #14 WR’s in a draft are worth investing in then you know this is a good class. The RB’s weren’t even worth anything higher than a 4th until the #7 (Andre Williams). Moncrief will need a couple years at minimum unless he lands in a premiere spot like Green Bay.

13

13. Kelvin Benjamin/23/Florida State/82

Pros

  • Big receiver (6 foot 5)

  • Not afraid to catch over the middle

  • POTENTIALLY a one on one match up nightmare

Cons

  • Does not use his size to box out defenders consistently

  • Average quickness

  • Drops way too many catchable balls

  • Uses body to catch

  • Needed to be off the LOS a couple of yards to be successful

I am going to shoot you straight. I do not like Kelvin Benjamin. He only makes #13 because he screams POTENTIAL. Right now he does not know how to box, catch properly, and seems to have trouble with more than one guy covering him. Florida State would stack other receivers on his side along with lining him a couple yards off the line of scrimmage to make Benjamin successful. However, his potential is so great that with the right coach and team Kelvin could end up being a big time receiver in threeish years.

12

12. Paul Richardson/22/Colorado/77
Pros

  • Impressive senior season stats

  • Fast on tape (4.40 40 time)

  • Always a deep threat

  • Good at creating separation

  • Good double move

Cons

  • Torn ACL in 2012

  • Missed 4 games due to a sprained knee

  • Thin frame (175 pounds)

  • Does not win many contested balls

  • Average run blocking effort

  • Lacks strength

  • Ball skills are inconsistent

Paul Richardson seems like a DeSean Jackson clone to me. As it turns out that is the general consensus among others as well. His speed would be ideal in a Chip Kelly offense where they can get creative with how they use him. Even if Paul Richardson does not go to Philly he can be an amazing deep threat for any time.

11

11. Bruce Ellington/23/South Carolina/83
Pros

  • Played in the SEC

  • Can return punts

  • Played two sports (Basketball)

  • Good at route running

  • Gets good separation from defenders

  • Reads zone coverage well and adjusts

  • Good hands

  • Tracks the ball well

  • Not afraid to catch over the middle

  • Pretty good speed on tape

  • Durable

Cons

  • Catch radius is ok

  • Does not win majority of 50/50 balls

  • Not explosive or elusive after catch

Bruce Ellington is certainly underrated. How Cody Latimer is shooting up boards and Ellington isn’t is just beyond me. Bruce is another solid all around receiver who may be a bit on the small side (5 foot 9 and a half inches tall) but plays bigger than his size. If he lands somewhere like Oakland or Carolina then snag him up with a sneaky 3rd round pick! (He is related to Andre Ellington)

10

10. Allen Robinson/21/Penn State/72

Pros

  • Impressive senior season stats

  • Durable

  • Above average initial burst

  • Good hands

  • Grabs ball away from body

  • Makes some acrobatic catches

  • Follows blockers on screens

  • Competitive when ball is in the air

Cons

  • Suspended for half of Syracuse game

  • Raw as a route runner

  • Has a little trouble when the ball is below the waist

  • Second gear will not beat a lot of defenders

  • Not very elusive

  • Inconsistent effort as a blocker

Allen Robinson is a notch above Ellington mostly due to his ability to make acrobatic catches. Essentially despite being a bit more raw, his ceiling is higher. If he could improve his blocking then I would a couple of spots higher on this list.

9

9. Jarvis Landry/21/LSU/84

Pros

  • Played in the SEC

  • Impressive senior year stats

  • Never missed a game

  • Gets good separation

  • Runs a good route tree

  • Usually wins jump balls

  • Has no fear catching over the middle

Cons

  • Bad 40 time (4.77)

  • His speed on tape is as slow as the 40 time suggests

  • Not effective in open space

I liked Jarvis Landry on tape and then the combine happened and it confirmed what I thought, he is slow. Thankfully despite the lack of speed Landry is good at getting separation. He can be a solid possession receiver aka a PPR machine if used correctly.

8

8. Jordan Matthews/22/Vanderbilt/85

Pros

  • Played in the SEC

  • Impressive stats his last 2 years

  • Mother is Jerry Rice’s first cousin

  • Excellent route runner

  • Durable

  • Finds the soft spots in zone

  • Helps his QB on broken plays

  • Can line up outside and in slot

  • Good blocker

  • Good at boxing out defender for catch

Cons

  • Sometimes body catches

  • Has some issues getting separation at the LOS and in general

  • Not really effective when needing to shake a defender

  • Looks slower on tape than 40 time indicates

  • Average hand eye coordination

Jordan Matthews can be so good. He was a workhorse WR at Vanderbilt and is only a few steps away from being a good WR2 in fantasy. If Matthews can hammer out his separation issues and stop using his body to catch then watch out!

7

7. Cody Latimer/22/Indiana/88

Pros

  • Will stay in front of defenders to make a catch

  • Big catching radius

  • Wins contested balls

  • Good leaping ability

  • Fast when running fly routes

  • Is tough (played through foot injury)

  • Has no problem going over the middle and catching

  • Good effort as a blocker

  • Strong upper body (most reps for WR at combine)

Cons

  • Missed 3 games in 2011 with sports hernia

  • Did not run at combine due to left foot injury from 2013

  • Not very elusive

  • A lot of his tape was him catching short passes

We have now officially reached the tier of WR’s on my list that could easily go in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Also everyone from this point on could have been a top 3 receiver in last years draft. Cody Latimer has shot up boards lately and I think it is because of the lack of any real holes in his game. I wish I had seen more tape of him getting balls that were deeper but his QB was pretty bad.

6

6. Davante Adams/21/Fresno State/86

Pros

  • Impressive stats for his 2 seasons

  • Durable

  • Good separation skills

  • Good hands

  • Can make first guy miss

  • Can box out corner backs

  • Good at getting off the press

  • Not afraid to catch over the middle

  • Good focus when catching

Cons

  • Inconsistent blocking effort

  • Needs to learn to run more routes (ran a lot of screens for Carr)

  • Will not beat many people when sprinting down field

Davante Adams is a really good receiver. Unfortunately Derek Carr and his screen happy ways didn’t give us enough tape of Adams going more than 5 yards down field and catching the ball. He needs to learn more routes and he won’t be beating many corner backs in foot races but otherwise he is an awesome receiver.

5

5. Marqise Lee/22/USC/89

Pros

  • Impressive stats when he is healthy

  • Can return punts and kickoffs
    Works hard to block

  • Very fast

  • Very good on run after catch

  • Never seems to slack off on any given play

  • Good at changing direction

  • Good against zone coverage

  • Runs good routes with impressive fluidity

  • Has no trouble getting physical

Cons

  • Minor knee injury in 2013 slowed him down

  • Sometimes drops a wide open pass

  • Catches a lot with his body

  • Needs to work on holding onto the football

  • Not always on the same page as the QB

  • High drop rate in 2013 (12.3 percent)

  • Needs to learn to high point the deep ball

Ugh Marqise Lee is tremendous with the ball in his hands! However, he drops the ball way too much. Lee always is giving it his all and blocks as well as anyone can ask of a receiver. If a coaching staff can get him to catch with his hands instead of his body then Marqise Lee will be a bona fide stud.

4

4. Odell Beckham Jr/21/LSU/92

Pros

  • Played in the SEC

  • Can return punts and kicks

  • Fast

  • Good hands that suck in the ball

  • Will go up and catch the ball at it’s highest point

  • Durable

  • Solid effort as blocker

  • Both parents played sports in college (Dad was a college RB)

  • Has experience with pro style route tree

  • Is good at getting past defenders downfield

Cons

  • Has some problems with press against top corners

  • Drops balls thrown outside of frame

  • Needs to work on blocking angles

  • Some ball security concerns

Odell Beckham Jr is almost a sure fire WR2 by his second season. If he isn’t then he will be right on the edge of WR2. He is pro ready and if he lands in Carolina then he is a bona fide starter right away. My only concern is his inability to catch balls outside of his frame.

3

3. Brandin Cooks/20/Oregon State/90

Pros

  • Impressive stats his sophomore and junior seasons

  • Can return punts
    Fast on tape (4.4 40 time)

  • Good deep threat

  • Can do end arounds and reverses (versatile)

  • Has good hands

  • Good ball awareness

  • Can play slot and outside

  • Durable

Cons

  • Has a bad tendency to try and do too much and lose yards

  • Smaller in size, short (5 foot 9 inches)

  • Below average catch radius

I truly like Brandin Cooks and everything I saw that he did in college. His only real knock is he will try to do too much sometimes and lose yards but that is very fixable. Whoever drafts Cooks in the NFL and in fantasy is almost guaranteed to be grinning like an idiot when in a couple of years he is a WR1. Oh and by the way, the play at 01:20 in this highlight reel is pure gold.

2

2. Sammy Watkins/21/Clemson/96

Pros

  • Catches with his hands

  • Can return kickoffs

  • Is really fast

  • Impressive stats for all 3 years

  • Started 3 years

  • Has no problem with separation

  • Is great with deep catches

  • Running after catch is great

  • He is a big play waiting to happen

  • Has a large catch radius

  • Breaks open field tackles with ease

  • Physical runner after the catch

Cons

  • Had a couple of injuries in 2012

  • Suspended for 2 games in 2012 for possession of marijuana

  • Not a juker or a shaker

  • Has fumbled 7 times in career including 2 in 2013

  • Needs to learn how to run more routes

  • Needs to improve on holding the ball when catching and getting hit

  • Does not seem to like going over the middle of the field

First off, just because I listed more cons for Watkins than other receivers does not mean he is by any means worse. It only means I studied him twice as much due to my Mike Evans vs Sammy Watkins conflict. In the end Watkins is great and a guaranteed stud but…

1

1. Mike Evans/21/Texas A&M/94

Pros

  • His size creates mismatches (6 foot 5)

  • Played in the SEC

  • Knows when to abandon his route and help the QB

  • Durable

  • Good top end speed

  • Has a big catch radius

  • Will get the deep balls up in the air

  • Good at working the middle of the field

  • Pretty good blocker

  • Uses his size to get off of the press coverage

  • Good at catching in traffic

  • Rarely drops the ball

Cons

  • Acceleration is a bit slower

  • Not fast off the line

  • Can get hot headed at times

  • Routes can be slow to develop

Mike Evans is the closest thing to Megatron as you can get without actually owning Megatron. Evans is huge and can do it all, unlike Kelvin Benjamin. He made Johnny Manziel look good when he should have been intercepted. Evans is THE best receiver in this draft but it isn’t by a whole lot. Expect WR2 numbers his first season.

Most Likely To Succeed – Sammy Watkins/Mike Evans

Most Likely To Bust Big Time – Kelvin Benjamin

Underrated Favorite – Bruce Ellington

What do you think? Let me know below in the comments!