By Don Stokes-Senior Writer-Mid-West-Football Reporters Online
As we are well aware there have been those Wide Receivers who have all of the natural ability in the world but for some unknown reason do not adjust to the pro game or are allowed to grow in the right system for their talent set. Some of these young men in this group will have long careers or become consistent NFL Pro Bowl players. Maybe one will receive a yellow jacket to Canton. But in reality in a few seasons some will be looking for other job occupations. Here is my top 40 list. Enjoy.
1. Justin Blackman WR Oklahoma State University
Born 1/9/1990 6’1 207lbs,
40 time 4.48 reps: 14 R-Jr.
Considered by most to be the very best wide receiver of this draft, Justin Blackman is the first non- QB in 12 seasons and the first WR to earn the honor on the Big 12 Offensive Player of the year in 2012. During the 2011 year Blackman finished the 2011 regular season with 113 catches for 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns. After becoming the Fiesta Bowl MVP Blackman made his declaration to the 2012 NFL Draft. Has great physical presence of the line that can be worked in the slot formation but would be better suited outside. He will also not be outworked for a pass because Blackman has the hands that most NFL wide outs would kill to have. He has the un-coachable ability to catch the deep pass over either shoulder with ease although at times too often relies on catching passes with pads and chest. Not pure breakaway speed but very agile and strong after the catch. He’ll probably be the fourth or fifth player chosen overall in the draft.
2. Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame 6’3 220lbs
40 time 4.42 reps: 16 Sr.
Buyers beware because this is a wide receiver that has either Hall of fame potential or could flame out after a few seasons. With his overall talent Michael Floyd is regarded as one of the best WR prospect of this class. Floyd, who has had issues with driving while impaired in his past which caused a recent school imposed five month suspension from ND began his 2011 season on schedule and on time. Floyd played all 13 games for the 8-5 Irish in 2011 and finished with 100 receptions for 1147 yards and 9 TD. He’s a good stop and drop in a zone type WR who would do better in a “West Coast” type offense. Not blessed with pure speed but can separate from most defensive backs Michael Floyd has all of the physical skills one would covert as a first rounder. But with three different alcohol related arrests during his college career a NFL GM should wonder is he worth a first rounder top 10 type money or not?
3. Kendall Wright WR Baylor 5’10 190lbs
40 time 4.61 reps: 14 Sr.
Every NFL club wants that burner on the outside who can make the game changing reception. If you’re that NFL GM then Kendall Wright could be that difference maker for your club. Although limited by size (5’10) and weight (190lbs) Kendall Wright makes up for it with explosiveness, heart and desire. A four year starter at Baylor University, Wright receiving numbers improved each season from 50 catches with 649 yards as a freshman to 108 catches and a career high in yardage with 1,663 with 14 TD as a senior in 2011. Quick, explosive and will go get any pass. Kendall tends to snatch throws out of very tight windows for his QB. Can make the acrobatic circus catch seem routine, Wright has a knack of finding open spots on the field which will make him a QB’s best friend at the next level but can drop the easiest throws. He should go during round one.
4. Ruben Randle WR LSU 6’3 210lbs
40 time 4.55 reps: 15 Jr.
You’re playing the BCS Championship game in your home state of Louisiana. Your team, the LSU Tigers is playing for the national championship vs. the University of Alabama and your QB throws for the ungodly total of 53 yards for the entire game, a 21-0 Alabama whitewash. After starting LSU QB’s Jordan Jefferson struggled against the Crimson tide stout defense Junior WR Ruben Randle had made his decision. He indeed would enter upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Despite a season long revolving door at QB (Lee-Jefferson-Lee-Jefferson) Randle set career highs in catches (53) yards (917) and touchdowns with 8. He’s become a very smooth runner who understands how to “set up” the opposing DB with shoulders dips. He does a good job getting inside of a DB and uses his long arms and hands well, although does lets the ball hit him in the chest too often. Can run the deep route well but could use his hands and arms a bit more often for separation.