Bring on the Football

Image by Jeff Brint via Flickr

Since I know you’re at the edge of your seats, here are my WR rankings for the upcoming draft! AJ Green is the consensus #1 guy, and with good reason. But he is very slight – a carbon copy of Randy Moss – he will have to play like Moss to survive, IMO. It wouldn’t shock me for a team to value Julio Jones‘ physicality over Green’s finesse and pull the upset as the 1st receiver taken off the board. Personally, I don’t see Green in the same class as Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, or even Dez Bryant and Michael Crabtree. But the overall depth in the position this year is outstanding. I could see a dozen impact WRs emerging from the class of 2011. As with RBs, a * means added value as a kick/punt returner.

1. AJ Green, Georgia

2. Julio Jones, Alabama

3. Titus Young*, Boise St

4. Leonard Hankerson, Miami

5. Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

6. Torrey Smith*, Maryland

7. Jarrel Jernigan*, Troy

8. Randall Cobb*, Kentucky

9. Greg Little, North Carolina

10. Austin Pettis, Boise St

11. Edmond Gates*, Abilene Christian 

12. Tandon Doss*, Indiana

13. Jeremy Kerley*, TCU

14. Vincent Brown, San Diego St

15. Greg Salas, Hawaii

16. Niles Paul*, Nebraska

17. Ronald Johnson*, USC

18. Dane Sanzenbacher, Ohio St

19. Jeff Maehl, Oregon

20. Denarius Moore, Tennessee

21. Terrence Toliver, LSU

22. Cecil Shorts III, Mount Union

23. Tori Gurley, South Carolina

24. Aldrick Robinson, Southern Methodist

25. Dwayne Harris, East Carolina

26. Armon Binns, Cincinnati

27. Darvin Adams, Auburn

28. DeAndre Brown, Southern Mississippi

29. Courtney Smith, South Alabama

30. Stephen Burton, West Texas A&M

31. Lester Jean, Florida Atlantic

32. OJ Murdock, Fort Hays St

I love both Boise St guys. Young has the speed and Pettis has the size – depending on what you need. I have Pettis rated higher than anyone I have read – that’s because I see him as a taller Jason Avant; not flashy but underrated with great hands and will haul in many TDs. #s 3-6 all have significant bust risk, especially Baldwin. When he is “on”, he looks like an unstoppable all-pro (and is built like one). Problem is he is “off” a lot too. Some team is going to see the unlimited potential and draft him high. Hankerson is peaking at the right time; great senior season, great all star games, good combine. He wants to be the next Michael Irvin. Smith reminds of Donte Stallworth, but is still raw. He could be a 1st rounder because of his “measurables”. Jernigan has amazing balance and quickness; essentially a RB in a (small) WRs body. Cobb also has great quickness and moves; very physical; even a part-time QB and holds on field goals; a stronger Randle El/Brad Smith? Little is an elite prospect in every way but has major character flags; suspended entire 2010 season and then lied about it to teams at the combine. But if he can mature in a hurry, he could be the steal of the draft. Gates was ridiculously dominant at his lower level of competition – will it translate? I personally witnessed Doss killing my Michigan boys more than once. He’s big, has great hands and decent speed; needs to show he is healthy and can stay that way. Paul is a great athlete but has red flags about his character as well. Sanzenbacher is a guy to keep an eye on. Has nothing special in the height/weight/speed areas – undraftable usually – but he just knows how to play football and he can flourish as a slot or even #2 on a team with a stable QB situation.