1. Golden Tate ND – How can a guy named Golden not be #1 on this list. He’s similar to Percy Harvin in my book. Not quite as explosive but no history of questionable behavior either. He might be the third WR picked after Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, but I think that’s a mistake. Teams fall in love with big WRs but Tate was the most effective of the three. He put up video-game numbers in 2009; and his background as a high school running back makes him explosive after the catch and hard to bring down. In this age of small, quick WRs like DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, and Harvin; Tate is at the top of the 2010 class in my book.
2. Dez Bryant Ok St – I don’t trust this guy. Maybe it’s because of my Braylon Edwards experience as a fan. Maybe it’s the unimpressive workout. Maybe it’s the fact that he missed a lot of 2009 because of a little white lie to the NCAA. I just don’t see this guy as a team player. He has the talent (the scouts say he does anyway) but does he have the heart? I hesitated to put him even this high honestly.
3. Damian Williams USC – I like his big play ability as a WR and as a return guy. I m a little concerned because he seems to body catch the ball from the clips I’ve seen. But I think Williams is a talented and fast prospect with experience running pro-style routes. He seems to be a forgotten man in some ways.
4. Arrelious Benn Ill – He had a rough Jr. year. But he had a guy named Juice throwing to him most of the time. Benn looked like a can’t-miss in his So. year. He had a great workout season. And he was a top-notch recruit coming out of high school. I like Regus. He may be the best “big” WR in the class. Even though I have him ranked below Bryant, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the better pro.
5. Dexter McCluster Ole Miss – I wasn’t sure to put him at RB or WR. He hasn’t flashed great speed in workouts, but he is an explosive player. Look at the footage from Ole Miss games. He was often the best, albeit smallest, player on the field. I think he is some kind of cross between Wes Welker and Darren Sproles. Not the receiver Welker is, and maybe not the runner Sproles is, but a terrific weapon nonetheless. He will make some team very happy on draft day (probably day two).
6. Brandon LaFell LSU – Not fast. Not flashy. Just makes catches. LaFell is probably underrated by most but he had a very productive career in a tough conference. That counts for something.
7. Carlton Mitchell USF – His stock has skyrocketed since the end of the season. A little risky to me because of the competition he faced but teams are looking at him as a 2nd round prospect. His combination of size and speed makes that very likely.
8. Eric Decker Minn – Oh man, he had the dreaded Lisfranc injury in 2009. But before that he looked like the best WR in the Big Ten. He is a tall WR with great hands and appears healthy right now. Don’t sleep on Decker. His height and hands make him a viable 3rd down threat if he can shake off that injury history.
9. Demaryius Thomas GT – I can’t trust this guy because: 1) he has limited route-running experience and 2) he has a foot injury. He just worked out for pro scouts and they said he worked out at “half-speed.” Are you kidding me? Yeah he caught the balls thrown his way, but what does a half-speed work-out and a college career running flies and curls prove? I think people are getting too caught up in the fact that he went to the same school, played the same position, and is the same basic size as Calvin Johnson. He is NOT Calvin Johnson. Buyer beware.
10. Jacoby Ford Clem – I was tempted to put him higher and I know some teams are enamored with his lightening speed. But his production and small stature would not let me. Ford has a place in this league as a burner opposite a big play guy. But he is not the aforementioned Jackson or Harvin. Speed is great, but it is not everything.
Guy who maybe should be higher on my list: Mardy Gilyard Cin – Good WR and good return man, but his lack of big time speed has dropped his stock. I like Mardy, but he seems like a #4 WR at best starting out. Playing in the Big East is not the same as playing on Sundays, and I don’t see him being explosive enough to return kicks in The League.
Guy who is unfairly compared to Wes Welker because he’s white: Jordan Shipley Tex – Like Gilyard, a slot-reciever prospect. Not that that’s a terrible thing. But he doesn’t have the quickness of Welker. He’ll find a role on some team.
Guy whose production is vastly overlooked: Freddie Barnes BGSU – So productive. He’s the single-season record holder for receptions. He’s not very fast, but I think Barnes will emerge as a steal two or three years from now.
Work out wonder who’s flying up the boards: Taylor Price OU – He was hampered by the QBs that played at OU. Not exactly a hot-bed of passing game creativity. Maybe Price was wasted there. But maybe not. I’m not as high on him as some others.<!--EndFragment-->