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Let's talk about WR's in this draft.

Just wanted to start a general discussion about WR's that are actually worth getting in this draft. I am not going to review every WR, but just some that I wanted to comment on.

Calvin Ridley - This guy is a professional at getting open. He has no limitations in his ability to run ANY route. No other receiver in this draft that I have seen so far comes close to Ridley's ability to break off and redirect his speed. We could possible trade down a few spots and still get him because of issues with his size (He is 6'1 but pretty thin). He looks like is pretty close to a Jerry Rice or Antonio Brown. Always seems to have enough speed. Blocks better than you would expect.

Courtland Sutton - He is physically impressive, but he isn't a "getting open" wr. He is somebody that you throw to without worrying about coverage and bet that he comes down with it. He doesn't have natural smooth catching hands. More of a strength catch ala Vernon Davis. If he reaches his potential, I see him working in an offense like Demaryius Thomas. Bubble screen, go routes, box out, and fade routes. I like him, but I would value him as a low 1st round pick.

Christian Kirk - Reminds me of a poor man's Golden Tate. I see him as a guy who was not good enough to get separation, so the offense schemed ways to get him the ball because he is athletic enough to make stuff happen in space. He does have pretty great football instincts, so when the play breaks down he has a knack for making something happen. For me he is a 2nd round pick.

D.J. Moore - I don't see much here. Not especially fast, not especially elusive. Has pretty good hands, but rarely has separation and doesn't have the length or height or jumping ability to make up for it consistently. I see a 4th or 5th round pick personally.

James Washington - Doesn't get the love he deserves. Had really good stats, but if you watch the tape you realize that there were tons of times in each game where he is gets tons of separation and the QB can't get him the ball accurately. He has a very interesting body type. There aren't a lot of players like him. When I watch him play, he reminds me of Delanie Walker, if Walker slimmed down and played WR instead of bulking up to play TE. He can block very well. Kind of stiff looking, but has really great hands. Violent after the catch. I'm really high on him. I think he is worth a mid 2nd round pick but will probably go in the 3rd round.

D.J. Chark - Not a lot of tape. He has a ton of upside, size and speed and run after the catch ability. Explodes off the line and runs decent routes, though he seems to round off some cuts. My issue with Chark is that he has most of the physical features you want, but he is not a natural pass catcher. He bodies the ball and bobbles the ball far too much. He seems to have survived off of his physical skills and hasn't refined or developed a deep understanding of route running or hands. Not a blocker. He reminds me of Martavis Bryant with more wiggle and less violence after the catch. Based on his physical abilities, high ceiling, and instant impact in the return game, he is probably worth a 3rd round pick.

Deon Cain - Good off the line, and is pretty savvy route runner. Not going to amaze anyone physically. Does a good job of using his body to wall off defenders. But his hands...oh my. Seriously it is extremely frustrating to see him drop easy passes but catch a wild one. Then he makes a crazy catch, and then drops another. Seems to play better in tight spaces than when it is easy. Shows his frustrations, complains to the refs A LOT. Also got into defenders faces when he makes a good catch. That really rubs me the wrong way. Willing blocker, and effective enough. Cain is a tough one to evaluate. Sometimes he looks like he runs routes like Ridley, but then he misses the easy play. At his best I see him as a high 3rd round pick, but at his worst he is a 6th rounder. I would be ok with picking him in the 5th.

Dante Pettis - This is my sleeper pick. Smooth athlete, natural hands, and super competitive when the ball is in the air. Great body control, solid base to run through contact. Runs the full route tree, but not as polished as Ridley. However, he does some things that Ridley can't after the catch. Some guys are tall and play short, some guys are short and play tall. Pettis seems to play taller than he is when he needs to and smaller than he is when it suits him (if that makes any sense). Not a great blocker, but very willing, often seen running downfield to make a block. Times his jumps very well and positions his body very well too. I see him as a 2nd round pick.

Equanimeous St. Brown - Does not play like a 6'5 wr. Not that he is bad, he is far from it, but just doesn't jump out like you would expect a 6'5 receiver. He is not just a jump ball guy. Really good speed for his size, and good open field vision. Not crazy about his route running, or his ability to create separation. Does not explode off the line consistently. Above average hands, was depended on for a good bit of 50/50 balls. A big play receiver, not really a chain mover. Because he doesn't make a ton of separation on short routes, he tends to push off a bit. He reminds me of how Torrey Smith use to be, either a go route or deep in, or a set play to get him the ball on a short cross. Definitely a type of weapon that is very useful, just a different type of weapon. Redzone and big play receiver that I would value as a 2nd or 3rd round pick. I would love the 49ers to get him because we don't have anyone like him.

Allen Lazard and Simmie Cobbs - I'm lumping these two together because I see them as being very similar and I'm getting tired. Although if I had to pick one it would be Lazard as he is a more balanced receiver. Both are mainly jump ball players and body position route runners. However, Cobbs pushes off almost every play, so I am not interested at all in that. Lazard could be a killer TE conversion though. 4th round for Lazard and 6th for Cobbs.
Nice list, nice breakdown, I think you are a bit off on your grades but we'll see. Example I think Washington sneaks into the bottom of the 1st round.

I'm surprised you've omitted Anthony Miller and Michael Gallup, both really good WR's who fit what we do very well.

Personally I would like to see one receiver added for competition, depth and a future Garçon replacement.

Miller, Washington and Moore are my favourites but also like Pettis and Gallup.
I just want you to know that you have successfully triggered me on DJ Moore and I'm going to leave good day sir.
Like I said earlier, I just got tired of typing.

Michael Gallup - I really like this kid. Super strong and aggressive. A little lazy on some routes, rounding off out routes, but he seems to have a good feel for knowing how much space he needs to make a catch and has really good strong hands. Reminds me of Bolden in how strong and aggressive he plays. Sometimes he lets that aggressiveness get the best of him and pushes the defender when he doesn't need to. Wins on jump balls...period. Feel sorry for some corners when he takes the punishment to them. He runs through, not around people. Super underrated. High 2nd round talent.

Anthony Miller - Memphis spread WR attack inflates Miller's stats. He is a very effective slot receiver. No fear in this kid. Not especially fast for his size, plays smaller than he is. Very fast feet and loves to run the double move. Has good change of direction skills and pretty good run after catch skills. Was used as an offensive weapon at Memphis, running, catching, and some passing. Wasn't always effective at contested balls, but gets what you would expect on manufactured plays. If he is as productive in the NFL I would be very surprised. He is kind of like a Randall Cobb, but I don't think he will be as good as Cobb. My guess is 4th or 5th round.
I do want to say, I'm not looking at combine stuff...I just watch the tape. They may be fast at the combine like D.J. Moore was, but I didn't see that reflected much on tape. Others may have a slow 40 at the combine but look and play fast. This is just my interpretation. If you see it differently, I would love for people to post videos of why I'm wrong...cause that is entirely possible. :)

Maybe it is just my bad memory, but I always am leary about Maryland prospects. They tend to have that workout warrior thing going for them. They always put up the metrics in the gym.
[ Edited by Syxton on Apr 6, 2018 at 9:33 AM ]
Fluffy Evans outta UMBC is one of the most underrated WR's in this years draft. Jerry Rice type of hands with Randy Moss type of plucking ability mixed in with Goodwins speed. Amazing talent.
  • krizay
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Originally posted by Syxton:
Just wanted to start a general discussion about WR's that are actually worth getting in this draft. I am not going to review every WR, but just some that I wanted to comment on.

Calvin Ridley - This guy is a professional at getting open. He has no limitations in his ability to run ANY route. No other receiver in this draft that I have seen so far comes close to Ridley's ability to break off and redirect his speed. We could possible trade down a few spots and still get him because of issues with his size (He is 6'1 but pretty thin). He looks like is pretty close to a Jerry Rice or Antonio Brown. Always seems to have enough speed. Blocks better than you would expect.

Courtland Sutton - He is physically impressive, but he isn't a "getting open" wr. He is somebody that you throw to without worrying about coverage and bet that he comes down with it. He doesn't have natural smooth catching hands. More of a strength catch ala Vernon Davis. If he reaches his potential, I see him working in an offense like Demaryius Thomas. Bubble screen, go routes, box out, and fade routes. I like him, but I would value him as a low 1st round pick.

Christian Kirk - Reminds me of a poor man's Golden Tate. I see him as a guy who was not good enough to get separation, so the offense schemed ways to get him the ball because he is athletic enough to make stuff happen in space. He does have pretty great football instincts, so when the play breaks down he has a knack for making something happen. For me he is a 2nd round pick.

D.J. Moore - I don't see much here. Not especially fast, not especially elusive. Has pretty good hands, but rarely has separation and doesn't have the length or height or jumping ability to make up for it consistently. I see a 4th or 5th round pick personally.

James Washington - Doesn't get the love he deserves. Had really good stats, but if you watch the tape you realize that there were tons of times in each game where he is gets tons of separation and the QB can't get him the ball accurately. He has a very interesting body type. There aren't a lot of players like him. When I watch him play, he reminds me of Delanie Walker, if Walker slimmed down and played WR instead of bulking up to play TE. He can block very well. Kind of stiff looking, but has really great hands. Violent after the catch. I'm really high on him. I think he is worth a mid 2nd round pick but will probably go in the 3rd round.

D.J. Chark - Not a lot of tape. He has a ton of upside, size and speed and run after the catch ability. Explodes off the line and runs decent routes, though he seems to round off some cuts. My issue with Chark is that he has most of the physical features you want, but he is not a natural pass catcher. He bodies the ball and bobbles the ball far too much. He seems to have survived off of his physical skills and hasn't refined or developed a deep understanding of route running or hands. Not a blocker. He reminds me of Martavis Bryant with more wiggle and less violence after the catch. Based on his physical abilities, high ceiling, and instant impact in the return game, he is probably worth a 3rd round pick.

Deon Cain - Good off the line, and is pretty savvy route runner. Not going to amaze anyone physically. Does a good job of using his body to wall off defenders. But his hands...oh my. Seriously it is extremely frustrating to see him drop easy passes but catch a wild one. Then he makes a crazy catch, and then drops another. Seems to play better in tight spaces than when it is easy. Shows his frustrations, complains to the refs A LOT. Also got into defenders faces when he makes a good catch. That really rubs me the wrong way. Willing blocker, and effective enough. Cain is a tough one to evaluate. Sometimes he looks like he runs routes like Ridley, but then he misses the easy play. At his best I see him as a high 3rd round pick, but at his worst he is a 6th rounder. I would be ok with picking him in the 5th.

Dante Pettis - This is my sleeper pick. Smooth athlete, natural hands, and super competitive when the ball is in the air. Great body control, solid base to run through contact. Runs the full route tree, but not as polished as Ridley. However, he does some things that Ridley can't after the catch. Some guys are tall and play short, some guys are short and play tall. Pettis seems to play taller than he is when he needs to and smaller than he is when it suits him (if that makes any sense). Not a great blocker, but very willing, often seen running downfield to make a block. Times his jumps very well and positions his body very well too. I see him as a 2nd round pick.

Equanimeous St. Brown - Does not play like a 6'5 wr. Not that he is bad, he is far from it, but just doesn't jump out like you would expect a 6'5 receiver. He is not just a jump ball guy. Really good speed for his size, and good open field vision. Not crazy about his route running, or his ability to create separation. Does not explode off the line consistently. Above average hands, was depended on for a good bit of 50/50 balls. A big play receiver, not really a chain mover. Because he doesn't make a ton of separation on short routes, he tends to push off a bit. He reminds me of how Torrey Smith use to be, either a go route or deep in, or a set play to get him the ball on a short cross. Definitely a type of weapon that is very useful, just a different type of weapon. Redzone and big play receiver that I would value as a 2nd or 3rd round pick. I would love the 49ers to get him because we don't have anyone like him.

Allen Lazard and Simmie Cobbs - I'm lumping these two together because I see them as being very similar and I'm getting tired. Although if I had to pick one it would be Lazard as he is a more balanced receiver. Both are mainly jump ball players and body position route runners. However, Cobbs pushes off almost every play, so I am not interested at all in that. Lazard could be a killer TE conversion though. 4th round for Lazard and 6th for Cobbs.

We have very similar thoughts on Moore, st. Brown, washington, lazard and pettis (thpugh i wouldnt spend a 2nd on pettis)

Crazy we see basically the same thing in these guys
Originally posted by Syxton:
Like I said earlier, I just got tired of typing.

Michael Gallup - I really like this kid. Super strong and aggressive. A little lazy on some routes, rounding off out routes, but he seems to have a good feel for knowing how much space he needs to make a catch and has really good strong hands. Reminds me of Bolden in how strong and aggressive he plays. Sometimes he lets that aggressiveness get the best of him and pushes the defender when he doesn't need to. Wins on jump balls...period. Feel sorry for some corners when he takes the punishment to them. He runs through, not around people. Super underrated. High 2nd round talent.

Anthony Miller - Memphis spread WR attack inflates Miller's stats. He is a very effective slot receiver. No fear in this kid. Not especially fast for his size, plays smaller than he is. Very fast feet and loves to run the double move. Has good change of direction skills and pretty good run after catch skills. Was used as an offensive weapon at Memphis, running, catching, and some passing. Wasn't always effective at contested balls, but gets what you would expect on manufactured plays. If he is as productive in the NFL I would be very surprised. He is kind of like a Randall Cobb, but I don't think he will be as good as Cobb. My guess is 4th or 5th round.

Who is Bolden? Brandon Bolden from the patriots, or Anquan Boldin the wr that used to play for the cardinals, ravens, niners, and lions?
  • thl408
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Kyle can scheme WRs against zone no problem. On a number of occasions, he mentions wanting guys who separate vs man coverage. When it comes to WR/TE/RB, I think this front office puts a lot of stock in the PSPARQ stuff, most likely change of direction and acceleration type of measurements.
  • Jcool
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Originally posted by BMoore56:
Who is Bolden? Brandon Bolden from the patriots, or Anquan Boldin the wr that used to play for the cardinals, ravens, niners, and lions?

It's probably safe to assume no one is ever referencing Brandon Bolden.
Great post man, thanks for taking the time to write it up.
I really like Trey Quinn mid round for the Niners especially. Not a good 40 but watching his games he really got separation, provided a good target for the QB, moved the chains and is a good red zone target. Decent size and quickness with lots of production.
Really like St Brown. Had Kizer stayed I think he's a top 10 pick. It's true he doesn't play to his size but the scary part of that is he still finished 3rd in the country in contested catches at 70%.
I stopped reading at "DJ Moore I don't see much here" you need to go back and take another look.


He reminds me a lot of Anquan Boldin, dependable hands and rarely gets tackled by one defender. IMO Moore > Miller.
[ Edited by GMniner805 on Apr 6, 2018 at 11:39 AM ]
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