NFL Draft: Early Round Wide Receivers


I think it’s pretty obvious that wide receiver is going to be the biggest hole that needs filled in the offseason. The Seahawks could use 2-3 new players at the position. At least one of those players needs to a major difference maker on the outside; something the Seahawks haven’t had since Joey Galloway.

Here’s is my rankings for the position, at least for the players who I think will go in the first 2 rounds. It’s a deep group, with a ton of talent, making trading up into the top 10 to get the best guy less of a concern than in most drafts.

Nov 19, 2011; Stanford CA, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen (21) catches a pass over Stanford Cardinal cornerback Johnson Bademosi (27) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

1) Keenan Allen – 6-3, 205 – Cal

Allen is a natural playmaker, with great size and body control, and decent speed. Watching his tape, he reminds me so much Houston’s Andre Johnson. He’s the type of player who will quietly have 1000 yards receiving year after year after year.

2) Robert Woods – 6-1, 180 – USC

I’m higher on woods than some draft pundits. He’s playing hurt right now with an ankle injury, so I’m mostly using my notes from 2011 for my evaluation here. He’s got great speed and athleticism, and very soft hands. He’s not as dynamic as Allen, and his ankle problems are a concern, but Woods is a certain first round pick who would upgrade almost any WR corps in the NFL.

3) Justin Hunter – 6-4, 200 – Tennessee 

Hunter looked like an absolutely special receiver a year ago, but a knee injury that cost him most of his 2011 season has also cost him some of his speed and athleticism. He’s a borderline first round pick now, and he will likely get some of that burst back before next season. I expect him to be drafted in the early 20s at this point.

4) Marquess Wilson – 6-3, 188 – Washington State

Wilson isn’t the deep threat the players above him on this list are, but he’s still a big time prospect. He runs great routes for a player of his size, and has great body control in the air. I’ve seen some Larry Fitzgerald comparisons (he’s not that good. No one is. But he’s te same type of player) so you know that he’s making an impression.

5) Terrance Williams – 6-2, 205 – Baylor

Williams is the fastes receiver on this list. He is a down field receiver who can stretch a defense. He’s not as good in and out of his routes though, which might limit his productivity in terms of total catches at he next level, but his speed will force CBs to play off of him which could mitigate that deficiency. Williams should be available early in round 2, and should be a great value there.

6) DeAndre Hopkins – 6-1, 200 – Clemson

Doesn’t have the best speed, but he’s got great hands and a huge catch radius. More of a “possession” receiver compared to the others on this list. Seahawk fans can think of him as a Sydney Rice clone. While he’s a good player, he’s probably not someone who the Seahawks will be looking at because he mimics, rather than complements, the players they already have.

7) Da’Rick Rodgers – 6-3, 206 – Tennessee State

He a big, strong, physical receiver with good speed. Seen a few Julio Jones comparisons, which seems to be accurate. Hands are also a concern at this point. Rodgers would be higher on this list, but his suspension from Tennessee, and subsequent transfer to Tennessee State, raises a lot of red flags about his off field character.

8) Tavon Austin – 5-9, 172 – West Virginia 

He’s got good speed, but not the type that Deshawn Jackson has (whom he’s often compared to). I thin he’ll be a great return man, and a solid 3rd receiver (think  Devin Hester). Austin isn’t likely to be considered by the Seahawks because of his lack of size. He’d be good value if taken later in the draft, but I think he’ll go high enough that the Seahawks wont be in play.