The 2014 NFL Draft is less than a week away, so we’re working hard here at Breaking Football to push out our final mocks, big board, rankings and scouting reports. In an effort to keep things as up to date as possible, we’re releasing most of our rankings during the final week of the draft season.
It’s time for our wide receiver rankings, where Sammy Watkins is the consensus #1, with Mike Evans not too far behind. See where they and the other top receivers fall in line in our 2014 wide receiver rankings:
1. Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
Watkins is the most explosive and most versatile receiver in this draft, who also has the size and skill-set to excel as an elite passing threat at the next level. There are minor concerns that his touches were largely manufactured by screens and short passes at Clemson, but he has all the tools to be much more versatile at the next level.
2. Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
There isn’t much to not like about Evans, who hangs over defenders like a tall tree, while possessing excellent strength, hands, route-running, ball skills and adequate speed. He can fight for the ball in tight coverage, win jump balls, move the chains and beat coverage deep down the field. He’s a legit candidate for the top wide receiver spot.
3. Marqise Lee (USC)
People have soured a bit on Lee lately due to poor timed speed and injury issues in his final season, but he’s an extremely explosive threat who can make plays down the field or create with the ball in his hands. He will need to work to become a much more reliable ball catcher and route-runner, but as he stands is quite arguably the third most talented receiver in this draft.
4. Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State)
Benjamin has red flags concerning conditioning and concentration, but is a massive target with elite ball skills and speed. He’s a raw player in every sense of the word, but his upside is pretty much limitless. He should hear his name called near the end of round one.
5. Odell Beckham (LSU)
Beckham could easily be ranked higher thanks to excellent play-making ability and very good overall athleticism. He can work serious magic with the ball in his hands, while he has the skill-set to immediately step up and make plays for someone at the next level. Size and a lack of true elite speed could keep him from being higher than the fifth receiver off the board, however.
6. Brandin Cooks (Oklahoma State)
Cooks is an elite burner who is an elite athlete in every way. He has the hands, footwork, quickness and speed scouts salivate over, but questions about size and toughness could limit him a bit. Still, he’d be perfect for a team like the Eagles in round one.
7. Jarvis Landry (LSU)
Landry is overshadowed by Beckham a bit, but is a very solid prospect, himself. Landry gets downgraded a bit for just average size and speed, but is a fearless receiver over the middle and has developed into a reliable target. He’s just a flat out solid prospect that will surely end up being steal if he slides into the second or third round.
8. Cody Latimer (Indiana)
Latimer is quickly ascending draft boards due to his terrific blend of size and speed. He’s quite agile and quick, while also displaying good movement in the open field. His main knock is his concentration and drop rate, although his pure natural talent is starting to trump any concerns.
9. Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
Matthews is probably the most underrated receiver in this draft, if not one of the most underrated prospects in general. He doesn’t have blazing speed or elite athleticism, but is perfectly fine in both regards. Matthews separates himself from the rest of the pack with pure production and elite fundamentals. He has the size and hands to be a high end possession receiver at the next level, while should also be able to fight for jump balls and be a factor in the red-zone. If he was just a little more impressive physically, he’d be even higher in these rankings.
10. Allen Robinson (Penn State)
Robinson is another underrated wide receiver who will give his NFL team a massive target that can make plays with the ball in his hands or haul in passes deep down the field. His long speed and explosiveness aren’t elite, but he’s a very fluid athlete and offers great size and build. He’s a legit NFL starter in a couple of years.
11. Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss)
Moncrief is a big-bodied receiver who has the skill-set to be a real force at the next level. The funny thing is that speed was his main knock, yet he killed with a 4.3 40 time. His body control and hands make him an instant impact performer potentially, while a lack of explosiveness in general could still curb his draft stock. He’s another extremely underrated receiving prospect.
12. Paul Richardson (Colorado)
Richardson is a burner and fantastic athlete that has seen a hit to his draft stock due to a rather small build and a lack of durability. He doesn’t have great size in general, either, while he also has had issues with drops and executing over the middle. He has awesome upside and is a real treat athletically, though, so if he can beef up and fix the mental issues he could be a special player.
13. Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin)
Abbrederis gets incorrectly labeled as an average athlete, but he is actually quite quick and elusive with above average long speed. A solid route-runner with good hands and nice versatility, Abbrederis isn’t the freak receiver you HAVE to have, but he’s a solid, all around player that can develop into a steady starter.
14. Davante Adams (Fresno State)
Adams is a very productive receiver who benefited from a pass-happy system. He lacks elite speed, but has the size, build and vision to be a difference-maker.
15. Martavis Bryant (Clemson)
Tall target with long arms and solid speed, Bryant has the tools to turn into a difficult cover for opposing defenses. However, at the moment he’s not physically imposing and lacks great concentration.
16. Josh Huff (Oregon)
Huff is another solid receiver who displayed good speed and athleticism at the college level, but does not have ideal size or build. He also lacks high level concentration and needs to be more disciplined overall.
17. Dri Archer (Kent State)
Archer could easily be ranked higher, but it’s up in the air exactly how his NFL team will want to use him. He doesn’t have the size or build to play running back and might be too small to be a starting wide receiver, but used in the right setting his elite speed and versatility could really make him into a weapon.
18. Bruce Ellington (South Carolina)
Ellington has the speed and wiggle to be a very interesting play-maker at the next level, however he’s a bit raw and lacks size. He’ll need to work on his knowledge of the route tree and toughen up to handle the rigors of the NFL.
19. Shaq Evans (UCLA)
Evans is a strong receiver with solid size who doesn’t have elite speed, but reaches his top speed pretty quickly and can make plays down the field. He’s inconsistent when it comes to blocking and focusing on catching the ball, but can make highlight reel catches look easy.
20. Mike Davis (Texas)
Davis is a solid receiver with good size and decent speed, but isn’t an elite overall athlete. He won’t tear up defenses after the catch, but has a good catch radius and solid straight line speed, making him a good deep ball and red-zone target.
21. Jeff Janis (Saginaw Valley)
A well built receiver with great size and excellent speed, Janis can both move the chains effectively and make plays down the field. He clearly faced no real competition in college, but is an interesting sleeper that some teams will be interested in due to his long speed and size.
22. Cody Hoffman (BYU)
Hoffman has excellent size and body control, but is not a great blocker and currently is probably too thin to handle the physicality of the next level. As a pure receiving threat he offers red-zone ability thanks to a great catch radius. He doesn’t offer much as a play-maker and needs to get stronger.
23. Brandon Coleman (Rutgers)
Coleman has amazing size for the next level, towering over corners and possessing the necessary speed and focus to make plays routinely. However, he’s not an elite athlete and isn’t nearly as physically imposing as he looks. A lack of explosiveness can render his movements a bit rigid at times and almost predictable.
24. Devin Street (Pittsburgh)
Street has awesome size and good hands, but his stock has dipped due to average straight line speed. He is a pretty tough receiver, but he also needs to get a little stronger to handle the hits and blocking at the next level.
25. Robert Herron (Wyoming)
Herron is a terrific athlete who can make plays all over the field, but his stock should suffer due to questions about his size and build. He also faced weak competition in college.
*Photo credit – Mr.Schultz via wiki commons.