2010 Rookie WR Rankings

  1. Dez Bryant, Okla. St.: Great size. Adequate speed. Great red-zone target, with fantastic hands and excellent verticals. Adjusts to catch anything near him. Good vision and moves after the catch. Has quickness to run crisp routes, though he sometimes seems to be dogging it a little. DNP most of 2009 or in bowl game — ineligible.
  2. Golden Tate, Notre Dame: Good speed and very shifty after the catch. Strong hands. Nice concentration. Excellent balance and is pretty hard to bring down because of that. Tracks ball well over head and shoulder. Gives a ton of effort. Slightly below-average size.
  3. Dezmon Briscoe, Kan.: Great size, but could put on a little more muscle. Excellent concentration and adjusts well to underthrown passes. Catches well with hands. Adequate field speed, though he ran a little slow at the Combine. Nice sideline awareness and foot control. Good moves after the catch. Moves smoothly for his size. I compare him to a bigger Hakeem Nicks. On tape, looks like he has a strong upper body, but he did very poorly at Combine in bench press.
  4. Dexter McCluster, Miss.: Small size (5’8″, 170 lbs.), but deceptively strong. Very quick and fast. Explosive runner who is great running to the outside, but also a good performer between the tackles. Finishes runs strong. Patiently sets up blockers. Can take a hit and keep his feet moving. Very good leaper. May also be an excellent receiver, similar to Steve Smith of Carolina. In Senior Bowl practices, showed very good routes and double moves. Willing and fairly able blocker, though his lack of size means he can get bulled over.
  5. Damian Williams, USC: Average size. Good speed. Great concentration in traffic and is a smooth open-field runner who sets up blockers well after the catch. Not easy to bring down. Very productive in bowl game. Also used as returner.
  6. Jordan Shipley, Tex.: Great vision after the catch. Excellent hands. Average speed, but accelerates to it quickly. Willing and able downfield blocker. Smart returner who knows when to call a fair catch. Wes Welker-type quickness, toughness, and willingness to go over the middle. Has been pillar of the community. Has football bloodline. Slightly below-average size. Will already be 25 in December. Level of success depends on where he goes.
  7. Brandon LaFell, LSU: Very good speed. Has big hands and reacts quickly to ball. Sets up blockers well after the catch. Concentrates well on off-target passes, but tends to lose concentration on easy ones.
  8. Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati: Average size, but plays big. Strong lower body makes him tough to bring down. Smart and tough receiver with great work ethic. Good vision and smooth runner after the catch. Good quickness to gain separation against press coverage. Adjusts well to underthrown balls. Solid returner skills. Seems to have better game hands than practice hands. In Senior Bowl practices, dropped several passes but got better as week went along. Not an experienced route runner, and needs to learn to use his quickness to run crisp routes.
  9. Demaryius Thomas, Ga. Tech: H-back size, but great speed. Athletic receiver who almost always wins in jump ball situations. Strong upper body and is tough to bring down. Uses size to shield defenders and make reception. Willing and able blocker. Looks a little stiff. May have some trouble running crisp routes. Was shut out in bowl game. Broke foot in pre-Combine workouts.
  10. Arrelious Benn, Ill.: Great size and good speed. Fairly quick for a man his size. Strong upper body. Adjusts well to errant passes. Excellent body control. Has the concentration to make the circus catch, but tends to lose concentration on easy passes. Has some durability issues.
  11. Mike Williams, Syracuse: Questionable dedication to game — quit team midseason. Excellent combination of size and speed. Looked like a competitor at the Combine, getting upset at every dropped pass, whether it was on the money or not.
  12. Riley Cooper, Fla.: Ed McCaffrey-esque scrapper with great size, good quickness and adequate speed. Fights for ball. Strong against jam. Good vision. Has strong hands and doesn’t body-catch often. Very strong blocker downfield who uses size to his advantage. Inconsistent concentration and may sometimes take plays off. Doesn’t show great effort when play isn’t to him.
  13. Jacoby Ford, Clemson: Great speed and good body control. Accelerates to full speed very quickly. Comes out of route breaks quickly and has excellent hands on passes away from his body. Very good concentration on errant passes and tracks ball very well. Good balance after hits. Good returner skills. Short arms.
  14. Eric Decker, Minn.: Great size. Good hands. Above-average speed and quickness. Above-average strength. Has very good concentration and sideline awareness. Willing to go over middle and take a hit. Doesn’t offer much after the catch and seems to fall down a lot. DNP in bowl game — injured. Won’t participate at Combine.
  15. Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green: Average size and speed. Great hands and good body control and acceleration. Savvy receiver who runs excellent routes and sets up defenders well to get open. Also sets up blockers well after catch. Has NCAA record for most catches in a season, with 155 — 17 in bowl game. Just looks smooth on field. Not a natural returner, but has sure hands and intelligence so he won’t hurt his team if used in that position.
  16. Blair White, Mich. St.: Good size and above-average speed. Physical receiver who isn’t afraid to go over the middle and also has strength and willingness to fight for extra yards. Runs good routes, showing very good quickness and body control for a man his size. Also sets up defenders well to get open. Great work ethic and goes after every pass. Good foot control on sideline. Good hands catcher most of the time, though lets ball get to body occasionally. Still, he catches everything. Looks like a valuable scrappy second or third receiver.
  17. Carlton Mitchell, S. Fla.: Great size and good speed. Nice concentration in traffic and shows the ability to make the circus catch. Also willing to take a hit and hold onto the ball.
  18. Taylor Price, Ohio: Average size. Good routes and great speed and quickness. Didn’t show good sideline awareness or foot control in bowl game or Senior Bowl practices, but improved. Gets good separation and is very good tracking ball over shoulder on deep passes. Sometimes jumps for ball for no reason. Fights ball on occasion.
  19. Danario Alexander, Mo.: Great size. Good speed. Has good vision after the catch, running smoothly. Shows good effort and hands on outside routes, though his concentration lapses over the middle and he seems to shy away from contact. Needs to learn to use his size to be more physical. Is a long strider who has trouble making crisp cuts, running routes and gaining separation. Has had three knee surgeries and is coming off a postseason injury.
  20. Antonio Brown, Cent. Mich.: Below-average size. Junior who will enter draft. WR/RB/KR type who reminds me of a slower Percy Harvin. Runs like a RB. Shifty after the catch. As receiver, lets ball get to body sometimes. Good speed and acceleration. Tough returner with good balance.
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