The Top Five Wide Receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft

The last two NFL Drafts have been two of the strongest wide receiver drafts in history. In comparison, the class this year doesn’t compare. While there are still some very good prospects, the speed and overall depth of this year’s wide receiver class is average to say the least. Throw out the last two drafts, and the average number of wide receivers drafted in the opening round is three and four. That could well be the case this year. Laquon Treadwell – Mississippi As I write this on March 21st, Treadwell holds on to the top spot on the list, but he there is no way he has a lock on that spot. Treadwell did not run or do any of the agility drills at the Combine. His 33” vertical jump ad 9’11” long jump were very average by today’s standards. Next Monday at the Ole Miss Pro Day, Treadwell has to really excel or he will really drop on many teams drafts boards. Everyone knows he is not a burner, but he still has to run 4.555 or better to be the first or second receiver drafted. He has terrific skill set, with great hands, he can adjust to the ball, runs good routes and is strong after the catch. At the wide receiver position though, speed can be the determining factor on draft position. Corey Coleman – Baylor Coleman is a superb athlete. While he didn’t run at Indy, he did have a 40.5” vertical jump and a 10’9” long jump. At his Pro Day he ran a quick 4.37 and showed fluid change of direction. What hampers Coleman compared to the other receivers on the board is that he ran a very limited route tree at Baylor. At his Pro Day he showed he could get in and of cuts quickly, adjust to the ball and make the difficult catch. He will have to go through a period of adjustment for sure but in two years he may well be the best receiver to come out of this draft. Josh Doctson – TCU Doctson’s game is similar to Treadwell’s only he is a little faster and more explosive. He showed that explosiveness at the Combine with a 41” vertical jump and a 10’11” long jump. His agility drills were also very good. Like Coleman, Doctson played in an unsophisticated spread offense with a limited route tree. Because of that he will need work early on in developing his route running skills but in the end he will make some team very happy. In today’s NFL game, clubs covet big receivers and that is exactly what Doctson is. He measured 6’2 – 202 and had big 9 ¾” hands. Will Fuller – Notre Dame Will Fuller’s game is speed and he has an abundance of that trait. Fuller was the fastest receiver at Indy, running the 40 in 4.32. On tape he runs deep routes and makes the over the shoulder catch as well as any receiver. Fuller has some negative traits also. He has a very lean frame and his hands were the smallest of any receiver at the Combine (8 ¼”). He also lacks strength, and has a small receiving radius. While he catches the deep ball well, he struggles with other catches and had over 20 drops the last two seasons. Many feel he is a bit of a wild card this draft. His home run ability could get him drafted in the bottom of the first round, but because of his limitations others feel he is more likely to go in the second. Tyler Boyd – Pittsburgh Boyd is one of the more complete receivers in this draft. He has size, quickness, body control, runs outstanding routes and has very good hands. What he lacks is elite speed. He ran a 4.58 at Indy and clubs were hoping he would run faster than that before the Draft. He did just that at the Pitt Pro Day, clocking a 4.52 on March 16th. When you watch tape, he is smooth and acrobatic and can make things look easy. He has excellent run after the catch skills and he can block. I don’t see Boyd getting drafted in the opening round but he should go within the first 12 picks of the second round. He will start early in his career. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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