2016 NFL Draft: Wide Receivers
This is the third installment of my four-part series this week. We will continue the draft week preview with the wide receivers. This is not a prediction in what order these WRs will be drafted but rather my rankings through my own personal evaluation. These guys could be future stars in your fantasy football leagues.
1. John Doctson, TCU
I want to start by saying I’m not sure if any of these guys are deserving of being a top 20 pick. As a matter of fact, I feel like that in regards to every offensive player in this draft that isn’t an offensive tackle. Still, Doctson is my top guy. Physically he’s a long armed, 6-foot-2 athlete with tremendous leaping ability and good speed. What’s most impressive is his body control and ball skills. Combine that with a great set of hands and you have a potential star in the making.
2. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Treadwell is the consensus top wideout in this draft and he is very good. As a matter of fact, despite having him ranked second, I think he’s better than he gets credit for. The knock on him is his speed after he ran a 4.64 40-yard dash. That’s a poor time but too many people put way too much stock in 40 times. On film this kid doesn’t play slow. He has good football speed. At 6-foot-2, 221 pounds he is a load to take down and has the athleticism to turn seemingly uneventful plays into big plays. Treadwell is excellent when fighting for a ball and is very decisive after snatching the ball with his stellar hands.
3. Leonte Carroo, Rutgers
Carroo is going very much overlooked in this draft. Part of the reason is because he already has a domestic violence charge on his resume. He’s a well-built, exceptional athlete with incredible route running skills and craftiness. It’s really difficult to find a weakness in his game and could easily be the best wideout in this class. He just needs to not assault people ever again.
4. Will Fuller, Notre Dame
The flaws in Fuller’s game are glaring, I fully understand that. Nonetheless, he can flat out fly. He’s been timed running a 4.28 40. Fuller has rare DeSean Jackson like speed. Is he an undersized one-dimensional route runner with questionable hands and high-bust potential? Yes. With that said, the upside is undeniable. Fuller is a potential game changer, which is difficult to pass up. He has rare speed and is worth the risk in Round 2.
5. Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
Shepard has outstanding feet and may be the best route runner in this draft. He explodes off of the line, beating defenders with ease, and is excellent at creating separation at the top of his routes. On top of his speed, he also has the quickness, balance and awareness to wreak havoc on opposing secondaries. He’s a tough player as well. The only knock on him is that he stands 5-foot-10, 194 pounds. He’ll need to get stronger to deal with physical defensive backs, although, in today’s NFL he may be able to get by.
6. Corey Coleman, Baylor
Most have Coleman ranked much higher than I do. There is no doubt that he’s an aggressive playmaker. He has elite acceleration and his quick feet make him very dangerous in the open field once he has the ball in his hand. However, he also has a lot of red flags. His route tree is very limited and the Baylor offense doesn’t always translate well to the next level. Coleman is also undersized and deals with drops at times. We’ve seen guys like Coleman fail far too often on the next level. The upside is there, though.
7. Michael Thomas, Ohio State
Thomas is very close to Coleman on this list. He just barely fell behind him. While Thomas is built for the NFL at 6-foot-3, 212 pounds with very strong set of hands, he also isn’t an explosive athlete. His will is greater than his ability. He fights for position and will rip down 50/50 balls. Still his lack of explosion and acceleration is definitely a concern. Thomas is better at his position than Coleman but lacks the explosive upside.
8. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh
Boyd does not lack explosion or acceleration. He has a great burst, strong cuts and a quick release. While he’s tough when fighting for the ball and after he has the ball, he hears footsteps when running routes and will drop passes because of it. Boyd is skinny at 6-foot-1, 197 pounds. While he looks to fight through tackles, he lacks the size to do so in most instances. He struggles when DBs get physical with him. Also, he does have a DUI arrest on his record as well, which is concerning .
9. Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Miller is an unbelievable athlete. There isn’t a WR in this draft that can hold a candle to him athletically. His speed, acceleration, balance and body control is uncanny. He’s a home run threat and extremely versatile. Not only can he be an outstanding wideout, he will also make plays as a ball carrier and maybe even throw the ball. Still, he’s very raw. Miller was a quarterback until 2015 when he moved to wideout. In my eyes he’s a better version of Tavon Austin. Miller will have to work on his game, nonetheless, his potential appears to be unlimited. We’ve seen the Percy Harvins of the world fall flat in the past, though. He’s the most polarizing player on this list.