Forgive the lateness of my posting about a week since my last big board. I have been much busier at work and am expecting a TAW Jr. as well. Without further ado here is the final installment of my big board, receiver. I noticed there were plenty of players to look at and decided to select the few that stood out to me. I appreciate your input as usual.
AJ Green – UGA
This young man is being considered heavily by Carolina at number one. He is a physically imposing figure blessed with the ability to snare passes out of the air average receivers would not even attempt to make. He reminds me so much of a young Randy Moss on film. He reminds so much of Randy as a matter of fact due to his immediate success at Georgia and also his need to work on route running. I personally think Georgia under-utilized this talent and would have liked to see what he could do on returns since he looks so smooth on bubble screens and reverses. Unlike Moss however, he will not drop to number 21.
Julio Jones – Alabama
I actually like this kid more than Green personally. He was used on returns which would show his versatility as well as willingness to do whatever asked of him. He doesn’t make as many circus catches as Green but is much better after the catch. Ever since Jerry Rice made it the norm NFL scouts understand the value of this feature. He does have a problem with drops which will hurt his stock and also needs to work on his route running. One thing that did bother me was I rarely saw him in press coverage. In fact, Alabama even started playing him in the slot more often later this season which hopefully has more to do with putting him in better match-ups than the fact he can’t get a release off the bump.
Jonathan Baldwin - Pitt
At 6-5, 225 lbs, you better pay attention to a player of his stature whether he can catch or not. He can though and has shown it on multiple occasions. His size makes him a difficult match-up for any corner and is a great red-zone threat. His leaping ability and strength has me convinced if he can’t make it in the NFL he can be a double-double guy in the NBA. Some question his ability to get separation and ability to cut in and out of his breaks which may drop him into the 2nd round depending on how leery some teams are of his development at the next level.
Randall Cobb – Kentucky
Wildcat? More like wild card. I have to place him on this list just because he is the best football player in this category. In spite of his size I’m sure if asked he could line up at OLB and DB and rush the QB as well as cover the opposition’s best player. He averaged 188 all purpose yards in thirteen games last season playing receiver, at times QB, and returning punts. Also he scored rushing, passing, receiving, punt return, and passing for a TD on a fake field goal. He also scored 2-pt conversions via pass, rush and receiving. He doesn’t have ideal size but then again neither did Tim Brown or Jacoby Ford. The main knock on his is maturity as he decided to forgo his senior season instead of improving his draft stock for 2012 and being a sure-fire Heisman candidate.
Leonard Hankerson – Miami FL
Another product of "The U" who has all the measurables you can ask for standing at 6’3 215 pounds. He also has had professional mentoring since he was a high school player with former All-Pro Cris Carter as his position coach and having 11 year veteran receiver Mark Duper working out with him prior to his senior campaign. He has issues with drops mainly caused by concentration as well as consistency. Of course watching him at the Sun Bowl, he was the lone bright spot and once Jacory Harris was benched was able to show what he was capable of. He did have a great Senior Bowl not including the practice week heading into the game but with a great combine or pro day can move likely into the late first round.
Greg Salas – Hawaii
Is he Davone Bess or another Ashley Lelie? We can’t say for sure but you must factor his size and production. He doesn’t wow you with ability and may be a product of the Hawaii passing attack but can be a steal if used correctly. He doesn’t look like a number one receiver at the next level but could develop into a good slot receiver or possible number two with a strong number one option across from him.
Austin Pettis – Boise St.
Unless you live under a rock, you know I love this kid much more as an NFL prospect than his speedier ex-teammate Titus Young. He has better size at 6’3 200+ lbs and on a team that dominated everyone his entire career had great production. He doesn’t have great speed and many question his competition playing in the WAC but then again Oakland needs a possession receiver and he is as solid a prospect as there is in that regard in the 2011 draft.
Armon Binns – Cincinnati
A late round prospect that had 1100 yards and 10 TDs in 2010 against BCS conference competition is nothing to scoff at. He was a first team all Big East selection, has good size 6’2 210 lbs and averaged 15 yards per reception the past two seasons. If he can have a good 40 time he will improve his draft stock dramatically.