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alexthegr8
03-20-2010, 10:39 AM
Since we've seen a good number of pro days already, as well as the combine, I wanted to ascertain how people would configure their rankings of the top 5 receivers in this draft with the extra information available to them from the workout results. Also, provide explanations for each player's ranking if you have the time (I respect the opinions of a great many posters on this board, and I'm willing to be persuaded about a player one way or another if a cogent argument can be made for or agaisnt a player.) My rankings are:

1) Dez Bryant- Enormous physical potential. Very good feet for a bigger receiver, and tremendous ability to track and high point the football. Character concerns perhaps, but when on top of his game he can control or break open a game.

2) Demaryius Thomas- Physical specimen that is awash with talent. Has the speed, size, hand eye coordination, strength and hands to be a number one wideout in the NFL. Not pro ready in the sense that he hasn't had experience in a pro-style offense, but can have an immediate impact in the league running the 9 route, and can contribute in the redzone while he refines the rest of his game.

3) Arrelious Benn- Physical beast. An Anquan Boldin type projection is very realistic for him (although he has better physical tools than Boldin. Hasn't proven that he has Boldin's intangibles as of yet though), and if all breaks well for him (if he becomes a better roue runner, improves his feel for the position etc), he could end up an Eric Moulds type number one receiver. Physical, strong, fast and tough. Production wasn't what you would expect a top wideout to have, but the terrible qb situation he had at Illinois is a mitigating factor in my mind. Needs to improve consistency to achieve potential.

4) Golden Tate-Smallish, ultra productive receiver who can contribute to a team in a multitude of ways; slot wideout, punt returner, z wideout etc. The Steve Smith comparisons are over the top IMO (he's not as explosive, aggressive or agile as Smith is IMO), but he has the chance to be a very useful player to the club that drafts him.

5) Jordan Shipley- smart, productive, tough, sure handed receiver with the potential to be a very good complementary receiver in the NFL.

FUNBUNCHER
03-20-2010, 11:02 AM
Like your analysis, not sure I'd put Shipley at #5, I might go with Gilyard at this point.

As for the Golden Tate/Steve Smith comparisons, after Tate ran an unofficial 4.3 at the combine, I don't think it's unreasonable to make that parallel.
Although I don't believe Tate is a #1 WR like Smith, I do think he could be a devastating #2 and/or slot WR.

Babylon
03-20-2010, 11:34 AM
Since we've seen a good number of pro days already, as well as the combine, I wanted to ascertain how people would configure their rankings of the top 5 receivers in this draft with the extra information available to them from the workout results. Also, provide explanations for each player's ranking if you have the time (I respect the opinions of a great many posters on this board, and I'm willing to be persuaded about a player one way or another if a cogent argument can be made for or agaisnt a player.) My rankings are:

1) Dez Bryant- Enormous physical potential. Very good feet for a bigger receiver, and tremendous ability to track and high point the football. Character concerns perhaps, but when on top of his game he can control or break open a game.

2) Demaryius Thomas- Physical specimen that is awash with talent. Has the speed, size, hand eye coordination, strength and hands to be a number one wideout in the NFL. Not pro ready in the sense that he hasn't had experience in a pro-style offense, but can have an immediate impact in the league running the 9 route, and can contribute in the redzone while he refines the rest of his game.

3) Arrelious Benn- Physical beast. An Anquan Boldin type projection is very realistic for him (although he has better physical tools than Boldin. Hasn't proven that he has Boldin's intangibles as of yet though), and if all breaks well for him (if he becomes a better roue runner, improves his feel for the position etc), he could end up an Eric Moulds type number one receiver. Physical, strong, fast and tough. Production wasn't what you would expect a top wideout to have, but the terrible qb situation he had at Illinois is a mitigating factor in my mind. Needs to improve consistency to achieve potential.

4) Golden Tate-Smallish, ultra productive receiver who can contribute to a team in a multitude of ways; slot wideout, punt returner, z wideout etc. The Steve Smith comparisons are over the top IMO (he's not as explosive, aggressive or agile as Smith is IMO), but he has the chance to be a very useful player to the club that drafts him.

5) Jordan Shipley- smart, productive, tough, sure handed receiver with the potential to be a very good complementary receiver in the NFL.

I wouldnt have Shipley or Benn in the top 5. I really dont see anyone standing out from the rest but would loosely rank them;

Bryant
Thomas
Tate
Williams
Cooper
Benn
Decker
Gilyard
LaFell
Shipley

wicket
03-20-2010, 11:43 AM
Im still having trouble with Damaryius Thomas so high, the guy has some physical talents but he hasnt shown the ability to make good cuts nor does he have the wiggle to beat the guys in the open field, not entirely sure he can be more than just a straight line deap threat

SenorGato
03-20-2010, 11:54 AM
Yea, I really like DeMaryius Thomas but I think Gilyard and Williams are better, safer picks at WR.

The gap between Bryant and the rest of this group is huge...holy crap.

Morton
03-20-2010, 12:02 PM
Dez Bryant >>>>>>> the rest.

This is a weak class for WRs except for Dez, who's probably going to be the next Andre Johnson.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 07:03 PM
I posted an earlier post-Combine list in another forum. My lists assume PPR fantasy value (which raises the value of slot/possession receivers. I also do not factor in any projected return yardage, as my fantasy leagues do not give credit for this. For this reason, a guy like Mardy Gilyard is lower on my list than he otherwise would be - I believe he will likely be mostly a return specialist in the NFL with only incidental value as a WR.) It is based on my guess of expected productivity at the next level - I do not try to correlate to the order in which these guys will actually be drafted.

Upon further review - after re-looking at combine stats, college productivity, and notes from All-Star games, here are the major changes I made to my post-combine WR rankings. (Other players may have coincidently moved up a slot or two based on the movement of these eight players)

Moved up:
Eric Decker from 14th to 9th - The more I looked at his college productivity, work ethic and reviewed his under-rated athletecism, I can't help believe that he could be an excellent possession receiver in the Houshmandzedah mold.

Andre Roberts moved up from 18th to 12th - An excellent and very productive athlete who did nothing but help himself with his Senior Bowl effort and his all-around combine.

Riley Cooper moved from 22 to 14 - again, with Cooper I reviewed my Senior Bowl notes and his over-all combine, particularly his position drills. I love his long frame and his 10 3/8" hands are second largest to Demaryious Williams (10 1/2" hands).

Scott Long moved up from 24th to 15th - I read up a lot about this guy since my initial pos-combine ranking. He's my target for mid to late 2nd round (I've got two second round picks) in my rookie draft. He came back from a broken foot and a torn ACL in 2008 to put up 53 catches in 2009. But now that he's a year away from the ACL, here's what he did at the Combine: Came in 1st among WRs with 20 reps on the bench, 1st among WRs with a 41.5 vertical leap, 1st among WRs in the 3 cone drill. He looked good in all the position drills and every short drill was among the quickest of any WR there.

Moved down:
Brandon Lafell fell from 4th to 6th - His tiny hands and lack of over-all athletecisim drops him below Damian Williams and Shipley.

Freddie Barnes from 9th to 16th - Freddie did not get a combine invite and he had a very poor Pro Day - posting a slow 4.6 40 and a poor 31" vertical jump. Makes me wonder if his production at Bowling Green will really translate to the NFL. I like Freddie's game, but I fear he may have reached his ceiling already, and his college productivity may be as good as it gets for him.

Dorin Dickerson from 13th to 22nd - I still like this TE/WR/HBack tweener, but felt I had him over-rated based on the Post-combine "hype" because he was listed as a TE.

Marcus Easley from 23 to below 25 (IMO WRs below these top 25 are probably not worth drafting in a four round rookie draft) He's just a total reach - a 6'3" project with only one year of any real production and with the smallest hands (8 1/2") of any WR at the combine.

------------------------
I am really not too enamored with any WRs below the top 3. But some guys I really like at their (revised) ranking slots are: Yes, he IS in the top 3, but I'm a big fan of Demaryius Thomas. (IMO he could end up being as good or even being better NFL WR than Dez Bryant). Outside the top 3 I like Decker (just compare his college productivity to Benn's); Emmanuel Sanders (I like his potential as a small slot guy just about as much as Damian Williams and Shipley); and especially Scott Long for where I have them ranked. And once you get outside the top 15, I believe the talent level again falls fairly steeply.

Guys in the top 15 I'd rather not have to make a decision to draft in my dynasty leagues: Lafell, Arrelious Benn (I see him more like Roy Williams than Anquan Boldin - as one guy said: "His career so far represents Islands of Brilliance in an Ocean of Mediocrity"), and Carleton Mitchell.

So, for those who might care, here's my final pre-draft ranking (after the draft, I will try to factor in the 'situation' and merge the WRs with the RBs, QBs and TEs):

1. Dez Bryant
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Golden Tate
4. Damian Williams
5 Jordan Shipley
6. Brandon LaFell
7. Arrelius Benn
8. Carleton Mitchell
9. Eric Decker
10. Emmanuel Sanders
11. Jacoby Ford
12. Andre Roberts
13. Blair White
14. Riley Cooper
15. Scott Long
16. Freddie Barnes
17. Mike Williams
18. Mardy Gilyard
19. Taylor Price
20. Kerry Meier
21. Jeremy Williams
22. Dorin Dickerson
23. Seji Ajirotutu
24. Dezmon Briscoe
25. Stephen Williams

K Train
03-20-2010, 07:10 PM
damn, 18 for gilyard? thats a little harsh.

Im really high on gilyard personally, hes a santonio holmes clone and was faster than i thought hed bed

Bryant-by default i dont really like him

Tate-Not steve smith, not hines ward...but would be the outcome if they had an illegitimate love child

Benn-Raw, but hes actually kind of growing on me

Thomas-Got some work to do but a premier talent

Gilyard- Will be the msot productive rookie WR next year

Lafell-idk why people are so down on him lately

Damien Williams-Awesome talent in his own right, hes gotta overcome that usc wr curse though...defintiely has a good chance to do it though

All these guys are first/fringe first/second round talents

and yet none of them are anywhere near the jones/green/floyd/baldwin class

RealityCheck
03-20-2010, 07:58 PM
Dez
Bay Bay
Regus
Mardy
Golden
D-Will
Shipleyzzz
Deckerzzz
LaFell
Cooperzzz

And Gilyard isn't the #18 WR.
LEAVE MARDY ALONE!!!!

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 08:45 PM
Not to hijack this thread, but FWIW here are my notes on Mardy Gilyard. My fantasy teams don't count return yardage, which is what I believe will be his main contribution in the NFL. I don't believe he's fast enough to be a vertical threat, and I think his hands and his lack of route running prowess mean he's a year or more away from becoming any kind of NFL slot receiver. He could become a decent slot guy but it will be an uphill climb. I love his story and his attitude and I wish him well, but I stand by my scepticism.

18. Mardy Gilyard 6’ 0” 187 Cincinnati DOB December 2, 1986 (age 23)
Mardy Gilyard was a back-up cornerback who converted to a big play wide receiver. Gilyard is extremely explosive and his ability to make plays is impressive. But because he has inconsistent hands and a rail-thin frame, Gilyard may be a risk as a wide receiver, although he is a dangerous return man (who could even play some corner if necessary). He will struggle to consistently beat press coverage and to separate downfield against physical corners. He also got negative marks at the Senior Bowl practices because of his inconsistent hands. He very often body catching passes instead of reaching out with his hands, dropping way too many passes. He has a tendency to drop his hands while running his routes, causing a slow reaction time to fast and early passes. His poor hands techniques could mean he may need a couple of years to be a reliable starter. His route tree was also severely limited due to a spread attack that incorporated shorter routes to use his tremendous skills after the catch. He gets up to speed quickly, but is more quick than fast. He lacks the top-end speed to simply run by NFL-calibre corners, but he is just very creative in the open field with exceptional instincts and vision. He’s willing, he’s just not big enough to be a very effective downfield blocker. But Gilyard does play bigger than his size and he loves the game. Effort won’t ever be an issue with him. He shows up bigger on game days - in the Senior Bowl game he caught 5 passes for over 100 yards.
Year GP REC YDS YPC TD
2005 8 0 0 0.0 0
2006 red shirt due to academic grades
2007 12 36 536 14.9 3
2008 14 81 1,276 15.8 11
2009 13 87 1,191 13.7 11
Totals 47 204 3,003 14.7 25
Senior year % of his team’s offense: 20.5%; % of passing offense 29%; % of total TDs 17.5%; % of passing TDs 28.2%
COMBINE: Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard's forty time was a slightly disappointing 4.56. He did post a nice 39-inch vertical.

FUNBUNCHER
03-20-2010, 08:56 PM
I like the Santonio Holmes comparison for Gilyard.
I dunno, I just like the guy and think he's gonna be an impact player early.

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 09:05 PM
The latest WR rankings I've put together. I still think Dez is far and away the best receiver in this class. Joe Webb from UAB with a big move up after a huge Pro Day workout.

1. Dez Bryant - Oklahoma State - Top 15 pick*
2. Demaryius Thomas - Georgia Tech - Top 32 pick*
3. Golden Tate - Notre Dame - Late 1st-Early 2nd*
4. Arrelious Benn - Illinois - Late 1st-Early 2nd*
5. Damian Williams - USC - Early-Mid 2nd*
6. Mardy Gilyard - Cincinnati - Mid 2nd-Early 3rd
7. Eric Decker - Minnesota - Late 2nd-Late 3rd
8. Brandon LaFell - LSU - Second Round
9. Andre Roberts - The Citadel - Late 2nd-Mid 3rd
10. Riley Cooper - Florida - Early 3rd-Early 4th
11. Jacoby Ford - Clemson - Mid 3rd-Early 4th
12. Jordan Shipley - Texas - Early 4th-Early 5th
13. Jeremy Williams - Tulane - Mid 3rd-Early 4th
14. Carlton Mitchell - South Florida - Late 3rd-Early 5th*
15. Blair White - Michigan State - Late 3rd-Late 4th
16. Joe Webb - UAB - Late 4th-Early 6th
17. Dezmon Briscoe - Kansas - Late 4th-6th Round*
18. Antonio Brown - Central Michigan - Early 5th-Early 6th
19. Dorin Dickerson - Pittsburgh - Late 4th-Mid 6th (TE/H-B)
20. Danario Alexander - Missouri - 6th Round-UDFA
21. Freddie Barnes - Bowling Green - Late 5th-7th Round
22. Shay Hodge - Mississippi - 6th-7th Round
23. Taylor Price - Ohio - Early 5th-6th Round
24. Scott Long - Louisville - 6th-7th Round
25. Mike Williams - Syracuse - 7th Round-UDFA
26. Naaman Roosevelt - Buffalo - 7th Round-UDFA
27. Preston Parker - North Alabama - 7th Round-UDFA
28. Seyi Ajirotutu - Fresno State - 6th Round-7th Round
29. Donald Jones - Youngstown State - 6th Round-UDFA
30. Marcus Easley - Connecticut - Late 5th-7th Round

RealityCheck
03-20-2010, 09:08 PM
COMBINE: Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard's forty time was a slightly disappointing 4.56. He did post a nice 39-inch vertical.

Yeah, Brandon LaFell runs a 4.7 and you still have him at #6, despite the fact that Mardy was way more productive in college than him.

Mardy is a top 5 WR and a late 1st-early 2nd pick. Deal with it.

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 09:15 PM
Yeah, Brandon LaFell runs a 4.7 and you still have him at #6, despite the fact that Mardy was way more productive in college than him.

Mardy is a top 5 WR and a late 1st-early 2nd pick. Deal with it.

I don't know any teams that are considering Mardy in the late 1st. He's much more likely to fall to the top of the 3rd than sneak into that opening round. He's very smooth, he beats the jam well, and as some others have suggested there is a resemblance in his game to Santonio Holmes. Still, the concerns about his physicality/weight and role in the NFL will keep him out of consideration in the Late 1st-Early 2nd. He has a chance to develop into a real steal for someone, but I think we'll see him come off the board Mid-Late 2nd (with a chance of dropping to the Third.)

I've watched plenty of UC over the past two years and root for them the same way I do Ohio State. Mardy's just not big or physical, nor is he a burner. He's a playmaker, but he doesn't have the deep speed to be that same type of player at the next level. His game will need some adjustment, but I expect he'll develop into a very productive #2/#3 WR and a serviceable return man.

Halsey
03-20-2010, 09:39 PM
People may be down on Dez Bryant, but it's clear the guy has pro bowl WR potential. If he can stay out of trouble and keep his ego in check, he's gonna have a nice career.

bored of education
03-20-2010, 09:45 PM
Most very good WR's have egos its rare to find the ones like Larry Fitz and Andre. Plus Dez hasn't done anything off the field that would raise one red flag for me

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 09:49 PM
Most very good WR's have egos its rare to find the ones like Larry Fitz and Andre. Plus Dez hasn't done anything off the field that would raise one red flag for me

He had to be woken up for class a few times & he suffered a minor injury before the combine! Red flags ;)

Dez should be a top tier receiver in the league and these "character issues" that are killing his stock (in the media) are unbelievably overblown. I prefer him to the me-first attitude of Michael Crabtree and there should be no question about his deep speed. Bryant's going to make the team that drafts him very happy. If I were Cleveland at 7th Overall I'd give him a very long llok, though I think he's more likely to go in the 9-12 range with Buffalo, Jacksonville, Denver, and Miami sitting there.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 10:06 PM
Yeah, Brandon LaFell runs a 4.7 and you still have him at #6, despite the fact that Mardy was way more productive in college than him.

Mardy is a top 5 WR and a late 1st-early 2nd pick. Deal with it.

LaFell ran an 'official' 4.59 at the combine; Gilyard ran a 4.56. While to be honest. I'm not super high on LaFell either, here's a statistical comparison:

6. Brandon LaFell, 6’ 2 ˝” 211 LSU
Senior Yr % of team offense 20%; % of passing offense 33.6%; % of Total Tds 32.4%, % of passing Tds 58%
COMBINE: LaFell ran a forty time of 4.6-flat. That time by itself shouldn’t hurt him too much as he is a seen as a solid possession receiver, however all of his drills were poor and for a player who was supposed to be top caliber, he didn't look the part.

18. Mardy Gilyard 6’ 0” 187 Cincinnati
Senior year % of his team’s offense: 20.5%; % of passing offense 29%; % of total TDs 17.5%; % of passing TDs 28.2%
COMBINE: Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard's forty time was a slightly disappointing 4.56. He did post a nice 39-inch vertical.

In addition to the physical differences between the two, I would maintain that LaFell far was more productive for his team at LSU than Mardy was as a percentage of his team's high scoring offense. I would also suggest that LSU faced a vastly tougher schedule than did Cincinnati.

So I'm not buying what you are selling.

bored of education
03-20-2010, 10:08 PM
LSU's offense was a lot less productive regardless of competition faced.. so comparing a percentage of offense in itself is skewed.

Splat
03-20-2010, 10:09 PM
People may be down on Dez Bryant, but it's clear the guy has pro bowl WR potential. If he can stay out of trouble and keep his ego in check, he's gonna have a nice career.

I agree some what.

I would not be willing to risk taking him in the top ten if I was GM.

bored of education
03-20-2010, 10:10 PM
I would guess percentage of targets compared to actually receptions or receptions compared to balls that actually hit hands would all also favor Gilyard. But I like both Gilyard and Lafell

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 10:20 PM
In addition to the physical differences between the two, I would maintain that LaFell far was more productive for his team at LSU than Mardy was as a percentage of his team's high scoring offense. I would also suggest that LSU faced a vastly tougher schedule than did Cincinnati.

So I'm not buying what you are selling.

How the hell does that matter? Gilyard was far more productive.

120 rec 1721 yds 19 Td
168 rec 2467 yds 22 Td; 5 return Td; 1 rushing = 28 Td

Over the past two years it seems pretty cut & dry that Gilyard was the far more productive player. What does the % of his team's passing Td matter? Gilyard did much more over the past two years. Being unproductive isn't a positive, even if you make it relative to his team's offense & competition.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 10:21 PM
LSU's offense was a lot less productive regardless of competition faced.. so comparing a percentage of offense in itself is skewed.

I agree with the first part of your statement - LSU's offense did not run nearly as many plays either because their TEAM was not as good.

However, I think comparing the absolute numbers in abstract absolutes is a much much more skewed approach than are numbers that compare to their total team stats. In other words. it should be no reflection of LaFell that he played for a much crappier passing team. He did more with his more limited chances. LSU's offense completed 198 passes of which LaFell had 57 catches for 11 TDs. Cincinnati completed 311 team passes of which Gilyard caught 87 of them. And with over 50% more opportunities, Gilyard had the exact same number of 11 receivingTDs.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 10:34 PM
How the hell does that matter? Gilyard was far more productive.

120 rec 1721 yds 19 Td
168 rec 2467 yds 22 Td; 5 return Td; 1 rushing = 28 Td

Over the past two years it seems pretty cut & dry that Gilyard was the far more productive player. What does the % of his team's passing Td matter? Gilyard did much more over the past two years. Being unproductive isn't a positive, even if you make it relative to his team's offense & competition.

With all due respect, I actually like your ranking very much from a NFL draft standpoint. But -as I clearly stated in introducing my rankings - my ranking of Gilyard is only considering his value as a receiver only in PPR dynasty leagues where his return yards don't count. (this also eliminated 4 of his TDs from the productivity calculation). So we are ranking these players by an entirely different set of criteria. I look at these prospects from a dynasty point of view only, I am not a draftnik like most on this board.

But, yes, if you use the argument that productivity DOES matter (which I believe is only one criteria of comparison anyway - and productivity was RealityCheck's main argument, not mine) then believe you have to look at the opportunities each player had to be productive, and Gilyard had over 50% more opportunities simply because his team threw over 50% more passes.

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 10:45 PM
With all due respect, I actually like your ranking very much from a NFL draft standpoint. But -as I clearly stated - my ranking of Gilyard is only considering his value in PPR dynasty leagues where his return yards don't count. so we are ranking these players by a different set of criteria.

But, yes, if you use the argument that productivity DOES matter (which I beieve is only one criteria of comparison anyway, then believe you have to look at the opportunities each player had to be productive, and Gilyard had over 50% more opportunities simply because his team threw over 50% more passes.

I understand the argument you're trying to make, I just don't like it in the case of LaFell/Gilyard. As a guy that watched a ton of UC games with Mardy and a fair amount of LSU over the past three years I couldn't conclude that LaFell was more indispensable or a bigger part of his team's offense. Gilyard was the biggest reason for that team's success (we saw Collaros when Pike went out) as he was worlds above #2 receiver Armon Binns in terms of his development.

Missed (or misinterpreted) the part about the Fantasy league. As LaFell is a bit more of a drop-prone boom-or-bust I have a bit more confidence in Gilyard's ability to be a productive NFL player.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 10:51 PM
As I also stated Pudge, if you read my rather lengthly 'preamble' in its entirety, I am not in love with Lafell either.

ThePudge
03-20-2010, 11:25 PM
As I also stated Pudge, if you read my rather lengthly 'preamble' in its entirety, I am not in love with Lafell either.

My mistake man, I'm at my girlfriend's this week and I only have been able to read/write bits & pieces of what I'd normally do. Still not in love with the rankings, but I'm not that big a fantasy football guy so I probably wouldn't know best.

Twinkle Toes
03-20-2010, 11:51 PM
LOL: Yea, I know it's hard to multi-task Football with other things that start with F.

And on further review, I prolly have LaFell too high in my rankings.

But a little guy I really like is Emmanuel Sanders of SMU and he's nowhere to be found in your rankings at all....oversight or what?