FanPost

For those who want a WR early in the 2014 Draft

Take a look at this. I found it through a simple google search. Let's see if you can identify who this person is

NO CHEATING!

Positives: Has a tall, thick frame, with long arms, large hands, thick thighs and calves and a big bubble … His long legs let him ride up on the defender quickly while looking effortless in his stride … Shows good closing speed running under sideline throws and the quickness to get into his routes without being impeded … Good power receiver on crossers and side-line throws, using his strength and size to shield the ball from defenders … Has strong hands to secure the ball before running (no fumbles) and the second gear to turn a short pass into a long gainer … Very physical in his initial step off the ball, but he also has the quickness to immediately defeat the press … Best when operating along the sidelines where he can build to top speed and maintain it throughout his route … Knows how to use his body and has a knack for finding the open spots in the zone … In man coverage, he is very adept at using his burst to separate consistently … Has the long arms and body control to go over people to get to the ball and did it with more regularity in 2006 than in the past … Knows how to get open and understands sticks and boundaries, doing a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds … Big target who can't be rerouted by a strong hand push and is learning how to use his long arms to go over defenders (did not have any passes deflected through five 2006 games, compared to 21 during the first 24 games of his career) … Can be very explosive in his rise and shows natural hand extension to reach and pluck away from the frame … Generates a strong jolt with them to defeat the press and works hard with his hands to sustain when blocking in-line … It is rare to see him use his body to field the ball, as he is perfectly capable of extending for the pass at its high point … Terrific load to bring down after the catch … Strong open field runner who will drag defenders when fighting for extra yardage … Even though there is not a lot of shake in his hips and he is a bit of a long strider, he runs with the power needed to break tackles consistently … Uses his hands with force to lock on and sustain and can generate devastating cut blocks in the open … Can dominate smaller defensive backs and shows good angles getting out to neutralize second level defenders … Stays low in his pads and shows good intent when delivering his hand punch vs. the bull rush … Has that deceptive burst that lets him gobble up the defender's cushion in an instant … Has excellent body control for a player his size, contorting and adjusting to get to the off-target throws with ease … Has the second gear needed to separate after the catch and demonstrates very good head fakes and spin moves to leave defenders grasping at air … Will not hesitate to stretch out and sacrifice his body to make the catch … Knows how to use his long legs to turn on the extra gear to get under the ball in a hurry … When he times his leaps and catches with fingers extended, he can reach and pluck the ball in jump ball battles.

Negatives: Has good overall body control, but sometimes does not play up to his timed speed … Even though he has good leaping ability, his timing is sometimes off, as he doesn't win as many jump ball battles as you would expect from a player of his size and arm extension … Demonstrates good toughness battling for the ball, but he has also left quite a few passes on the field, perhaps due to poor passing precision from the quarterback position, but he has caught only 127 of 271 passes thrown to him … For a player over 6:04 and with his jumping skills (45 inches) along with his long reach, it is hard to imagine the smaller cornerbacks having success in batting away 21 of those passes thrown to him the last two-plus years … Better down field than on deep routes, as he tends to lose sight of the ball over his head … Has some hip stiffness when trying to change direction and this will sometimes prevent him from making sharp cuts (takes wasted steps) … Needs to show better hip sink on his cuts … Tends to lose concentration working in a crowd, leading to several missed opportunities (hears defender's footsteps) … Gets his feet down properly when working along the side-lines, but must be more alert to the quarterback scramble … Despite his strength, he will struggle and get frustrated by a physical jam.

Compares To: ANDRE JOHNSON-Houston … Like Andre, he has a definite size advantage over most cornerbacks. He is a long strider with a good second gear and impressive leaping ability. He is not only a physical receiver, but has the quickness to instantly gobble up the cushion. He has also developed solid blocking skills, making him the most complete receiver in this draft.

If you guessed Calvin Johnson, you are absolutely correct. It's interesting that we look back and see the best WR in the NFL today had a problem with recognizing a scrambling QB, Catching in traffic, and a significant problem with cuts. Now, here's another one from another wide receiver. Try and guess this one. Once again... NO CHEATING! This was also found through a simple google search.

STRENGTHS: Smooth acceleration and doesn't take long to get up to full speed. Follows blocks well with controlled burst to weave through defenders - multiple gears to win at every level of the field.Sharp footwork off the line of scrimmage to beat press and get vertical with his galloping strides. Terrific body control and coordination with smooth hips and joints. Good depth in his routes with quick footwork in/out of his breaks, working the soft spots vs. zone. Above average ball skills and has shown steady improvements in this area over the years. Nice job adjusting his frame and watching the ball into his soft hands, snatching the ball and quickly getting upfield. Good hand size and uses his quick mitts to pluck off-target throws. Tracks well with the hands to highpoint and finish. Good patience before bursting to top speed and sets up his routes well - veteran at playing the ball and the defender. Dangerous catch-and-go pass catcher and will create yardage on his own, forcing poor angles by defenders. Tough and will lower his pads to initiate contact. Active blocker and gets the job done in this area. Versatile experience lining up wide, in the slot and in the backfield - also as an impact return man. Productive career, school-record for career receiving yards.

WEAKNESSES: Only average height with a leaner than ideal build, lacking elite muscle definition or strength. Lacks elite speed and more of a glider. Not overly physical and won't break many tackles. Hands are steady, but he'll have his share of focus drops, especially when he hears footsteps - a few botched returns on his resume. Room to improve his reliability on 50/50 passes. Minor durability concerns. Character needs investigated - arrested in May 2012 on drug-related charges.

COMPARES TO: Mix of Torrey Smith (Ravens) and Percy Harvin (Seahawks) - He has the size and vertical ability of Smith and the acceleration, toughness and multiple gears like Harvin.

If you guessed Sammy Watkins, you would be correct. One thing that struck me was that he was eerily similar to Calvin in the "Struggles when hearing footsteps" portion. Obviously, now that you know who this is, I will say this report isn't as complete as Calvin's was the day before the draft, but still.

Heres another one for you to try. Good luck with this one!

STRENGTHS: Highly physical receiver who uses his size and strength to simply bully defenders. Possesses an NFL-ready body, aiding him in his fight through press coverage, pushing off to generate consistent (if illegal) separation, when boxing out defenders on jump balls and in providing excellent downfield blocking for teammates. Possesses excellent body control and sticky hands to make difficult receptions. Shows the ability to track passes over either shoulder, as well as the balance and hand-eye coordination to turn and adjust to the ball. Excellent red-zone target. He challenges cornerbacks to tackle him, initiating the contact and, at times, dragging would-be tacklers for extra yardage. Does not possess elite burst but is a smooth accelerator with deceptive straight-line speed, making him a very effective deep threat.

WEAKNESSES: Classic long-strider who does not possess the preferred burst off the snap to instantly challenge defenders off the line or out of his breaks. Relies too much on his size and physicality to win at the catch-point because he struggles to gain consistent separation. Able to dominate the smaller, weaker corners at the collegiate level but could struggle to do so in the NFL.

COMPARES TO: Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Like Jackson, he is a huge target whose size, strength and body control make him equally dangerous when fighting off defenders for contested passes and when using his long strides as a deceptive deep threat.

If you guessed Mike Evans, you are correct. One thing that stuck out to me about Evans was that he could struggle to dominate smaller corners, also a concern of Calvin's when he came out. I've got a couple more of these, so I'm going to keep going. Here's another one.

POSITIVES: Nice-sized wide out who consistently makes positive plays for the offense. Extends and catches the pass away from his frame, boxes out defenders and effectively runs after the reception. Adjusts to the errant throw, reaching back to catch the ball without breaking stride. Settles into the open spot on the field, looks the pass into his hands and pulls the throw out of the air. Displays focus, concentration and timing.

NEGATIVES: Not quick off the line of scrimmage, lacks sharpness running routes and overall quickness. Does not have the second gear or have separation downfield.

ANALYSIS:A viable possession receiver at the next level who sneaks it downfield on occasion.

If I told you this guy played for Florida State, would that change your thought? At one point he was a projected 2nd rounder... Change your mind? Well, if you said Kelvin Benjamin, you were WRONG. This, my friends is Anquan Boldin. This game is fun! Try this one!

STRENGTHS

He possesses prototypical height, a wide catch-radius, and very good speed. A true vertical, big play threat. Explodes off the line. Eats up cushions immediately. Doesn't idle down in-and-out of his breaks. Displays the ability to uncover against zone. Can haul in the poorly thrown pass and wins most jump balls. Productive over the middle. Very competitive.

WEAKNESSES

Only possesses adequate bulk. Can be harassed at the line by physical press-man corners with good size. Bigger defensive backs will compete with him for 50-50's. Would like to see more sustained effort and physicality while run blocking. Suspended by NCAA for selling a jersey.

If I told you his comparison is Larry Fitzgerald, who would you think it is? This, is AJ Green! The thing that stuck out here was the "character concerns" that are similar to Watkins. Chances are Watkins concerns will be just like AJ Greens. None. Now, here's a good one.

STRENGTHS: Fluid and flexible athlete for his larger frame with room to get stronger. Deceiving acceleration with sharp cuts to be a dangerous catch-and-go pass catcher. Physical ballcarrier with balance and body strength to shake off defenders and pick up chunks of yards after contact. Does a nice job working back to the ball and finding soft spots in zones. Works well in traffic and tight areas to fight for the ball and win jump-ball situations. Uses his hands to fight through the jam and create room to work. Tough and won't shy from contact. Large catching radius with a good vertical to attack the ball. Willing blocker in run support.

WEAKNESSES: Average vertical speed. Upright route-runner and needs to tighten his footwork in/out of his breaks - will tip off defenders to his intended path and needs to better sell and deceive his patterns. Plays rushed at times and needs to stay under control through the snap, catch and whistle. Focus will run hot/cold at times and needs to be more reliable finishing with his hands - bad habit of making unnecessary body catches. Room to improve his field and spatial awareness along the sideline. Maturity needs to be investigated after a first half suspension in the 2013 season opener for "disciplinary issues."

COMPARES TO: Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers - He doesn't have elite speed, but like Boldin he is a good-sized athlete with deceiving acceleration and strength at the catch point to be both a possession target and big play-threat.

If you guessed somebody from this years draft,you are correct. This is one of my favorite receivers coming out this year, Allen Robinson. Tighten footwork in route-running? Drop passes with focus issues? Fluid athlete for larger frame with room to get stronger? This guy not only reminds me of Boldin, this guy could be the next Calvin Johnson. Plus, he can come back home to Michigan where he grew up. Next one!

STRENGTHS: Smooth athlete with very good acceleration to get up to top speed quickly. Terrific shake and burst out of his cuts to beat press and do something after the catch - dangerous with the ball. Excellent vision with dynamic moves. Good footwork, timing and depth in his routes to create separation and catch the ball well in stride. Much improved hands, doing a nice job elevating and extending to snare the ball from the air - large catching radius and tracks well. Ball appears to slow down for him at the catch point, making fluid adjustments with natural body control. Speedy and explosive return man on special teams with vision, awareness and toughness to create - two career punt returns for scores.

WEAKNESSES: Only average height and overall body strength - room to get stronger. Lacks elite speed and can be caught from behind by NFL DBs. Timid at times over the middle. Has improved leaps and bounds catching the ball with his hands, but he will still have the occasional drop off his mitts. Missed blocking assignment and needs technique work in this area. Room to improve his judgment and consistency fielding punts. Only 12 career receiving scores in 34 career starts.

Lacks Elite Speed. Haven't we seen that with almost everybody so far? Will still have occasional drops... Okay, sounds similar to everybody. Large catching radius like Calvin? Who is this guy, you may ask? Odell Beckham JR. As of right now, a guy projected by many to actually land here in the 2nd round. I've got one more "historical" and one more "modern" to go. Try this one.

Strengths

An absolute play maker at the wide receiver position. Does a great job going up and getting the ball at it’s highest point. Good body control. Will get physical and fight for the ball in the air with the defender. Big, physical guy that is hard for corners to push around and tackle. Very good after the catch, especially for a bigger wide receiver. Quicker on tape than his straight line speed indicates, but fast enough to stretch the field. There’s not an area of the field that he can’t successfully work. Isn’t afraid of contact and doesn’t get alligator arms when catching in traffic. Tracks the ball well while in the air. Displays good balance when changing directions. Ideal bulk and frame. Solid punt returner.

Weaknesses

Not a polished route runner by any means, as are most spread offense wide receivers. Though his hands are reliable, he’s dropped his share of passes he wishes he could have back. For a big guy, he’s not as good of a downfield blocker as you’d like to see and he sometimes seems disinterested when the play doesn’t involve him. Has some character/maturity concerns and was suspended for most of his junior season. Because of that, he has only seen 19 career starts and has only played in a total of 28 games.

Any guesses on this one? Sounds like a lot of different guys! Character concerns like Watkins, Good punt returner like Beckham, not a polished route runner like Calvin, dropped passes like many of them, good body control like Robinson, isn't afraid of contact like Robinson, is this guy a historical pick? Yes, this is Dez Bryant! Now, I've got one more. I'll give you a hint at least, as this one might be tough for some of you. He is a modern draft pick (coming out this season) so take some guesses. This one is really long though...

Positives: Route-Running: While speed is a nice attribute to have one of the best ways to create separation from the cornerback is by running crisp routes and creating that gap to separate yourself from the coverage. NFL coaches won’t have to spend extra time with him on improving his technique and teaching him how to run the route trees. He can line up on the outside or in the slot, showing the versatility that coaches will love to plug into their offense. He isn’t afraid to run a slant across the middle even if it means taking a big hit, and he can work off screens as well. Too many young wide receivers struggle to run the basic route tree and aren’t able to be as involved in their team’s offense as a rookie, as we have seen this year with Cordarrelle Patterson. He won’t face any of those issues when he is drafted and can become an instant-impact player once he hits the field. Hands: One most important skills to have if you want to be a successful wide receiver is solid route-running skills and knowledge of the basic route tree, but you also have to catch the football. Too many players have struggled to take advantage of their size or speed in the NFL because even when the ball is put right in between the numbers, they just can’t hold on to the ball. He has put up over 200 receptions the past two seasons and consistently put himself near the top in the country in receiving yards and receptions. He catches the football with his hands and doesn’t make some of the body catches that young receivers make. When the ball is thrown his way you know he is going to catch it and that will make him an extremely valuable asset when he arrives in the NFL.

Negatives: Athleticism: He won’t shine when the NFL Scouting Combine rolls around. While he has great size and should put up plenty of reps for the bench press, but he will fail to impress with his speed and athleticism. Often times you see breakthrough players at the combine who shine because they run a 4.3 40-yard dash. While Matthews isn’t slow, he won’t be able to stretch a defense and take a ball in space to break for a big play. He has some straight-line speed but you don’t see the same explosiveness and agility you will find from Sammy Watkins or Marqise Lee. He will be knocked for his speed during the combine and when his numbers are released from his Pro Day, they won’t stand out in the 2014 class. While he may not stand out to some, he is still a talented player who can more than make up for a lack of athleticism. Fighting for the Ball: One thing you would like to see him do more is use his size and strength to fight for the football and make tough, contested catches. He has the advantage over smaller defensive backs, but when he makes it to the NFL where a lot of cornerbacks are 6’0" or taller, he will struggle if he continues to ease up on the jump ball. He has the leaping ability to go up and get it but you just don’t see the mentality to fight for the football consistently. The size and physicality is there, he has the strong hands to secure the ball but he just needs to show more willingness to fight for every contested jump ball. If he can do that, it will put him in a position where his future quarterback can know he can make tough throws and Matthews will come down with the football.

NFL Player Comparison: James Jones, Green Bay Packers. When watching him, the one playing style that really stood out to me is Jones. He is two inches taller than Jones, but both players do an excellent job moving the chains and running crisp routes. Jones was productive for the Packers but didn’t have a breakout season until 2012 when he finished with 64 receptions for 784 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jones struggled more with drops early in his career but has shown a lot of improvement over the years becoming a vital piece in the Packers’ passing attack. The 2014 pick offers a similar skill set to Jones already coming out in 2014, but has the potential to have an even better career than Jones.

This one is Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt. I like how his 2 positives are hands and routes. Also, I would like to be able to have a Wide Receiver other than Calvin better than somebody on Green Bay! :) Note. Scouts also said Calvin would have a problem with fighting for the ball too. Just a note there.
So everybody, thank you all so much for playing my game with me! I hope you all had some fun, as well as learned something about some possible Lions WR prospects this year. I still have a couple more I will put in round 2, including Benjamin, Lee, and some others, as well as some more historicals to throw you off! Thanks for reading and see you on Round 2!

Click HERE for Part 2! :)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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