Photo Credit: ndinsider.com
NFL Draft: Top 5 Draft Eligible WR’s
Wide receiver is a position of need in today’s NFL. With the passing game being at the forefront of most NFL offenses, WR’s are a position picked in the draft at a high volume. After a couple of years of exciting WR classes, The 2018 NFL draft WR class doesn’t bring the same punch. There is no Julio Jones, or AJ Green, but there are some good receivers who can make teams in need of WR’s find someone to fill that void.
5. Anthony Miller SR/Memphis
- Great route runner, displaying quick change of direction, and excels in double moves.
- Tracks the football in the air well on deep throws, being able to adjust, find the ball, and make a play.
- Clutch player, makes his best plays on third down, and in the fourth.
- While he makes good highlight catches, he doesn’t show consistent hands.
- Can struggle with physical corners during press coverage.
Anthony Miller is a great story. He is a former walk-on who received no offers in high school, and now he is a potential first round pick. Miller had an explosive season, with 92 catches and 1407 yards per sports-reference.com. He is a great route runner who can make DB’s look silly if they don’t get their hands on him in press coverage. He can be an immediate deep threat at the next level with his ability to track the football, and the speed to get deep. His inconsistent hands keep him from being higher on this list.
4. Michael Gallup SR/Colorado St.
- Good quickness allows him to get DB’s off balance when releasing against press.
- Very good adjust and body control, able to adjust to throws high, using his big frame to catch jump balls.
- Natural hand catcher, allowing him to make tough catches in traffic, displaying great concentration.
- Can struggle to separate on deep routes, not having the speed to get past defenders, relying on back shoulders and jump balls.
Michael Gallup has had a productive career at Colorado State, and is the best Senior WR in the class. He racked up 100 catches, and 1400 yards per sports-reference.com for a great senior year. Michael Gallup projects to the next level based on his success against press, and shows great hands to catch tough passes in traffic. His 40 time will decide his draft position with his deep speed coming into question.
3. Calvin Ridley JR/Alabama
- Has quick change of direction at the top of his route at the short and intermediate levels.
- Good YAC ability, able to get up field quickly after catches, with fluid movement to get position quickly for YAC.
- Good acceleration in release and angles well into his stem.
- Struggles to beat press coverage, does not show the play strength to fight through pressure and can be pushed around easily at the LOS.
Calvin Ridley has been the primary deep threat in a run first Bama offense for the past 3 seasons. While his numbers aren’t as hefty as the previous prospects, he displays all the traits for him to be a Top 15 pick in the 2018 draft. The only thing that worries me about Ridley is his ability to beat press. He did not show he could do this consistently in college against top competition in the SEC. This might hold him back on Sundays.
2. Christian Kirk JR/Texas A&M
- Great COD on short and intermediate routes and easily creates space at the top of his stem with fluid motion in routes.
- Great separation on deep routes, able to sell double moves well with great start and stop speed.
- Very good YAC ability, being tough to take down in open space, and excellent returning punts.
- Can struggle to bring in 50/50 balls.
Christian Kirk is a dynamic play-maker who can help any offense. He is a very efficient route runner who reminds you a lot of Odell Beckham Jr. He might become one of the most dangerous play-makers returning punts as soon as he steps into the NFL. I see Kirk as a surefire Top 10 pick in the 2018 draft since he has everything you want in a receiver.
1. Equanimeous St. Brown JR/Norte Dame
- Great YAC ability with great speed and quickness to take bubble screen and drags routes to the house.
- Smooth route runner with great change of direction and never loses speed when making cuts.
- Great hands making tough catches in traffic
- Great on deep routes, able to track the ball in the air well, and creates separation late to make a play on the ball.
- Doesn’t have the production to match the ability.
The one word to describe St. Brown is smooth. He is a smooth route runner, smooth catching the football, and smooth when making defenders miss in the open field. A run-heavy ND offense kept him from putting up big numbers in 2017 and this might hurt his draft status. His ability will stand out throughout the process and we will see him rise up boards by the time April comes around.