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Addressing Needs Through the Draft – Wide Receiver


Even though Les Snead and Jeff Fisher are say that they are committed to the receiving core they already have, it would not be a shock to anyone if the duo decided to go after a big bodied receiver in this draft. If Snead and Fisher decide that they do not want to go after Clowney with the number two over all pick this opens up a lot of possibilities to trade down to the Browns’ spot at number 4 or Atlanta’s spot at number 6. It’s probably pretty safe to say that Sammy Watkins will not get past Oakland at number 5, so if the Rams wanted to get the best receiver on the board they will have to stay above Oakland. This all being said, let’s take a look at what receivers the Rams could draft in every part of the draft.


Day 1: Round 1


There are about five wide receivers in this draft that are considered to be first round talents. Right off the bat I am going to eliminate Marquise Lee and Odell Beckham Jr. because they are both undersized receivers at about six foot and are similar to the receivers already on the roster. This leaves us the Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Kelvin Benjamin. All of the receivers would be great picks for the Rams, they are all big but Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin both are 6-4 and weigh 225-230 pounds.


Sammy Watkins (Clemson) – Watkins is hands down the best receiving talent in the draft; he is a straight blazer, high points the ball well, solid hands, runs well after the catch, runs the screen game well, and is a great returner. His only negative is that he could be a product of a system under a great offense at Clemson. But, because it would require such a high pick to get Watkins, it might be more attractive to target Evans or Benjamin later in the draft.


Mike Evans (Texas A&M) – Evans silenced critics of his speed by running a 4.47 at the combine, he has a limited route tree but that can be worked on once he is on a team. Evans high points the ball well and has very solid hands. He supported Manziel’s improvisational game very well and will go and fight or any ball.


Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State) – Benjamin is very raw but has great size, separates well from defenders, has great hands, and has a very high ceiling. At the end of the day, any of these prospects would be great targets for the Rams; they just have to decide exactly where they want to position themselves to get the prospect they want.


The Pick – Mike Evans. Although he is not is good as Watkins, he closed the gap with his combine workout and showed he can be a legit number one and can be picked up in picks 10-15.


Day 2: Rounds 2-3


Now that we are in rounds 2-3 and there are around 7 or 8 prospects that could be picked some where in this range. But, once again we’re going to eliminate around 4 of these guys right off the bat because they are under 6 foot and too similar to receivers already on the roster. This leaves us with Donte Moncrief, Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, and Brandon Coleman.


Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss) – Right off the bat Donte Moncrief looks extremely interesting; he’s 6-3 and ran a 4.4 at the combine and he’s a great deep threat. Even though he’s physically very intriguing, he traps a lot of balls against his body and tends to drop the ball, his route running is questionable, and he doesn’t play up to his size.


Allen Robinson (Penn State) – Robinson is also 6-3 but he is a little thin at 210 pounds. Robinson has a high football IQ and already has a very developed pro-style route tree that he can run. He beats the press very well and runs well after the catch. Robinson is not a refined blocker, he does not high point the ball well, he is not very fast, and needs to use lots of moves to clear coverage. Robinson could make up for a lot of his downfalls with his work ethic and high IQ.


Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt) – Matthews is built a lot like Robinson at 6-3 but only weighing 206 pounds. Matthews has shown high production throughout his career by breaking multiple SEC receiving records. Matthews has high IQ and showed surprising speed with a long stride. He also runs clean routes, blocks very well, and has shown high maturity throughout his career. He is not a great runner with the ball in his hands, he lacks extreme explosion, and has bit of a temper on the field.


Brandon Coleman (Rutgers) – Coleman’s biggest upside is his massive frame, as he is the only 6-5 receiver in this draft and carries good size. He is a solid blocker and shows good leadership ability. Coleman did not play against top talent at Rutgers and relied on his extreme size to playa against less talented defensive backs and linebackers. He does not catch the ball well and shows blow average explosion. He’s a decent route runner but takes a lot of time to make moves and cuts.


The Pick – Allen Robinson or Jordan Matthews. It’s a toss up between these two prospects. Both of them hold extreme value if they are picked up in the second round or lower. Both prospects have great frames and are very intelligent. Matthews shows better leadership and intangibles but Robinson runs better with the ball after the catch. Both of these receivers would be great possession guys of the Rams and would add a different wrinkle to the offense. The difference between these two would probably come down to their one and one interviews and workouts with the team.


Day 3: Rounds 4-7


This is when the picks start getting tough and the true draft gurus start to show their genius. At this point there are about 40 wide receiver prospects left in the draft that all could show some value in the lower rounds. Once again, we are going to eliminate a large number of these prospects based on need and what the Rams are looking for. In the later rounds, a lot of personal preference on what you like to see out of prospects comes into play but, these are the prospects that caught my eye and show a lot of potential.


Martavis Bryant (Clemson) – Bryant has a huge, lanky frame at 6-4 and 200 pounds. Wide receivers like AJ Green have shown that you can have success in the NFL on a similar frame. Bryant has great separation speed, moves in and out of his cuts very well, and has proven to be a great red zone target. Bryant’s biggest problem is he struggles to catch the ball on a consistent basis. Bryant also shows hesitance when working on the middle parts of the field and does not want to match up against bigger bodied defenders. Finally, Bryant needs to learn how to refine his route and he needs to work on the smaller details of the game such as dropping the hips and opening up his body.


Devin Street (Pittsburgh) – Street has been a very productive receiver for Pittsburgh his entire career at Pittsburgh. Street has lined up all over the field and can play just as well inside the numbers as he does outside. Street also has very soft hands and will not drop many balls. Street is going to have to put on more weight if he wants to play a long NFL career. He is 195 pounds and 6-3, but the good news is he has a solid frame for putting on more weight. Once he puts on more weight getting off the line in jam situations won’t be as big as an issue of his as it is now. Although he is fast, he does not have game breaking speed and struggles to create separation from defenders with his combination of speed and moves. Fumbles could be a problem if he does not learn how to carry the ball better after the catch.


L’Damian Washington (Missouri) – Washington would be a very popular pick for the Rams considering he is a homegrown prospect. Washington is a vertical threat with his 4.46 speed and 6-4 frame, but he also does not carry much weight, as he only weighs 195 pounds. What he lacks in talent he will make up in intangibles. This is a kid you want to draft in the lower rounds because of his extreme work ethic, his willingness to do whatever is asked of him, and he carries a chip on his shoulder. Washington struggles to read zone coverage and his speed does not translate well laterally, so he can only show top speed when running to the end zone. Even though he gets open deep he struggles to track the ball down the field. Washington is extremely raw but could be polished with the right coaching applied.


Kevin Norwood (Alabama) – Norwood has an immediate advantage coming out of Alabama, his winning attitude and work ethic will not be in question. Norwood is 6-2 and carries solid weight for his height at 200 pounds. Norwood will fight for any ball and made a name for his self with Alabama fans for his ridiculous circus catches he made in college. Norwood does a lot with his body and sells pump fakes, head fakes, and arm pumps to fake out his defenders. He always knows where the sideline and first down marker is and works to get open when the play breaks down. Norwood does not show great explosion out of his stance and has shorter arms then most receivers his size. He is not a great blocker and does not do much with the ball after the catch.


The Pick – Martavis Bryant. Bryant by far has the highest ceiling out of all these receivers and a lot of his negatives can be worked on and fixed with proper coaching. Bryant could be a big body receiver for the Rams and change their offense. Although, Bryant will go in the top of the fourth round, so if the Rams cannot get him L’Damian Washington would be the next best pick.

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One Response to “Addressing Needs Through the Draft – Wide Receiver”

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