Yesterday, I examined the running backs who I projected to be drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft. Today, I submit to you the wide receivers who I expect to be drafted. Below you will find the player’s name, school, a brief narrative, and the team expected to draft said player. Here we go:
1. Limas Sweed, Texas
Very good size (6’5″, 219) and strength. Speed is deceptive, which makes matchups favorable to him. Downside for Sweed – despite his solid speed, he lacks the speed to run behind defenders and the quicks in and out of breaks to shake off defenders. The top senior WR in the draft.
Team likely to draft him: Philadelphia (1st round)
2. Mario Manningham, Michigan
An intriguing WR; has very good quickness and speed. Big plus for Manningham is his ability to adjust to the ball while it is in the air. Has very good body control. Downside for Manningham – smallish in size (6′, 178), which could present problems with bigger, more physical cornerbacks in the NFL. Will need to bulk up to correct that issue.
Team likely to draft him: Dallas (2nd round)
3. Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma
Has good size (6’4″, 217), athleticism and isn’t afraid to go over the middle and take a hit. Should be a major threat in the red zone at the NFL level. While not the slowest WR in the draft is far from the fastest – will not blow by most defenders. Depending on what his 40 times are during the combine will determine his standing in the draft.
Team likely to draft him: San Francisco (1st round)
4. Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State
A big target to throw to (6’4″, 220), he brings the big-play ability to the field. Isn’t afraid to do crossing patterns and take a hit, if necessary. Should be a solid red-zone option with his size and athleticism. Doesn’t have blazing speed; like most WR’s, his 40 times at the combine will determine his draft spot.
Team likely to draft him: Buffalo (2nd round)
5. Desean Jackson, California
Obscene speed (4.29 40), very good at screen passes and especially long routes, where his moves can freeze defenders. Has excellent hands. Has the skills to be a kick returner. Downside for Jackson – can occasionally lose focus, may need an attitude check at the NFL level.
Team likely to draft him: Minnesota (2nd round)
6. Early Doucet, LSU
Possesses outstanding speed and quicks (4.45 40). Runs very good routes, has very good hands. His ability in creating yards after the catch will serve him well at the NFL level. Could possibly be a kick returner as he has done that at the college level. Catching technique may be an issue as he sometimes uses his body to catch the ball.
Team likely to draft him: Baltimore (2nd round)
7. Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt
Good size and strength, has the knack to run great routes and often beat his coverage. Has excellent hands, as well. Downside for Bennett – he played for Vanderbilt, which means he’s been under the radar. Character and leadership qualities a big plus for Bennett. Doesn’t possess blazing speed (4.48 40) which hurts him in matchups as he won’t outrun most defenders and could get caught from behind.
Team likely to draft him: Kansas City (3rd round)