2010 NFL Draft - Ranking The Wide Receivers

The 2010 NFL Draft is almost here. From a college football perspective, here's the CFN ranking of the top receiver prospects, highlighted by stars up top including Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn, and Dez Bryant along with the most overrated and underrated prospects and the deepest sleeper.

2010 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Wide Receivers

By Pete Fiutak

2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

This Class Is … Interesting. There's plenty of size throughout and there are several nice-looking targets who could grow into No. 1s. While the top prospects aren't sure stars, it's a very deep class.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Carlton Mitchell, South Florida
Most Underrated … Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
Most Overrated … Jordan Shipley, Texas
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Juamorris Stewart, Southern

1. Golden Tate, Notre Dame 5-10, 199 (Jr.)
He's short. That's the knock. In today's day and age of big, strong NFL receivers, Tate is a big of a mighty-mite (even though he's not really that small). Uncoverable at times throughout his career, he showed that he had all the basic skills at the Combine running a 4.42 while looking natural in all the quickness drills. Strength? The 17 reps on the bench weren't that bad. With extreme quickness and tremendous route-running ability, he'll quickly grow into his starting quarterback's best friend and should be a yard-after-the-catch monster. He's ready to go right away having played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame and can be used as a kick and punt returner to go along with his potential as a No. 1 target. While he'll be banged up from time to time and will have a few problems with the bigger corners, he'll be a terrific pro.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State 6-2, 225 (Jr.)
On sheer talent and raw ability he has all the tools to be the next NFL superstar receiver. He's big, strong, fast, and productive with the want-to when it comes to fighting for the ball to go along with the desire to succeed. He's tough, will beat up the weaker corners, and he's just shifty enough to make big things happen in the open field. So what's the problem? There are some huge, waving, bright red flags about his character, maturity, and ability to handle himself as a pro at the next level. When the coaches say something negative about a player, that should be a warning sign. OSU insiders have said that Bryant has about a five-second attention span, can't focus on anything, and can't be counted on to grasp the intricacies of the pro game. If he goes somewhere with a veteran, talented receiver and can be a protégé (sort of like Cris Carter was for Randy Moss), the talent could be tapped. If he goes somewhere and has to be the No. 1 target out of the box, there's Charles Rogers bust potential.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Arrelious Benn, Illinois 6-1, 219 (Jr.)
Considering he was considered to be one of the top receiver recruits of the last five years, he was a major disappointment. He's a terrific athlete, has the right attitude, has the size, and has the make-up to become a talent, but he didn't get it done in college and didn't produce nearly enough. He wasn't bad, but he's almost certainly going to be a far better pro than a collegian once he gets in a more sophisticated system that can use his talents better. Extremely strong, he's tough for most corners to handle and isn't afraid to come up with the big block. Extremely quick, he can be used as a return man. While he still needs polish and isn't the most natural of receivers, he should flourish with better coaching.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. Carlton Mitchell, South Florida 6-3, 215, (Jr.)
It's all there and he's a chance worth taking. With 6-3 size, 4.49 speed, and the home run hitting ability to become a matchup nightmare, he's a tremendous athlete with the best raw skills of any receiver in the draft. While he looks a bit too much like a track guy playing football, and he needs to do far more to use his size to take advantage of smaller corners, the upside is limitless if he's given a year to work on his technique and given a free pass until he gets the right coaching. Someone out there is going to make him a priority and a key to the draft.
CFN Projection: Third Round

5. Damian Williams, USC 6-1, 197 (Jr.)
The former Arkansas Razorback transferred to USC and was fine, but his workouts have been average. In a strange way, considering he played with Mark Sanchez and was Matt Barkley's main target, he often made his quarterbacks look great by making something out of nothing. While he doesn't have blazing speed, he's quick on the field and does a great job of fighting for the ball. He might not be a star NFL No. 1 target, he has enough talent to grow into a devastating No. 2. He'll be a big yards after catch target.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Jacoby Ford, Clemson 5-9, 186
4.24. Speed, speed, speed, speed, speed. He might not be big, he might have holes in his game as a pure receiver, and he might have major durability concerns, but there's no substitute for raw warp wheels. Not only does he go from 0-to-60 in a hiccup, but he can also blow past anyone when he gets the ball in his hands. He's never going to be a polished receiver and he'll never block anyone, but who cares? Does anyone complain that DeSean Jackson isn't physical? Make him a No. 3 target who has to make one big play a game, and he'll do it.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

7. Brandon LaFell, LSU 6-3, 211
There was a time when many scouts considered him a top 15 overall prospect with the size and the potential to be special. However, he timed poorly, running a 4.63, and he didn't play at a special, elite level in college. There's a chance, though, that he could become a far better pro than a collegian with good moves for a player of his size and excellent blocking skills. The lack of deep speed will be a problem and he's not the most consistent of pass catchers, but if he can show a good attitude and is willing to work (neither is a given), he could become one of the most productive receivers in this draft. He has to want to be special.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8.Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati 6-0, 187
Considering his lack of size, he needed to time well and work out better, but that was a problem at the Combine running a 4.61. However, he showed excellent quickness and will be one of the more intriguing players on many draft boards. He has the attitude of a No. 1 receiver and isn't afraid to step up and produce when everything is on the line. Smart, savvy, and willing to work harder than everyone else, he'll make a coaching staff happy. The slight frame is going to be a problem, but his lack of deep speed will put a ceiling on what he can become. He'll play better than he worked out.
CFN Projection: Third Round

99. Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas 6-2, 207 (Jr.) br /> This is why the personnel directors get the big money. Briscoe could be a star in the right system with the right coaches and with the right support system around him, but he could also be a mega-flake who quietly busts out of the league in a hurry. With great size and the ability to use it, he'll muscle his way for the ball between double teams, and despite his lumbering 4.61 40, he finds ways to get open. The knucklehead factor can't be ignored and could end up being his downfall if he doesn't produce right away. If he's not great in camp and if he can prove to be matured, a coaching staff will have no interest in waiting him out.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

110. Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech 6-3, 224br /> It all depends on how quickly he can show he can run a full route tree. A one-trick pony, he was the only receiver who did anything for the Georgia Tech passing game over the last few seasons, and that one thing was to get deep and use his size and strength to make big plays. When he had to run the short routes or the consistent catch, forget about it. He drops way too many passes and seems to go out of his way to fight the ball, but his bigger problem could be dealing with a corner who isn't lulled to sleep. He was fantastic when defenses were sucked in by the Tech running game, but he'll have to prove he won't be erased by NFL corners. Is he faster than his projected time? He broke his foot and is still recovering, but once he's right, he'll have all the raw physical skills. Now he'll have to show he can be a receiver.
CFN Projection: Second Round

111. Danario Alexander, Missouri 6-5, 215 br /> The best receiver in America over the second half of the 2009 season, Alexander showed great playmaking ability and dangerous deep ball skills. Along with his production, he was also a fantastic downfield blocker with the ability to use his size and strength well. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury and durability has always been an issue. He could be a steal if someone is willing to give him a year to fully recover, but he's not there yet and could ruin his career by trying to rush back to try to impress. His technique needs a ton of work and he needs to use his size to his advantage off the line, but he can play … if healthy.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

12. Taylor Price, Ohio 6-0, 204
One of the high risers on the draft boards over the offseason, he didn't disappoint at the Combine with a terrific 4.43 to go along with fluid cutting ability in the drills. He might not be all that big, but he has the deep speed to be an intriguing prospect if he can sharpen up the subtle nuances of his game. While he worked out well, he didn't always look the part in game action and he didn't always make his mediocre quarterbacks look good. If someone is willing to be patient and will want to mold the clay, he could emerge as a terrific No. 2 target.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

13. Eric Decker, Minnesota 6-3, 217
If it could be guaranteed that he'd stay healthy, he'd be one of the top four receivers taken. Despite being the focus of every secondary, he still found ways to make big plays time and again was great against the better corners. But he can't stay healthy. His physical and fearless style gets him in trouble as he suffered a concussion, a shoulder injury, and two season ending injuries over the last two years including a torn ligament in his foot that kept him from working out for teams this offseason. A baseball player who could've kicked around the minor league system, he's a ball player who'll fight to become a good NFL performer. But he might have a short shelf life considering he can't stay on the field.
CFN Projection: Third Round

14. Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green 6-0, 212
He's too small and too slow, but he plays quicker than his workouts and is far more athletic than his times. After starting out as a jack-of-all-trades, including a dangerous running quarterback, he finished his career setting the NCAA record for most catches in a season making 155 grabs for 1,770 yards and 19 touchdowns. While he doesn't appear to be anything special, he's a fantastic route runner and makes play after play after play. He's a smart player who finds ways to get open and catches everything thrown his way, but his physical limitations put a ceiling on what he can become. He'll stick on a roster and emerge as a solid No. 3 target.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

15. Emmanuel Sanders, SMU 5-11, 186
With 4.44 speed and excellent jumping ability, he's a terrific athlete who negates his lack of size by being able to jump out of the stadium. He'll work for a catch and is never afraid to try to make the tough play, and while his deep speed is excellent, his quickness and cutting ability is even better. There are character issues, though, having been suspended from the team after having problems missing meetings and not being on time enough. He's not big, but he has the quickness to be a dangerous slot receiver and a great third target in a Wes Welker-like mold.
CFN Projection: Third Round

16. Andre Roberts, Citadel 5-11, 195
With excellent 4.46 speed and great route running ability, he has the raw tools and the toughness to do a little bit of anything. He can work inside or out and he get deep. With the skills along with the work ethic, he has the potential to be a long time pro. While he has good wheels, he doesn't have elite speed and his size could be a problem against more physical corners. He bulked up a bit over the year and doesn't have any room to get stronger.
CFN Projection: Third Round

17. Riley Cooper, Florida 6-3, 222
Very big and very athletic, he's the size of a smallish tight end with the talent to be a top baseball prospect as well. He's not going to be the quickest target, but he has decent 4.52 speed for a player of his size. Speed isn't his game, though. He's a big, tough target with big hands and good strength, and he'll be the type of receiver who does a little of everything well from blocking to being a third down target to making things happen in the red zone.
CFN Projection: Third Round

18. Mike Williams, Syracuse 6-2, 221 (Jr.)
There's no questioning his talent, his size, or his potential. He's not a blazer, running a 4.53, but he's fast on the field when tracking the ball and he's good at getting open. He looks the part, and if there weren't off-the-field issues he'd likely be one of the top five receiver prospects. But there are the knucklehead concerns after getting suspended in each of the last two seasons. Not all that strong, benching 225 pounds just eight times at the Combine, he needs to be far stronger for his size and he has to show he wants to be great. He has to work and he has to prove he's not a pinhead (which he wasn't able to do in interviews).
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

19. Stephen Williams, Toledo 6-5, 210,
The pieces are all there to be fantastic. He's huge, ran a 4.53 at the Combine, and was quick in the workouts for a player of his size. With his jumping ability and his height, throw it up in the air and he'll go and get it, and he adjusts to the ball like a much smaller player. However, he's not a polished route runner and he has to hit the weights to fill out his frame. There's also a question of it he wants it. He has to be a more fiery competitor against the tougher defensive backs.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

20. David Reed, Utah 6-0, 191
A JUCO superstar, he came to Utah and put together a nice career. While he isn't all that fast, running a 4.56, for a player of his size, he looks faster on the field and fights for the ball when it comes his way. He adjusts well and he's a quick cutter on his routes. However, he needs to get stronger and doesn't have the top raw skills to be anything more than a complementary player, even though he quickly became the main man for the Utah passing game.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

21. Jordan Shipley, Texas 5-11, 193
A better playmaker than a prospect, he's not big, he's only 4.62 fast, and he's not all that athletic. However, he's quick, runs great routes, is a great returner, and he always rose to the occasion. He was tremendous on short-to-midrange routes and knows how to get separation in short spaces. While there's a limit on what he can do and he'll never get past any NFL corner, he could be superior in the Wes Welker-like role on a team like the Patriots.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

22. Antonio Brown, Central Michigan 5-10, 186 (Jr.)
UUltra-productive as both a receiver and a return man, he was an elite college playmaker, even though he played in the MAC, with good quickness, smooth ability, and clutch play as Dan LeFevour's most dangerous target. He's not all that big and the 4.57 40 run at the Combine was a killer, but he plays fast on the field. Not all that polished and without a top-end work ethic, he's not a sure thing, but when the lights were on he was fantastic.
CFN Projection: /i> Fifth Round

23. Marcus Easley, Connecticut 6-3, 210
AAll the measurables are there with tremendous size and 4.42 speed. He might have smallish hands and he might be extremely raw, but the upside is so great that he's worth a flier. He'll need a little time, but until he gets a year of pro coaching in him he can be used as a deep threat and a big-play game-changer. However, he's just not a natural wide receiver and is more prospect than player. A walk-on with a walk-on mentality, he'll run through a wall to make himself a player and is worth the flier.
CFN Projection: /i> Fourth Round

24. Jeremy Williams, Tulane 6-0, 206
A solid, pure receiver who looks the part with the bulk and the strength to be on an NFL field, but he's 4.61 slow and doesn't have a lot of suddenness in his cutting ability and he's not going to do much of anything after the catch. Knee problems will keep him from ever being a star, and he's not known for being the type of player who'll run through a wall to make himself special.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

25. Chris McGaha, Arizona State 6-1, 201
With good size and decent speed, he has the look of an NFL target, and it doesn't hurt that he has some of the biggest hands of all the receiver prospects. He makes every catch that comes his way and he was extremely productive and consistent at finding the holes and the open spaces. However, there's a hard ceiling on what he can do and doesn't have any special skills and will get erased by any NFL corner who tries.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

26. Blair White, Michigan State 6-2, 209
Ultra-productive on the field, he worked out extremely well and has become the pet project of several scouts. He ran a great 4.51 at the Combine, was among the quickest players in the short drills, and has always given walk-on like effort every time out. To go along with the raw skills and the size, he inhales everything that comes his way. So what's the problem? The workout ability doesn't necessarily translate to the field and he never gets any separation. He'll be a decent pro, but he won't be a great one.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

27. Seyi Ajirotutu, Fresno State 6-4, 204
He should be better. He has the size and he has the 4.53 speed and he has the look, and even though he runs well in game speed (and even a bit better than his timed speed) and he looks the part, he just wasn't productive enough. However, it takes him a day and a half to get it into gear and isn't quick enough in his cuts. He's a good prospect, but a disposable one. If he makes it, he'll be just a guy.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

28. David Gettis, Baylor 6-3, 217
All the basics are there with tremendous size, 4.48 speed, and the phenomenal leaping ability to jump out of the stadium. However, he's not a great football player, gets pushed around way too much for his size, and he could be heartbreaking with his on-field production never going to match his raw skills and potential.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

29. Jared Perry, Missouri 6-1, 178
A tall, thin target, he plays fast on the field but only ran a 4.58 at the Combine. He's quick on his cuts and is good at getting into the open with excellent moves after the catch. However, he's not the sharpest or most disciplined of route runners and he's not physical in any way. He could hang around the league for a while, but he's not going to be anything more than a No. 3 target at very best.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

30. Kyle Williams, Arizona State 5-9, 185
His money will be made as a returner. Too small and too light, he'll have to be a specialist of a receiver if he makes any sort of an impact as a receiver, but he was extremely fast at the Combine, running a 4.42, cuts on a dime, and moves seamlessly in and out of his breaks. However, he was a good college returner but not a great one and is extremely limited in what he can do at an NFL level.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

31. Scott Long, Louisville 6-2, 216
While his durability is a concern, he came up with enough nice offseason workouts to get a look. He's big, ran an impressive 4.46, and is tough enough both in the way he plays and trying to fight off injuries to count on him when there are bumps and bruises. However, he has suffered a torn the ACL in both knees and isn't exactly the smoothest receiver around.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

32. Kerry Meier, Kansas 6-2, 224
The problem is that he doesn't have a position. A great pass catcher and a strong route runner, the former quarterback is big and tough, but he has no speed whatsoever and he isn't enough of a blocker to be a tight end. He's not an H-Back and he's limited on what he can do, but he's the type of player the coaches want on the roster. He'll do whatever it takes to get by, and his potential as an emergency quarterback could keep him on a team.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

33. Juamorris Stewart, Southern 6-1, 201
With a good combination of size and speed, he has good tools and decent upside. A tough fighter for the ball when it comes his way, he's not afraid to be physical. However, he's not quick enough, isn't polished, and he isn't known for being a workaholic. He's a flier worth taking, especially as a free agent, but he'll need to show something special right away to stay on a roster.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

34. Kevin Jurovich, San Jose State 6-0, 188
When he was healthy he was a big-time playmaker, but he missed time with a nasty bout of mono that hurt his spleen and was hampered by poor quarterback play when he returned. He has decent size, but his 4.55 40 isn't good enough. He might not have all the skills, but he'll be a tough one to cut.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

35. Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo 6-0, 190
Extremely productive and a major part of the 2008 MAC champion team, he did a little bit of everything for the Bulls as a No. 1 receiver, part-time runner, and elite returner. He plays bigger than he is and he's not afraid of contact. However, his 4.69 40 time is a disaster and he's not big enough to withstand any sort of a pounding. One jam on the line and he's done.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

36. Alric Arnett, West Virginia
37. Pat Simonds, Colgate
38. Shay Hodge, Ole Miss
39. Chris Carter, UC Davis
40. Nyan Boateng, California
41. Rod Owens, Florida State
42. Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan
43. Preston Parker, North Alabama
44. Ryan Wolfe, UNLV
45. Chastin West, Fresno State
46. Chris Bell, Norfolk State
47. Edward Britton, Texas Tech
48. Verran Tucker, California
49. Marc Mariani, Montana
50. Marlon Moore, Fresno State
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