Spring Stock Report: Wide Receiver

Now that spring drills are in the rearview mirror for Florida State and the annual Garnet and Gold Game has been played, it's time to analyze the Seminoles position by position. Today? Wide receiver.

Projected Starters: Rashad Greene, Rodney Smith
Notable Backups: Kelvin Benjamin, Marvin Bracy, Greg Dent, Christian Green, Jarred Haggins, Willie Haulstead, Kenny Shaw

The Skinny: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has an embarrassment of riches at the wideout position, which is just the way he likes it since he tends to rotate as many as six into the lineup fairly regularly on game day. There was a heavy emphasis during spring practice to make each and every one of the pass catchers more versatile, as now they're responsible for the entirety of the playbook at all three receiver spots instead of being able to focus on split end (X), slot (Y) or flanker (Z). Greene and Smith should be the two starters, with Greene looking like a future superstar this past season -- he was every bit as impressive as Clemson's Sammy Watkins before an ankle injury Oct. 8 at Wake Forest slowed him down -- and Smith offering a dangerous downfield target at 6-6 and 219 pounds.

Stock Up: The Seminoles simply can't wait to see what Benjamin can do now that he is coming off a redshirt and has dropped 20 pounds since arriving in Tallahassee, as his 6-6 frame and Pterodactyl-like wingspan makes him a matchup nightmare for any cornerback or safety. The Belle Glade product caught four passes for 46 yards with a long of 27 in the annual Garnet and Gold Game, and he reportedly snared a handful of touchdowns in the two scrimmages during red-zone drills.

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Stock Flat: One of the breakout players of the spring game a year ago, Haggins was expected to be a major contributor out of the slot in 2011 but battled the injury bug all season long and finished with just 11 receptions for 94 yards. The Lakewood (FL) Senior High School alumnus has been a bit of a forgotten man with so many of his teammates demanding those precious first-team reps, although he did earn praise from Fisher toward the end of spring practice for his leadership.

Stock Down: At this time a year ago, Haulstead was arguably the top wideout on the team and a candidate to leave after his junior season for the NFL Draft, but he suffered a concussion in a scrimmage before the start of the campaign and eventually sat out the whole season due to a medical redshirt. Now he's 20 pounds overweight and has been lapped on the depth chart by Greene, Smith and a handful of others, so he had better get himself back into shape over the summer.

Fall Wish List: A concerned effort to get Greene the ball, Benjamin turns out to be worthy of all the hype and Bracy brings the same brand of world-class speed to the kickoff-return team that he does to the 100-meter dash.

Spring Stock Reports: QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE  |  OL  |  DT  |  DE  |  LB  |  CB  |  S


John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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