2004 NFL Draft: Wide Receiver Top 10

Heading into the final day before the draft, here's an updated ranking and scouting reports of the top 10 Wide Receivers for this year's draft class.


Name: Larry Fitzgerald School Pittsburgh Year 2So
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 225 40: 4.53 Pos: WR

Bio: 2003 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, All American and awarded the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Biletnikoff Trophy last season after catching 92/1,672/22. Started eleven games the prior year and finishing with 69/1,005/12. Set a pair of NCAA receiving records last season including consecutive games with a touchdown catch (18) and total touchdown receptions as a freshman and sophomore (34). Also added single season conference records for receiving yards, receptions and touchdown catches. Only player in Big East history to have two 1,000 yard receiving seasons while also setting a record with ten 100 yard receiving games. Given special exception by the NFL to enter the draft after being just two years removed from getting his high school diploma.

Pos: Naturally gifted receiver with a tremendous feel for the position and outstanding skill in every area. Fluid releasing off the line, reads the defense and finds the open spot on the field. Sells pass routes, shields opponents from the action or physically beats defenders to make the reception. Comes back to the ball, consistently gets open and extends to catch the pass away from his frame. Displays tremendous concentration in all areas. Makes the acrobatic or difficult reception with regularity. Runs well laterally, adjusts for the errant pass and quick transitioning from catching the ball to running after the reception. Strong enough to beat jams at the line of scrimmage or help out as a blocker. Exposes himself to make the reception and takes a pounding yet holds on to the ball. Tracks the deep or intermediate pass and displays a tremendous sense of timing. Always on the same page as his quarterback. High character prospect well liked by coaches and teammates.

Neg: Does not get deep separation or a receiver that wins out in foot races. Lacks the quick explosive route running skills.

Analysis: Considered the most "NFL-ready" of just about any player in this draft, Fitzgerald is poised to be an early selection and a productive rookie from the start of his NFL career. Should quickly make the transition to the pro game and become a number one receiver for whichever franchise selects him.

Name: Roy Williams School Texas Year 4Sr
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 212 40: 4.42 Pos: WR

Bio: Made a major impact on the Texas program as a freshman and has won varying degrees of All Conference honors since the 2000 season. Led Texas in receiving the past three seasons most recently totaling 70/1,079/9 in '03 after 64/1,142/12 as a junior when he set a school record for touchdown receptions. Sophomore totals included 67/836/7 after 40/809/8 in 2000 when he was tabbed Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Pos: Big, playmaking receiver that is a scoring threat every time he handles the ball. Quickly gets off the line defeating jams by opponents, has a burst of speed and runs solid routes. Sharp into patterns, stays low on exit and immediately positions himself to make the reception. Shields defenders from the action with his large frame and protects the pass, quickly transitioning up the field after the reception. Extends his hands, offers the quarterback a nice target and comes down with the ball in a crowd. Tough to cover and easily separates from opponents. Picks up positive yardage running with the ball and is both elusive and strong. Makes the reception in stride running laterally, has excellent deep speed yet controls the game as a possession receiver in the underneath coverage. Also intelligent and knows where the chains are on third down. Effective blocker when focused on the task at hand.

Neg: Does not always play with a sense of urgency and comes across as a prospect that will take it or leave it. Does not always attack blocking assignments. Bothered by hamstring injuries throughout his junior campaign. Does not always show up for the big game.

Analysis: A receiver that dominates, Williams possesses the physical skills that warrant a very early selection at the top of the draft but does not come across as someone that always plays like the game is on the line. Possessing more upside than any player in this draft, Williams will be a value pick anywhere after the third choice if he plays to his level.

Name: Reggie Williams School Washington Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 229 40: 4.51 Pos: WR

Bio: Led the team in all receiving categories as a junior with 89/1,109/8. Set school records for receptions and receiving yards as a sophomore totaling 94/1,454/11. Set conference records for receptions and receiving yard records with 55/973/3. Pac 10 co-Freshman of the Year in 2001 and an All Conference choice the past two years.

Pos: Big, reliable receiver with a well rounded game. Reads the defense, finds the open spot on the field then extends to catch the pass away from his frame. Gets vertical, adjusts to the errant throw and high points the ball, making the difficult reception in traffic. Strong running after the reception, breaks tackles and picks up a lot of yardage. Relatively sharp route runner for a big pass catcher and stays low on exit, getting separation from defenders. Uses his large frame to shield opponents, looks the pass in and remains focused throughout the play. Confident and plays that way.

Neg: Not a sudden or explosive player and has more built up speed than immediate acceleration. Slow releasing off the line of scrimmage. Could turn up the intensity as a blocker.

Analysis: A dynamic receiver that opens up a lot of other avenues for the offense, Williams has been productive and on top of his game since arriving at Washington. Has the physical skills and strength to make a seamless transition into the NFL and should be immediately produce.

Name: Lee Evans School Wisconsin Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 197 40: 4.44 Pos: WR

Bio: Had a major impact on the Badger program since he was a true freshman. Led the team in receiving as a senior with 64/1213/12 and received All American notice. Missed the entire2002 season after tearing a knee ligament in spring practice. Later arrested for marijuana possession and ordered to complete community service. Had career numbers as a junior in 2001 posting 75/1,545/9 and named both an All American and All Conference choice. Sophomore totals were 33/634/4. Awarded All Academic honors in the past. Highlight of his senior season came against Michigan State when he caught 10 passes with school records of 258 yards and 5 scores.

Pos: Game impacting receiver that can be a one man show. Quick releasing off the line, displays solid route running skills and terrific football intelligence. Remains focused, has a great sense of timing and gets vertical to high point the ball. Extends his hands, looks the pass in and works to make himself an available target. Intimidating force that has opponents playing back on their heels. Lays out for the difficult catch in traffic or positions himself against defenders to make the reception.

Neg: Lacks the large frame and has difficulty battling larger opponents. Knee injury of 2002 seemed to take the edge off his game last season.

Analysis: A gifted athlete and natural receiver, Evans is justifiably the best receiver to come out of Madison since Al Toon. An intelligent football player with a great feel for the position and the speed to break games open, Evans is a quality pick late in the first round that should eventually grow into a team's number one receiver.

Name: Rashaun Woods School Oklahoma State Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 202 40: 4.55 Pos: WR

Bio: All Conference and All American selection the past two seasons. Posted 77/1,367/15 as a senior after career numbers of 107/1,695/17 the prior season. Made a major impact as a sophomore producing 80/1,023/10.

Pos: One of the nation's most prolific pass catchers with a knack for taking over football games. Cognizant wide out who quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, sells his routes and runs excellent patterns. Quick into breaks, stays low on exit and comes back to the ball, catching the pass away from his frame. Adjusts to the throw, scoops up the low pass and uses his frame to shield defenders. Offers the quarterback a nice target. Displays great field awareness, a sense of timing and always on the same page as his quarterback. Physical and not afraid to mix it up. Will block for the running game and does the little things that rarely go noticed.

Neg: Not a pure burner or one that will stretch defenses deep. Lacks the top size for a pure possession wide out.

Analysis: An ultra-productive receiver the past three seasons, Woods is a natural football player who competes to win and works to get better. A pressure player that comes through in the clutch against top competition, he may be downgraded because of only average size/speed numbers but should immediately produce as an NFL rookie.

Name: Michael Jenkins School Ohio State Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 218 40: 4.52 Pos: WR

Bio: Three year starter that caught 55/834/7 as a senior, also averaging 8.9 yards on 20 punt returns with another score. Posted career receiving numbers as a junior posting 61/1,076/6. Broke out as a sophomore with 49/988/3. Has a career average of 17.5 yards per reception at Ohio State.

Pos: Athletic receiver that's made a big move up draft boards since January. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, adequate route runner and settles into the open spot of the field. Always works to get separation, extends and displays excellent focus throughout the game. Good eye/hand coordination, timing and looks the pass in. Pulls the ball out of the air over the middle, tracks the deep pass and makes the difficult catch downfield with defenders draped on him.

Neg: A long strider with built up speed. Seemingly suffered from a case of senioritis last year and had an unusual amount of dropped passes.

Analysis: More of a game controlling receiver that occasionally breaks the deep one, Jenkins has the abilities to be a number one wide out at the next level. Must compete hard at all times the way he did at the Senior Bowl, physically mature but can be immediately productive at the next level.

Name: Michael Clayton School LSU Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 209 40: 4.59 Pos: WR

Bio: Garnered All American notice last season leading the league in both receptions and receiving yards with numbers of 78/1,079/10. Second team All Conference selection the prior season when he finished with 57/749/5. Caught 47/754/6 as a freshman teaming with Josh Reed.

Pos: Good sized wide out that has been the go-to receiver defenses cannot stop. Defeats jams at the line of scrimmage, uses his frame to shield defenders from the action and comes back to the ball. Adjusts to the errant throw then snatches the ball out of the air. Uses the sidelines well and looks the pass into his hands. Consistently finds the open spot in the field and always working to get open. Adequate route runner and relatively sharp into patterns. Goes over the middle to make the difficult reception in a crowd. Possess soft and strong hands.

Neg: Not quick releasing off the line of scrimmage, lacks speed and cannot beat defenders in a foot race. Could improve his blocking.

Analysis: If nothing else, Clayton is a terrific football player and exceptional pass catcher. May not be a game breaking threat nor a big bodied possession receiver yet will be an excellent fit for a team that desperately needs a reliable wide out.

Name: Devery Henderson School LSU Year 4Sr
Ht: 5-11.5 Wt: 198 40: 4.43 Pos: WR

Bio: Led the SEC in receiving touchdowns as a senior posting career numbers of 53/861/11. Started one as a junior and posted 23/447/8. Performed well at the Senior Bowl and was the best receiver on the field.

Pos: Explosive pass catcher that continually shows progress in his overall game. Quick releasing off the line, good route runner and gets separation from defenders. Comes back to the ball, extends and makes all the catches. Tracks the deep ball, adjusting well at full speed. Explosive and elusive in all aspects of his game. Displays a sense of timing, quickly transitions from making the reception from running after the catch then picks up positive yardage. Shows a second gear beating defenders down the. Deceptively strong and shields opponents from the action with his frame.

Neg: Does not have a lot of starting experience. Wore down at the Senior Bowl as the week progressed.

Analysis: A terrific athlete with a good amount of upside potential, Henderson has quickly turned into a complete wide out. His quickness coupled with route running skills make him a perfect fit in a West Coast offense yet his overall receiving skills can be plugged into any system.

Name: Devard Darling School Washington State Year 3Jr
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 213 40: 4.52 Pos: WR

Bio: Two year starter who posted 50/830/7 last season after 54/800/11 as a sophomore. Originally began his career at Florida State but released from his scholarship upon request after his twin brother Devaughn died in an off season conditioning program at FSU in February of 2001.

Pos: Nice sized pass catcher that displays the ability to control a game or break the contest wide open. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage displaying good techniques to get off jams by opponents, sells pass routes and displays quickness in or out of breaks. Tracks the ball well, adjusts to the throw then extends or lays out to make the reception. High points the ball displaying the ability to contort in mid air for the difficult reception. Times the deep receptions well tracking the ball and displays a sense of wherewithal on the field. Solid playing speed.

Neg: Lacks the second gear or explosive acceleration. Seemingly lost focus last season and dropped a lot of catchable passes.

Analysis: An athletic receiver with a combination of size, speed and quickness, Darling will be effective in a variety of offensive systems at the NFL level. Needs time to adjust and must learn to maintain focused throughout the ball game but should be productive during his rookie campaign.

Name: Ernest Wilford School Virginia Tech Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 226 40: 4.77 Pos: WR

Bio: Led Virginia Tech as a senior with 41/6803 after moving into the starting lineup as a junior and posting 51/925/7. Hold the Big East single game mark with 279 receiving yards.

Pos: Nice sized, reliable wide out that's a big, imposing target. Easily gets off jams at the line of scrimmage, comes back to the ball and gets vertical to pluck the high pass out of the air. Uses his large frame to shield opponents and protect the ball. Works pass routes and can double cut or fake defensive backs. Displays soft and strong hands with the ability to snatch the ball from the air. Effective blocking downfield.

Neg: More of a long strider with built up speed and does not possess the short explosive burst. Not a fluid route runner and has difficulty staying low on exit.

Analysis: A soft spoken individual known to have outstanding work ethic, Wilford took his game to the next level and offers a good amount of upside for the NFL. Has the skills to eventually develop into a number one wide out at the next level though some project him as a tight end in the future.

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