All About Receivers, Part II

In his ongoing positional review, Lane Adkins puts the finishing touches on the receiving corp, including one surprising player who could play his way right onto the 53-man roster.

- Steve Sanders enters his second training camp with the Browns, and this time he has slightly more than a passing shot to make the roster. A foot injury set back the Cleveland native during the OTA's and rookie camp, but the WR has come on strong in recent weeks to make an impression. Sanders is not a fast receiver, but runs adequately. His strength is his ability to catch the football, fight off defenders and make himself big in routes. Of all the young receivers fighting for a roster spot in camp, Sanders may run the soundest routes, provide blocking assistance and help on special teams. This WR has been in and around this team for the better part of two-years and knows the offensive system. Sanders gets in and out of cuts at an above-average rate, has a little acceleration in his game, and his height (6'3") and physical demeanor have played a role in his progress. Crossing the middle in traffic is a developing strength for this receiver and his confidence is growing with an increase in meaningful practice reps.

- Lance Leggett waltzed into rookie camp as an undrafted free agent and impressed with his size, quickness and ability to get into position. Like most undrafted rookie WR's, Leggett needs to work on his technique and physical strength to potentially succeed at the next level. Speed and quickness are Leggett's primary value at this time. He could develop into a NFL receiver in time, and may be best suited to be a special teams type player and return specialist early in his career. This rookie WR is inconsistent catching the ball and he tends to let the ball get into his body, despite having relatively large, strong hands. Leggett needs work getting his head around and can be bodied at the point of attack by a CB.

- Efrem Hill landed on the Browns practice squad a season ago and the time spent there is evident. Hill is a quick receiver and is a fluid runner, very natural and quick. A season ago, Hill displayed potential, but needed refining. During the off-season, the WR worked on his physical strength and technique. A longer-type strider, Hill now is vastly improved in getting his body and hands into position to make a reception and he gets his head around quickly and his physically strong enough to get off a defender in route. Despite all his work, this rookie tends to be inconsistent in routes, tending to round them off and he is average in and out of cuts. Hill can be jammed at the point and must rely on quickness to be effective.

- Paul Hubbard is a long, lanky WR with a track background at the collegiate level. Raw and relatively inexperienced, Hubbard possesses good size, speed and quickness. This rookie WR needs time to physically develop his strength, including upper-body and hand-strength. Hubbard's receiving skills are very questionable, as the rookie tends to permit the ball to get into his body. He is not nearly as precise a route-runner as you would like to see and he is not strong off the point. Hubbard has work to do in the blocking aspect of the game, but does possess a willing attitude and temperament. This rookie has shown improvement since rookie camp, but continues to have trouble picking up the ball in flight and is inconsistent in making himself bigger in the receiving game. Hubbard is tentative in and out of routes; when running in a direct line, this rookie can motor. Has shown some ability to be a contributor on special teams, but may be a year away from providing assistance in the passing game.

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