2003 Wide Receiver Rankings

February 13 - Though not living up to original expectations, this April's wide receiver class offers impact at the top, reliability in the middle frames, and a few solid late-round developmental choices. Combine workouts and, for some, the result of medical exams will largely dictate how this group of pass catchers fare in the NFL Draft.

1. Full Name: Charles Rogers School: Michigan St Ht: 6-3 Wt: 202 40: 4.43 Year: P48-Jr Number: 1

"There are not too many more ways a first year player can impact a team the way Charles Rogers did last season at Michigan State. Rogers has continued his record-breaking ways through his second season, though this time conference marks are falling. Do these records translate to potential at the next level?" Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Game impacting skill position player that quickly changes the tempo of a contest with either a deep reception down the flanks, the important catch in traffic, or a long return on punts. Big, fast, and athletic. Good top end speed, accelerates immediately to top speed and runs away from defenders down the sidelines. Times and anticipates the deep passes nicely, adjusts to the errant throw and makes the difficult reception in contorted positions while running full tilt. Focused, looks the pass in and extends to make the difficult catch, plucking the ball out of the air with his hands. Often doubled teamed by opponents but fights to make the reception and usually comes away with the ball, working hard running after the catch. Fluid, gets down to scoop up the low throws and for the most part has consistent hands. Adequate quickness going into and out of his breaks, working throughout the play to sell his patterns. Effectively blocks down field for the running game.

The Bad: Lacks the soft or strong hands. A bit choppy with his footwork running routes and not always on the same page as his quarterback. Needs to smooth his game out but then again, has not had a lot of experience on the college field.

The Skinny: An unstoppable force we fully expect to enter the draft and be one of the first three players selected next April.

Projected order in draft: Early 1st round.


2. Full Name: Andre Johnson School: Miami-Fl Ht: 6-2 Wt: 210 40: 4.45 Year: 4Jr Number: 5

"The Miami Hurricanes have offered a tremendous amount of talent to the NFL at a variety of positions, but were you to point to a single area where the program has impact more than any other, receiver could justifiably be tops in the book. And now UM is about to install another great one into the draft." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Great physical specimen that combines all the athletic skills necessary to be an impact receiver at the next level. Strong enough to get off jams at the line of scrimmage. Extends in a crowd for the ball and comes away with the reception in traffic, snaring the pass out of the air even when defenders are draped all over him. Adjusts nicely to the errant throw, making the reception in contorted positions and playing with great balance. Extends his hands away from his body, offering the quarterback a nice target, and catches the pass away from his frame. Reliable and consistent hand-catcher. Runs well laterally, takes it down the flanks, times and anticipates his deep receptions well. Works his way back to the quarterback or ball to help out if the play breaks down. Blocks for the running game.

The Bad: Loses focus and concentration, and takes his eye off the ball or peaks down the field before he's actually caught the pass. Only an adequate route runner. Lacks the second gear and takes a while before he's up to full speed.

The Skinny: When healthy, a forceful pass catcher that can steal the momentum of a game. Needs to work on the finer points of the position but should be productive right out of the gate once he's drafted. The next in a long line of great Hurricane wideouts.

Projected order in draft: Early 1st round.


3. Full Name: Taylor Jacobs School: Florida Ht: 6-1 Wt: 198 40: 4.48 Year: 4Sr Number: 6

"Even though he was never a consistent starter until this season, Taylor Jacobs always found a way to impact the game and the Gators; likewise he's also found a way to get lost in the wash. This very under-appreciated pass catcher is a senior that will fall through the cracks next April and turn out to be a diamond in the rough for some NFL team." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Natural pass catcher with a great feel for the position, possessing terrific overall awareness and instincts on the football field, in every aspect of the game. Tremendous body control with fantastic adjustment to the oncoming pass, makes the reception in contorted position and redirects nicely to the ball in mid-air or when running full speed. Stays low exiting his breaks, comes back to the ball and extends his hands, catching the pass away from his frame. Uses his body to shield away opponents, stays focused and always looks the ball into his hands. Gets up in a crowd for the difficult catch or extends and lays out to make the tough grab. Instinctive, finds the open spot on the field and always tries to make himself an available target for the quarterback. Works hard both on and off the field.

The Bad: Not quick releasing off the line of scrimmage, lets the pass get inside him unnecessarily and does not show strong hands. Champion sprinter but does not consistently transfer that speed onto the football field.

The Skinny: Considering he was stuck on the two-deep chart until this year and does not have a whole lot of experience on the field, he's made great strides in a short period and continues to progress at a rapid rate. May slide into the early part of round two but he's a prospect capable of earning his wage the minute he steps on the field at the next level and a receiver with a good amount of upside potential.

Projected order in draft: Late 1st round.


4. Full Name: Brandon Lloyd School: Illinois Ht: 6-1 Wt: 180 40: 4.51 Year: 4Jr Number: 6

"Hopes were high for Brandon Lloyd after a promising freshman campaign, but a broken leg kept him on the sidelines in 2000. Not to worry, as this game-breaking wideout that constantly comes up with the important catch rebounded with a terrific campaign in 2001 and now has scouts keeping a close eye on him." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Big play wideout that possesses a lot of natural skills. Good feel for the game, stays on the same page as his quarterback and displays great body control. Extends to make the difficult catch in contorted positions, uses his body to shield away opponents and shows a willingness to go up in a crowd for the ball. Quick in and out of his breaks, looks the ball into his hands and catches the pass away from his body. Has nice speed and consistently makes plays deep into the defensive secondary.

The Bad: Not strong and gets held up at the line by jams. Though he gets down the flanks, does not own the second gear or the deep acceleration.

The Skinny: Growing into a complete wideout and a good prospect for the future.

Projected order in draft: Early 2nd round.


5. Full Name: Sam Aiken School: North Carolina Ht: 6-2 Wt: 205 40: N.A. Year: 4Sr Number: 88

Scouting Report:

Projected order in draft: Late 2nd round.


6. Full Name: Bryant Johnson School: Penn State Ht: 6-1 Wt: 205 40: 4.52 Year: 4Sr Number: 24

"Prone to making highlight-reel receptions during the course of a game, Bryant Johnson is having a sensational senior season in what has been an unexpected campaign for the Penn State Nittany Lions. The results put up this year in Happy Valley by Johnson will certainly carry him into next April's draft." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Nice sized, athletic receiver having a breakout senior campaign. Relatively aware wideout that works back to the quarterback and makes himself an available target. Decent route runner that stays low exiting his breaks, immediately positioning himself to make the catch, then out-muscling opponents for the reception or laying out and extending for the difficult grab. Catches the pass in stride and makes the tough receptions over defenders.

The Bad: Lacks the deep speed or second gear. Takes his eye off the ball and is prone to the occasional drop.

The Skinny: The Penn State "go-to" receiver last season took his game to another level in 2002. Has become much less prone to dropping the pass and couples reliability with his natural physical skills. As a result, a first-day pick is in the offing, possibly early if he runs well at the combine.

Projected order in draft: Late 3rd round.


7. Full Name: Talman Gardner School: Florida St. Ht: 6-0 Wt: 225 40: 4.49 Year: 5Sr Number: 21

"There's never been a void of talented pass catchers coming out of Tallahassee, as Florida State is usually loaded at the position. Unfortunately, many never reach the heights they did as Seminoles nor the expectations placed on them by NFL scouts. Can Talman Gardner break that trend?" Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: King-sized receiver with great size/speed numbers. Quick releasing off the snap of the ball, easily defeats jams at the line of scrimmage and extends nicely for the catch. Adjusts well to the pass, reaches back to grab the errant throw or scoops up the low pass. Catches the ball in stride, deceptively fast and displays good focus throughout the play.

The Bad: Less than adequate route running skills, lacks the strong hands and does a bit of unnecessary body catching. Does not always make the difficult catch or snare the ball out of the air when he has the opportunity.

The Skinny: A bit of an enigma; looks the part but does not always play to it and leaves you thinking he could do more. Can be dangerous if he takes his game to the next level but should he not, will be considered a borderline underachiever.

Projected order in draft: Early 3rd round.


8. Full Name: Tyrone Calico School: Middle Tennessee Ht: 6-4 Wt: 220 40: NA Year: 5Sr Number: 27

Scouting Report:

Projected order in draft: Mid 3rd round.


9. Full Name: Doug Gabriel School: Central Florida Ht: 6-2 Wt: 198 40: 4.48 Year: 4Sr Number: 11

"Highly coveted as a senior in high school, Doug Gabriel originally signed on with the University of Miami but life took him in another direction. He eventually found his way back to the state of Florida and now, as a senior for Central Florida University, is making loud noises as he meets the expectations many had for him." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Scouting Report:

The Good: Athletic receiver with good size/speed numbers and a player starting to take his game to the next level. Big, strong yet fast, and a deep threat that stretches the defense, beating opponents down the field. Generally catches the ball well and adds the element of being able to make the difficult catch in a crowd.

The Bad: Needs to improve his route running skills and overall focus as occasionally he'll drop the easy pass.

The Skinny: Turning it up as a senior and caught more passes during the initial four games of 2002 than he did all of last season. The arrow is pointing up and as a result, he is moving up draft boards. Combine workouts are critical.

Projected order in draft: Mid 3rd round.


10. Full Name: Anquan Boldin School: Florida St. Ht: 6-2 Wt: 226 40: N.A. Year: 4Jr Number: 4

Scouting Report:

Projected order in draft: Late 3rd round.

To view the entire list of wide receivers available for the 2003 NFL Draft, click here.




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