His ability to beat the press off the line makes it essential to have a safety over the top in order to defend him. Over the course of the last two seasons he has shown improvement on his route running and durability. His size and strength makes him very dangerous after the catch and also allows him to succeed as a blocker.
The Seminoles lost several key playmakers before the start of Walker's senior campaign thanks to a slew of injuries at receiver. Walker stepped up both his play on the field and work ethic, which resulted in the team having a successful passing attack despite playing many underclassmen, including at quarterback.
In two years with the Seminoles, he caught 65 passes for 1,257 yards and ten touchdowns - that is an average of 19.3 yards per catch! In fact, he closed out is college career by hauling in four passes for 195 yards, including two touchdowns while being named MVP of the Gator Bowl.
Walker presents matchup problems all over the field and will make an impact in the NFL as a rookie.
Ashley Lelie, Hawaii (6-3, 197 lbs., 4.39) -- Lelie really benefitted from playing in June Jones' run-and-shoot offense, which not only gives a receiver many chances to catch the ball, but also change their routes based on the coverage shown. He is Hawaii's all-time leading receiver, and got better throughout this season, capping his time at Hawaii by amassing 547 yards in his last two games. Lelie has had trouble with his hamstring -- running the 40 only once (4.39) for scouts during the evaluation process. He could be this year's version of Koren Robinson (Seahawks).
Donte' Stallworth, Tennessee (6-0, 197 lbs., 4.23) -- Stallworth originally tried to backout of his decision to declare for the draft, but once the NCAA ruled against him -- he has blazed a trail towards the first round. He ran 4.23 at his Pro Day and shined in all of his pass catching drills. An emerging deep threat, he scored on nearly 25 percent of his catches during his junior season of 2001. His ability to make plays in the open field and turn short catches into long gains are his two most impressive traits. He also shows more strength and attitude than most deep threat receivers. Stallworth's upside potential is equal to any one at this position, which should help make him a Top-20 pick.
Josh Reed, LSU (5-10, 205 lbs., 4.45) -- Reed earned All-America honors in 2001, and won the Biletnikoff Award, annually given to the nation's top college receiver, after hauling in 94 passes for 1,740 yards. Along the way he set 17 school records and became the first SEC receiver to break the 3,000-yard career receiving yards mark. A high school running back, he has incredible footwork and runs excellent routes. Reed has a quick burst out of his break, understands how to run routes and blocks with great precision. He is not a "game-breaker" in terms of speed, but his run-after-catch skills should make him a late first-round pick.
Andre Davis, Virginia Tech (6-1, 194 lbs., 4.42) -- Davis has the ability to challenge deep and is not afraid to go over the middle and make the tough catch. He has a nice burst of speed and is elusive after the catch. A big-play artist, Davis averaged 19.4 yards per catch over his last three seasons with the Hokies. He is also a terrific punt returner, averaging 15.7 yards per return and scoring four touchdowns. Davis has a sprinter's background and has been timed as low as 4.29 in the 40. If he can harness his skills and continue to mature as a receiver than Davis could be this year's Chris Chambers (Dolphins).
Jabar Gaffney, Florida (6-1, 193 lbs., 4.48) -- Gaffney was one of the nation's most productive receivers during his Gators' career. He scored touchdowns in 19 of 24 games, while performing in the team's pass-oriented system. His overall level of experience -- two years in college shows that he still has room to grow. Gaffney possesses a knack for finding the end zone, ideal size and recently posted 40-times in the 4.45 range. He should be taken off the board by the early part of the second round.
Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh (6-1, 188 lbs., 4.48) -- Bryant battled two ankle injuries this season, including one incurred before the start of the season. He caught only 49 passes for 760 yards, but earned the Tangerine Bowl MVP by recording 101 yards and two touchdowns against N.C. State. His athleticism, size and speed make him the physical prototype of what most teams seek in a wide receiver. However, questions remain -- including his durability and off-field issues. He had several off-field issues during his college career.
Tim Carter, Auburn (6-0, 192 lbs., 4.32) -- Carter has the ability to challenge defenders deep, while displaying a nice burst of speed and elusive moves after the catch. He is more a project than finished product, as he has lined up at several positions in the past, but really came on as a receiver this season. His strong Senior Bowl effort and 4.4 speed at the Combine should allow him to be selected between rounds 3 and 4.
Clifford Russell, Utah (5-11, 188 lbs., 4.36) -- Russell has all the tools to become a deep-threat receiver. He has the size/speed that NFL scouts like to go along with decent hands, but sometimes allows passes to get into his body. His sub-4.4 speed should allow him to initially become an asset as a slot receiver and kickoff returner.
Marquise Walker, Michigan (6-2, 219 lbs., 4.67) -- Walker is a physical receiver with excellent body control that plays faster than he times. He compliments his physical abilities with excellent hands. His routes need polish, so he may not impact the NFL as a rookie, but will be an instant star on the coverage teams.
"Sleeper" -- Kendall Newson (6-1, 195 lbs., 4.57) -- Newson's 40-time might not excite anyone, but his hands and routes are first-class. He tore up the newly formed Sun Belt Conference and has terrific potential as a third-down possession receiver. Scouts have been very impressed at his workouts because he is such a polished receiver.
John Murphy, is the editor of www.draft2002.com and Director of Scouting and Evaluation for NL Sports. Be sure to check out the most in-depth, up-to-the-minute 2002 NFL Draft website and you can also email your draft questions to John from the www.draft2002.com website. This is the first in a series of draft reports by position that he will be providing for us. The top prospect at each position will be highlighted followed by a complete look at the position's other top prospects.