Draft series: Receivers

The Steelers brought six wide receivers in for official visits, and five of them are projected to be third or fourth-round picks by Pro Football Weekly. The other one is Dwayne Jarrett.

Stacking the Steelers' value board:
  • Offensive line
  • Running back
  • Quarterback
  • Square one
  • Feelings are mixed about Dwayne Jarrett. On one hand he caught 216 passes in only three seasons to leave USC as its all-time leader. On that same hand he caught 11 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his last game, the Rose Bowl. One of those touchdowns was a 61-yarder over acclaimed cornerback Leon Hall.

    On the other hand, Jarrett had trouble beating the jam of Chris Houston in the opener and was publicly ripped by his offensive coordinator and then by former Trojan Keyshawn Johnson, who said Jarrett would become the next Mike Williams, or in other words a slow receiver who can't get off the line and will flop in the NFL.

    And then Jarrett ran 4.62 and 4.67 40s at his pro day, or the same times that linebacker Jon Beason put up a week later at his pro day.

    So, ipso-facto, even a young linebacker could jam and cover Jarrett in the League, and perhaps the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Jarrett isn't all he's cracked up to be.

    Since running those times, Jarrett's status has slipped. He's no longer the big touchdown maker with the soft hands who was a sure-fire top-10 pick. Instead, he's El Floppo, Mike Williams, and he'll fall into the Steelers' lair at No. 15.

    The question is: Do they or don't they?

    Well, the Steelers have Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes as starters. Ward, in spite of what his critics in Pittsburgh believe, hasn't slipped. His insatiable workout appetite will allow him several more years of play at a high level. And Holmes was the No. 1 pick last year and figures to pick up from where he left off – in the end zone against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    The No. 3 receiver, 28-year-old Cedrick Wilson, runs sweet routes and has two years left on his contract. No. 4 man Nate Washington figures to break out in his third year and showed this weekend that he's still improving as a deep threat. No. 5 man Willie Reid has 4.3 speed and is recovered from a foot injury that ended his rookie season. Reid figures to make the team as a punt returner and as a project receiver.

    That doesn't leave much room for Jarrett, even with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians's four-WR sets.

    But, the quarterback loves big receivers. And memories of Jarrett's Rose Bowl must still be dancing in the Steelers' heads. And, as we've pointed out, the 15th pick isn't likely going to fill their biggest need – 3-4 outside linebacker.

    So do the Steelers succumb to the temptation of the big receiver? And didn't Jerry Rice run a pair of 4.6 40s before he was drafted 16th in the first round of the 1985 draft?

    Perhaps the answer came unwittingly from draft expert Mike Mayock, who inadvertently praised Jarrett while discussing whether Michigan's Hall or Pitt's Darrelle Revis should be the first cornerback drafted.

    "I watched Dwayne Jarrett run by Hall on a combination coverage and that bothered me," Mayock said last week in a conference call. "Jarrett's got marginal speed. He's a 4.65 guy. … At the combine, (Hall) ran 4.39. Well, I'm going to trust the tape."

    Jarrett appears to be the only first-round receiver the Steelers are studying. Ted Ginn doesn't block, and the blocker, Dwayne Bowe, has inconsistent hands.

    Wide receivers the Steelers hosted were Washington State's Jason Hill (6-0½, 204, 4.36), Lane College's Jacoby Jones (6-2½, 210, 4.52), East Carolina's Aundrae Allison (6-0¼, 198, 4.42), Illinois State's Laurent Robinson (6-2, 199, 4.43), and USC's Steve Smith (5-11¾, 197, 4.46).

    Hill caught 32 career touchdown passes and is a noted special-teams gunner; Jones played Division II ball but stood out at the East-West Shrine Game; Robinson caught 192 career passes but has little interest in blocking; and Smith caught 190 passes and loves to block.

    A pair of 6-foot-7 tight ends visited the Steelers. Matt Spaeth of Minnesota won the Mackey Award and is considered a third-round prospect and Cody Boyd of Washington State is less of a receiver but one of the rare blocking tight ends in the draft.

    Steelers' value board:

    JACOBY JONES, Lane College, WR, fourth round.

    COURTNEY TAYLOR, Auburn, WR, fourth round.

    YAMON FIGURES, Kansas State, WR-KR, fourth round.

    CODY BOYD, Washington State, TE, sixth round.

    JEFF SAMARDZIJA, Notre Dame, WR, seventh round.


    Steel City Insider Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
    \r\n Stacking the Steelers' value board:
    \r\n
  • Offensive line
  • \r\n
  • Running back
  • \r\n
  • Quarterback
  • \r\n
  • Square one
  • \r\n\r\nFeelings are mixed about Dwayne Jarrett. On one hand he caught 216 passes in only three seasons to leave USC as its all-time leader. On that same hand he caught 11 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his last game, the Rose Bowl. One of those touchdowns was a 61-yarder over acclaimed cornerback Leon Hall. \r\n\r\n

    On the other hand, Jarrett had trouble beating the jam of Chris Houston in the opener and was publicly ripped by his offensive coordinator and then by former Trojan Keyshawn Johnson, who said Jarrett would become the next Mike Williams, or in other words a slow receiver who can't get off the line and will flop in the NFL. \r\n\r\n

    And then Jarrett ran 4.62 and 4.67 40s at his pro day, or the same times that linebacker Jon Beason put up a week later at his pro day. \r\n\r\n

    So, ipso-facto, even a young linebacker could jam and cover Jarrett in the League, and perhaps the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Jarrett isn't all he's cracked up to be. \r\n\r\n

    Since running those times, Jarrett's status has slipped. He's no longer the big touchdown maker with the soft hands who was a sure-fire top-10 pick. Instead, he's El Floppo, Mike Williams, and he'll fall into the Steelers' lair at No. 15. \r\n\r\n

    The question is: Do they or don't they? \r\n\r\n

    Well, the Steelers have Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes as starters. Ward, in spite of what his critics in Pittsburgh believe, hasn't slipped. His insatiable workout appetite will allow him several more years of play at a high level. And Holmes was the No. 1 pick last year and figures to pick up from where he left off – in the end zone against the Cincinnati Bengals. \r\n\r\n

    The No. 3 receiver, 28-year-old Cedrick Wilson, runs sweet routes and has two years left on his contract. No. 4 man Nate Washington figures to break out in his third year and showed this weekend that he's still improving as a deep threat. No. 5 man Willie Reid has 4.3 speed and is recovered from a foot injury that ended his rookie season. Reid figures to make the team as a punt returner and as a project receiver. \r\n\r\n

    That doesn't leave much room for Jarrett, even with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians's four-WR sets. \r\n\r\n

    But, the quarterback loves big receivers. And memories of Jarrett's Rose Bowl must still be dancing in the Steelers' heads. And, as we've pointed out, the 15th pick isn't likely going to fill their biggest need – 3-4 outside linebacker. \r\n\r\n

    So do the Steelers succumb to the temptation of the big receiver? And didn't Jerry Rice run a pair of 4.6 40s before he was drafted 16th in the first round of the 1985 draft? \r\n\r\n

    Perhaps the answer came unwittingly from draft expert Mike Mayock, who inadvertently praised Jarrett while discussing whether Michigan's Hall or Pitt's Darrelle Revis should be the first cornerback drafted. \r\n\r\n

    \"I watched Dwayne Jarrett run by Hall on a combination coverage and that bothered me,\" Mayock said last week in a conference call. \"Jarrett's got marginal speed. He's a 4.65 guy. … At the combine, (Hall) ran 4.39. Well, I'm going to trust the tape.\" \r\n\r\n

    Jarrett appears to be the only first-round receiver the Steelers are studying. Ted Ginn doesn't block, and the blocker, Dwayne Bowe, has inconsistent hands. \r\n\r\n

    Wide receivers the Steelers hosted were Washington State's Jason Hill (6-0½, 204, 4.36), Lane College's Jacoby Jones (6-2½, 210, 4.52), East Carolina's Aundrae Allison (6-0¼, 198, 4.42), Illinois State's Laurent Robinson (6-2, 199, 4.43), and USC's Steve Smith (5-11¾, 197, 4.46). \r\n\r\n

    Hill caught 32 career touchdown passes and is a noted special-teams gunner; Jones played Division II ball but stood out at the East-West Shrine Game; Robinson caught 192 career passes but has little interest in blocking; and Smith caught 190 passes and loves to block. \r\n\r\n

    A pair of 6-foot-7 tight ends visited the Steelers. Matt Spaeth of Minnesota won the Mackey Award and is considered a third-round prospect and Cody Boyd of Washington State is less of a receiver but one of the rare blocking tight ends in the draft. \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

    Steelers' value board: \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

    JACOBY JONES, Lane College, WR, fourth round. \r\n\r\n

    COURTNEY TAYLOR, Auburn, WR, fourth round. \r\n\r\n

    YAMON FIGURES, Kansas State, WR-KR, fourth round. \r\n\r\n

    CODY BOYD, Washington State, TE, sixth round. \r\n\r\n

    JEFF SAMARDZIJA, Notre Dame, WR, seventh round. \r\n\r\n","skipOnMobile":true,"skipOnMobileReason":"UnsupportedHtmlTable","unsupportedMarkup":"LackingResponsiveTableClass","media":[],"dateOverride":"2007-04-22T17:52:00","authorOverride":"Jim Wexell","role":"SteelCityInsider.com","isPremium":true,"isHotNews":false,"isRumor":false,"syndicationFlag":true,"isClassified":true,"hotNamesLinked":true,"storyImage":"[MEDIA:404299]","mainImage":{"url":"[MEDIA:404299]"},"thumbnailImage":"[THUMBNAIL:404299]","heroImage":{},"authorImage":"","tags":[{"id":"9774","name":"East Carolina - Football"},{"id":"372","name":"Kansas State"},{"id":"575","name":"USC"},{"id":"684","name":"East Carolina"},{"id":"10024","name":"Auburn - Football"},{"id":"10012","name":"USC - Football"},{"id":"9842","name":"Kansas State - Football"},{"id":"591","name":"Auburn"},{"id":"182","name":"Pittsburgh Steelers"},{"id":"Draft","name":"Draft"}],"nodes":["2704934","2522994","2611173","2611227","99","663","694","736","747","1577","1674","903","910","2111","2119","2137","2141"],"isActive":true,"inActiveAndMemberHasPublishRights":false,"createdOn":"2007-04-22T18:25:13.727","createdById":"166721","modifiedOn":"2015-12-18T13:15:36.423","modifiedBy":"51458","imgs":[],"viewStats":[{"from":"2015-05-28T11:00:00","to":"2015-05-28T12:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-02T15:00:00","to":"2015-06-02T16:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-29T15:00:00","to":"2015-06-29T16:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-06-30T05:00:00","to":"2015-06-30T06:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-07-27T04:00:00","to":"2015-07-27T05:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-08-13T08:00:00","to":"2015-08-13T09:00:00","count":4},{"from":"2015-08-16T21:00:00","to":"2015-08-16T22:00:00","count":4}],"hasVideo":false,"brandUnsafe":false,"breakingNews":false},"editorsChoice":{"siteUrls":["http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1704973-energy-bringers-badasses","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1722620-sci-teams-sports-illustrated","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1644408-long-may-heath-run","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1626251-ups-and-downs-shazier-playcaller","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1614465-qa-peezy-deebo"],"networkUrls":["http://www.scout.com/college/basketball/story/1766202-final-four-preview-and-predictions"],"topRibbonWidgets":[],"carouselStoryUrls":["http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1764984-steelers-interested-massive-te","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1764673-steelers-sign-ironman-alualu","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1764590-could-a-safety-lb-hybrid-replace-timmons","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1764421-steelers-sign-knile-davis","http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1763601-steelersfree-agency-phase-ii"],"storyStreamUrls":[],"storyStreamBlacklistUrls":[],"videoStories":[{"type":"StorySummary","containerType":"StorySummary","id":"1762221","siteId":"68","isPublicSite":true,"subdomain":"pit","siteFolder":"/nfl/steelers","canonicalUrl":"http://www.scout.com/nfl/steelers/story/1762221-film-sets-budda-baker-free","shortUrl":"http://pit.scout.com/story/1762221-film-sets-budda-baker-free","siteName":"Steel City Insider","forumName":"","friendlySubdomain":"Pittsburgh","title":"Film Sets Budda Baker Free","subtitle":"","seotitle":"Safety Fits Steelers' Nickel","caption":"","deck":"Budda Bakaer drew raves after his performance Saturday at Washington's pro day. 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