Scouting the Wide Receivers

The receivers available for the 2004 draft looks like the deepest group available to NFL teams in more than two decades. Eight receivers carry first round grades, though only seven at most will make it into the first frame. Talented wide outs will be available through the late rounds starting next Saturday.

Larry Fitzgerald/Pittsburgh/6-2/210/4.53/Sophmore: There are not too many pass catchers that possess the natural, fluid skills of Fitzgerald. A game controlling receiver that cannot be stopped by opposing defenses, he makes the important reception on third down or the tough grab during the games critical moment. Though inexperienced, Fitzgerald performed well throughout college. Three years removed from high school but only in college for two football seasons, Fitzgerald eligibility is still being discussed by the league and no firm decision has been announced.

Roy Williams/Texas/6-3/210/4.42 Senior: At the top of his game Roy Williams is a dominant wide out that controls the tempo of contests or breaks them wide open. Yet he can be an enigma and leaves many thinking he is capable of more. Though not considered a "boom or bust" type pick, Williams is a prospect that comes with some risk. He turned his game up a notch as a senior but must still improve his durability and consistency.

Mike Williams/USC/6-3/230/4.65/Sophomore: A physically gifted pass catcher that has been tremendously productive on the college level, Williams projects well to the next level though he may have limitations. A prototypical possession receiver, his lack of sheer quickness and speed is a limiting factor, which could ultimately have Williams moved to the tight end position.

Reggie Williams/Washington/6-3/219/4.51/Junior: A big, dominant pass catcher, Williams takes over the game and cannot be stopped. Devastating over the middle or out on the flanks, he also makes plays deep into the defensive secondary. Except for his blocking Williams does all the little things well. He did not have the campaign in 2003 many had hoped for but is a still a quality receiver that should quickly produce in the NFL.

Michael Clayton/LSU/6-3/210/4.55/14/Junior: Clayton has been the "go to guy" in Baton Rouge since he was a true freshman. He is a game controlling wide out with skills that parallel those of Keyshawn Johnson and like the former number one pick, will quickly impact an NFL team upon his arrival.

Michael Jenkins/Ohio State/6-4/210/4.52/Senior: Jenkins is a big play receiver that making as many important plays over the middle as he does down the field. Playing much faster than his forty time, he will stretch the defense and is very productive. Jenkins must get physically stronger as he will have difficulty handling the jam at the next level but should quickly grow into a number one wide out in the NFL.

Rashaun Woods/Oklahoma St/6-1/195/4.49/Senior: Woods does not pass the eyeball test nor is he a receiver that will "wow" people with great athletic workouts. Hence one must take him at face value for what he is; a great natural receiver with a tremendous amount of football skill.

Lee Evans/Wisconsin/5Sr/5-11/197/4.44/Senior: 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.

Devery Henderson/LSU/5-11.5/198/4.43/Senior: Explosive pass catcher that continually shows progress in his overall game and 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.

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