I didn't see a Randy Moss, Roy Williams or Calvin Johnson among this year's senior receiving crop, but I did see some very talented complimentary type receivers in the group. Clemson Tiger, Aaron Kelly combines both size, soft hands and is a particularly inviting target down in the red zone. He showed good body dexterity and his route running skills were impressive particularly for a big man. My big concerns are that he is he lacks the physical strength and he really doesn't have the type of speed to become a vertical, down the field threat in the pro game.
University of Florida's Louis Murphy, burst on to the scene in 2007 and is said to have all of the physical tools one looks for at the position. He's big, strong, fast and explosive, but he lacks a little route running polish at this time, didn't use his impressive size to impose his will over smaller defenders and wasn't as creative after the catch as I had hoped and expected. Many pro scouts hinted to me prior to the 2008 season that Murphy who arrived via Coffeyville CC, had the best chance of developing into a number one receiver out of the senior group, but through the first third of the season, I have my doubts.
Florida State' Greg Carr also has the same type of athletic ability and size but lacks consistency and quite frankly up until this season, a QB who can get the ball to him down the field. Greg has a much improved attitude over the last two year and was considered FSU's go to guy; that was until super JC transfer wideout Corey Surrency arrived on campus.
University of Kentucky WR Dickie Lyons has a ton of ability and playing potential. His numbers aren't going to wow you, but he has excellent speed, is intelligent, will catch inside and is a dangerous returner. Although his dad was a former All SEC defensive back who played professionally for both the Falcons and Saints, his football background is rather limited (only two seasons of prep football).
Brian Robiskie, from The Ohio State University, like the aforementioned Lyons isn't flashy, but all he does is make big catches at critical stages of the game and get the ball into the end zone. Brian's dad Terry is also a star running back at LSU and NFL coach and player.
Prior to the start of the 2008 season, I felt Dante Love of Ball State had an excellent chance of developing into a top back up and special team player within the league. Although he wasn't very big or fast, he was a very productive, polished receiver and returner, who did some impressive things in space. On September 20th vs Indiana he suffered a severe spinal injury which has ended his football playing career. I along with the rest of Scout.com family salute him and wish him the very best in his recovery.
Keep your eye on little known Tuskegee receiver Jason English. He doesn't appear to have the quarter horse speed to separate, but his 25.5 per catch average and 14 TD on 39 receptions in 2007, is nothing short of tremendous!
If you are impressed with size and receiving numbers you are going to loves California Poly (SLO) record setting receiver Ramses Barden, the top player maker in this year's pass catching group. Again, I don't think he has exceptional speed, but I liked his ability to adjust to the ball both on and off his body.
I'm really rooting for Oregon State' Sammie Slaughter to make it back from injuries and personal problems. I first noticed him during the 2006 season and was impressed with his receiving skills, body control and hands. Jeremy Gilchrist of Hampton University via Virginia Tech University is an exciting receiver with outstanding athletic ability and position skills. I heard some nice things about LSU's Demetrius Byrd, but after viewing him in the season opener versus Appalachian State I have to say; I was a tad disappointed in his overall play. He has size and speed, but in my brief exposure I didn't think he was very polished nor did anything to separate himself from the rest of the pack. He has all of the equipment to play, but the 2008 season will tell ultimately tell the story with this player.
Catches - Yards - Avg - TD
|B||McKinley||Kenny||So Carolina U||77-968-12.6-9|
|B||Gibson||Brandon||Washington State U||67-1180-17.6-9|
|C||Barden||Ramses||Calif Poly (SLO)||57-1467-25.7-18|
|C||Foster||Brooks||No Carolina U||29-417-14.4-2|
|C||Kinder||Derek||Pittsburgh U||No 2007 stats|
|C||Jurovich||Kevin||San Jose St||85-1183-13.9-9|
|C||Simmons||Jamarko||Western Michigan U||84-980-11.7-6|