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NFL Draft Positional Rankings: Wide Receivers

CheeseheadTV takes a look at the top wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Moving along to wide receivers on the positional rankings you'll see a decent crop of guys that should be on the Packers radar. Despite having good depth on paper the Packers are always looking for a wide receiver to groom to eventually be a contributor. Jordy Nelson is coming off a knee injury and Davante Adams has been a disappointment to this point. A need at the position could come quicker than expected. I’ve only ranked players I feel comfortable enough to form a solid opinion/analysis on. It would be disingenuous to rank players I don’t have a strong opinion on.

Previous positional rankings:

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-quarterbacks

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/nfl-draft-positional-rankings-running-backs

Wide Receivers

1.       Josh Doctson, WR, TCU- Doctson is one of the most exciting prospects to watch in this year’s draft. His ability to high point the ball and out jump defenders is second to none. He was a big play threat at TCU averaging nearly 17 yards per catch last season. The 6’2” 202lb wide receiver isn’t as dynamic after the catch as he is playing the ball in the air but he runs crisp routes and understands how to get open. He may take some time to adjust, but with his “my ball mentality” he fits the profile of a future #1 wide receiver.

2.       LaQuan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss- Treadwell is really 1A to Doctson but he isn’t quite the athlete other top prospects were in previous drafts. Treadwell is more in the mold of a possession wide receiver who uses his 6’2” 221lb frame to bully defensive backs and his height to reach over them. He has some high point ability and his run after the catch is underrated. What also makes Treadwell appealing to many teams is his blocking prowess on the outside. Treadwell is a solid 1st round caliber wide receiver but if a team thinks it’s getting a bon-a-fide star, they may be disappointed.

3.       Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma- The 5’10 194lbs receiver may be the best route runner in this class. He has great change of direction ability and understands setting defenders up with head movement and selling routes. Sheppard has terrific hands and can make defenders miss after the catch. Although he was able to win on the outside in college Shepard will more than likely be relegated to slot duties in the NFL due to his size.

4.       Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor- Coleman is outstanding with the ball in his hands, he has the ability to make defenders look silly when trying to tackle him. The 5’11 194lbs receiver is a bit undersized but he plays bigger than he is. Coleman can out jump defenders for balls down the field and really stretch the defense with his speed. Coleman ran a limited route tree at Baylor so there will be a learning curve for him, but he should be a weapon right away if a team uses him properly.

5.       Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St- Michael Thomas from Ohio St. is the type of receiver who does everything really well but doesn’t have a stand out trait. He is a very good route runner, catches the ball cleanly and is very good after the catch. The 6’2” 212lb receiver from Ohio St. didn’t have a ton of production in the Buckeye offense but he definitely has the tools to be an effective wide receiver in the NFL. Thomas could hear his name called at the end of round 1.

6.       Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh- Boyd is a very polished receiver who runs good routes and has excellent hands. The 6’1” 197lb receiver has excellent body control and can make contested catches look easy. Boyd is crafty after the catch but he doesn’t have elite speed. Boyd projects as a #2 receiver in an NFL offense.

7.       Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame- The 6’ 186lb speedster excels at taking the top off a defense. Fuller averaged 20 yards per catch last season while hauling in 14 touchdowns. Fuller has had his issue with drops and isn’t going to make a living going over the middle of the field, but if you want a vertical threat he’s the best one in the draft.

8.       Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio St. - Miller is relatively new to the position but he has exceptional athleticism and can wreak havoc once he has the ball in his hands. His routes are surprisingly very good but it remains to be seen if the 6’1” 201lb wide receiver can produce consistently.

9.       Leontee Caroo, WR, Rutgers- Caroo has arguably the best hands in the draft and is a savvy route runner. He isn’t going to wow anyone athletically but he’d be a solid #3 or even a good #2 receiver.

10.   Mike Thomas, WR, Southern Miss- At 6’1” 200lbs the “other Mike Thomas” has a lot of tools that project well to the NFL level. He has very good body control, can high point the ball, and is dangerous after the catch.

11.   Rishard Higgins, WR Colorado St.- Higgins has a thin frame at 6’1” 196lbs but he can really move once he has the ball in his hands. He was a big play threat at Colorado St. either running deep patterns or taking screen plays the distance.

12.   Kenny Lawler, WR, California- Lawler is a bit thin at 6’2 203lbs but he is a very good route runner and has the ability to make highlight reel catches. He isn’t the fastest but he knows where to find soft spots in zones to get open.

13.   Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia- The 6’ 198lb Mitchell is another well rounded receiver. Georgia’s offense never opened it up but Mitchell has the ability to make tough catches and has shown to be a good route runner.

14.   Charone Peake, WR, Clemson- Peake is a phenomenal athlete at 6’2 209lbs. After biding his time behind other wide receivers and battling injuries Peake stepped up this last year and really produced. His hands are a little shaky but his combination of run after the catch ability and route running he can be developed into something special.

15.   Ricardo Louis, WR, Aubrun- Louis has all the measurables you want in a wide receiver. He's 6'2 215lbs and is very athletic. Aubrun used him in a variety of ways, including end arounds. He has some focus drops but he has some qualities a team will like to try and coach up.

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Comments (17)

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 03, 2016 at 02:27 pm

I hope if TT gets tempted to draft a WR before the "project rounds" that the WR selected is something we don't already have on the team. Either a giant or a true blazer.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 04, 2016 at 06:28 am

Which would you prefer?
Giant or True blazer?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 04, 2016 at 11:10 am

I'd prefer no WR until the project rounds.

But if TT decides to go that route in the early rounds then I would like a true blazer. Besides a healthy Jordy we haven't had a WR that a defense wouldn't be able to put just ANY CB on.

I've seen the rest of our WRs be manned up against the bummest of the bum and struggle at times. We have enough "balanced" WRs.

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lucky953's picture

April 03, 2016 at 02:10 pm

I could see them taking a WR as high as second round. Teds got to be thinking about Jordys replacement 2-3 yrs down the line. Like most folks I think it will be a big man in the first.

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dobber's picture

April 03, 2016 at 02:27 pm

With such a down year at WR and TE, and significant needs in areas where the draft is stronger, I would hope TT chooses to ignore this WR group until the middle or later rounds.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2016 at 12:03 am

With so few decent WRs, it is hard to imagine getting good value this year. It is Doctson in the first, maybe Thomas as a mid-2nd, maybe a couple of speedsters later. Agree this is a draft class to not expect to see a pick except maybe later.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

April 03, 2016 at 03:12 pm

Were pretty good unless the injury bug hits us again.

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

April 03, 2016 at 05:14 pm

If the Packers are looking to add a wide-out in the very late rounds or as a UFA, I hope they're looking at this kid from Germany, Moritz Boehringer. His numbers:
6-4, 227, 4.4 sec. 40 yd

[edit]
In fact, according to this article, Green Bay is one of the teams that have shown interest:

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/04/01/pro-day-workout-creates-...

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John Galt III's picture

April 03, 2016 at 07:02 pm

Receiver is a position where (3-5) years into an NFL career a lot of middle and lower round draft choices excel. This gentleman may be one of them

Examples:

Donald Driver - the Packers all time leading receiver - a 7th rounder from Alcorn State.

Shannon Sharpe - 6th round

Marques Colston - 7th round

One other thing - wingspan is just as important as vertical leap - especially in the NBA - their draft guys have figured this out long long ago.

A 6" 4" guy with an 80 inch wingspan is the same as a normal 76' tall/76" wingspan guy who has a vertical jump 4" more.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

April 03, 2016 at 08:16 pm

They think he will be gone well before this happens.

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olwig420's picture

April 03, 2016 at 09:21 pm

I like this Charone Peake guy in round 4. We should go D in the first 3 rounds and all O for the 3 fourth round picks, RB, WR, and OL.

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Rossonero's picture

April 03, 2016 at 09:44 pm

I hope round 1 is DT, but if there's good value for a WR in the second round, then take him.

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Rossonero's picture

April 03, 2016 at 09:44 pm

Even in a weak draft class ("weak" defined as the slowest 40 times since the weak class of 2011), trust in Ted to find a great WR in round 2. Tyler Boyd is a guy I could see choosing in the 2nd round.

I know Janis had a great final game vs. Arizona, but let's not forget how much of a trainwreck the WR position was last year.

James Jones is gone, and Montgomery and Nelson are coming off of major injuries / surgeries.

Davante Adams needs to step up fast or he's done in Green Bay by end of 2017 season. Abbrederis is solid, but gets hurt too much. All that leaves is Cobb and hopefully he will be 100% healthy this season.

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Tundraboy's picture

April 03, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Seems like Doctson and then everybody else. TT will look for a diamond in later rounds.

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EdsLaces's picture

April 03, 2016 at 10:48 pm

No Pharoah Cooper???

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 06, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Decided to look at some of these guys...

First up: Doctson

The first two vs videos I pulled up were against Texas and Texas Tech. I'm not even done with the Texas Tech game and I'm really liking him.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

April 06, 2016 at 11:50 pm

Laquon Treadwell

not

Laquan Treadwell

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