1/4/09: So, is Michael Crabtree coming out? “I’m just going to make my decision after the bowl game,” Crabtree said. “It will be easier for everybody. I know, but I’m not ready to say.”
If Crabtree goes, he’s pretty much a top-five lock. Crabtree had 93 catches, 1,135 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2008.
10/19/08: Michael Crabtree won’t match last year’s numbers – he’s currently on pace for 1,306 yards and 20 touchdowns – but Texas Tech has been ahead so much this season, they’ve been throwing a lot less.
5/22/08: Doubters will say Michael Crabtree is a product of the system. So, what they’re telling us is that if Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald played for Hawaii or Texas Tech, they wouldn’t be first-round prospects? What Crabtree did as a redshirt freshman last year was downright disgusting. Try 134 receptions, 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns. He had one of his biggest games against Oklahoma, catching 12 balls for 154 yards and a score.
2007: I know stats don’t really mean anything in Texas Tech’s offense, but Michael Crabtree just seems special. In the first seven contests of his collegiate career, Crabtree has 78 receptions, 1,244 yards and 17 touchdowns. What really impresses me is his combination of size and speed. That 40 time may even be faster now, as it is a bit old.
1/4/09: Jeremy Maclin had an outstanding sophomore campaign, catching 95 balls for 1,221 yards and 12 touchdowns. Maclin also returned a kickoff for a score.
10/19/08: After a slow start, Jeremy Maclin registered 100-yard outputs against Nevada, Buffalo and Oklahoma State.
5/22/08: If Jeremy Maclin can run a 4.29, you better believe he’ll be off the board by the pick No. 15. He has a chance to do it, though if I had to bet, I’d say low 4.3.
2007: Jeremy Maclin set the NCAA freshman record for all-purpose yardage. A dynamic return specialist, Maclin also had 1,055 receiving yards, 375 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns in 2007. He’ll be a red-shirt sophomore in 2008, so he’ll be eligible for the 2009 Draft.
10/19/08: Percy Harvin has been beat up this year – which isn’t surprising, considering his small frame – but he’s still putting up solid numbers. In five games, Harvin has 25 catches, 396 yards and seven total touchdowns. Harvin also has 190 rushing yards.
5/22/08: Percy Harvin didn’t have imposing numbers as a receiver (764 yards, 10 touchdowns), but he also had 858 rushing yards. Harvin won’t even be 21 by the time the 2009 NFL Draft rolls around, so some teams will find that appealing. However, Harvin will have to run a fast 40, especially at his size, if he wants to beat out Jeremy Maclin and Darrius Heyward-Bey to be second on this list.
2007: You can look at Percy Harvin’s freshman numbers (34 receptions, 427 yards) all you want, but they don’t tell the whole story. Harvin dominated at the end of the 2006 campaign, garnering 91 yards against South Carolina and 62 versus Arkansas. However, Harvin saved his best performance for last, as he notched nine catches for 60 yards in the BCS Championship. Harvin is essentially a lock to go in the top 20, given his 40. If he keeps improving, he could be taken in the top five whenever he chooses to declare.
1/4/09: Darrius Heyward-Bey had just 38 receptions, 553 yards and five touchdowns in 2008. His supporting cast was pretty pedestrian, so don’t judge him on those numbers.
10/19/08: Despite catching just 12 balls entering the Wake Forest game, Darrius Heyward-Bey dominated the Deacons, catching 11 balls for 101 yards and a touchdown.
5/22/08: Darrius Heyward-Bey was inconsistent in 2007. Then again, any receiver would have been with the garbage Maryland had at quarterback (Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy combined for nine touchdowns and 11 picks). Heyward-Bey has a pretty sick 40 at his size. He has a shot to run a high 4.2.
2007: As a freshman, Darrius Heyward-Bey led the team in receptions (45) and receiving yards (694). All of his production came toward the end of the season. Named to the preseason first-team All-ACC. Still has a lot of room to grow – it’s almost scary how good this guy can become.
7/26/08: If Kenny Britt runs a 4.4 at his size, he might become a lock to go in the first round. Britt had 62 receptions for 1,232 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore, earning a spot on the All-Big East second team. He won’t even be 21 when the 2009 NFL season kicks off.
10/19/08: Hakeem Nicks has been a beast this year. Through seven games, Nicks has 39 catches, 643 yards and four touchdowns. His 40 is going to hurt him.
5/22/08: Louis Murphy had his first productive year as a Gator last year, collecting 37 receptions, 548 yards and five scores. Those aren’t monstrous numbers, so why is he ranked so high? Check out his size and 40 time. Some teams (cough, Raiders and Lions, sneeze) will consider him in Round 2.
10/19/08: This guy just keeps getting better. Juaquin Iglesias broke out against Kansas, catching 12 balls for 191 yards.
5/22/08: Despite Malcolm Kelly’s presence on the team, Juaquin Iglesias led the Sooners with 68 receptions, 907 yards and five touchdowns.
10/19/08: I love Brandon LaFell as a receiving prospect. LaFell has really stepped up this year; his worst performance was a 7-catch, 59-yard output in a loss at Florida.
5/22/08: Brandon LaFell cooled off toward the end of the season but still managed to lead the team in receiving yards (656). He’ll have to be more of a factor with Early Doucet gone.
2007: So much for LSU not having a second option across from Early Doucet. Brandon LaFell had the breakout performance of his collegiate career against a very solid Virginia Tech defense, catching seven passes for 125 yards, leading all Tiger receivers.
10/19/08: Mohamed Massaquoi has only two good games this season. He has way too many two-catch, 17-yard clunkers.
5/22/08: A member of the All-SEC Second Team, Mohamed Massaquoi caught 32 passes for 491 yards and four touchdowns in 2007.
10/19/08: Through eight games, Derrick Williams has played in only three games where he registered more than two receptions. Still, he’s a dynamic option on the field who can be used on end-arounds and kick returns.
5/22/08: Derrick Williams has never been able to put up great numbers at Penn State because he was paired with zero-IQ quarterback Anthony Morelli (55 receptions, 529 yards). Still, he’s a talented receiver and kick returner with a great 40.
2007: Derrick Williams’ production was a bit lower than what it should have been in 2006 because junior quarterback Anthony Morelli struggled to find a groove until late in the year. Williams, who caught 40 passes for 440 yards and touchdown, had his best performance against Michigan (six receptions, 67 yards), so you know he steps his game up when it matters most. If Morelli keeps improving, Williams could have a breakout year in 2007. Williams also doubles as an effective kick returner.
10/19/08: The Terrell Pryor-to-Brian Robiskie connection looked promising at first, but Robiskie has registered two catches in each of the past three games against Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan State. He hasn’t gone over the 20-yard mark since Sept. 27.
5/22/08: Brian Robiskie had great production last year – 55 receptions, 935 yards, 11 touchdowns – but his mediocre 40 could keep him out of the first round.
2007: Brian Robiskie played well against Youngstown State and Akron, but his first real test as a starter came at Washington. Robiskie caught four balls for 107 yards, including a 68-yard bomb.
With Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez gone, Robiskie is Ohio State’s leading returning receiver. Robiskie only caught 29 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns last year, but get this – Robiskie garnered seven receptions, 89 yards and a score in a 42-39 victory against Michigan of all teams.
7/26/08: Despite missing two games, Austin Collie led BYU in receiving yardage (946) and qualified for the All-Mountain West second team. Collie was also solid as a return specialist.
10/19/08: You can’t blame Brandon Gibson for the disaster in Pullman this year. Gibson had 10 catches and 103 yards against Oregon on Sept. 27, but hasn’t done much since.
5/22/08: Despite missing one game last year, Brandon Gibson had 67 receptions, 1,180 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. He’ll only be 21 when the 2009 NFL Draft rolls around, so that’s definitely a plus.
2007: What to do with Pat White? Does he play running back at the next level? Receiver? Quarterback? Probably not the latter. Considering he rushed for 1,219 yards and 18 touchdowns, and gained 7.4 yards per carry, White will probably be placed in the backfield. His small frame concerns me, so what White needs to do after graduating is put on about 15 pounds of muscle.
10/19/08: The only Mustang of note, Ramses Barden has at least 131 yards and a touchdown in every game this season.
5/22/08: And I thought a 42-catch, 824-yard campaign was impressive. Ramses Barden smashed his 2006 numbers, collecting 57 receptions, 1,467 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. I don’t care where you play – that’s downright impressive.
2007: Ramses Barden’s 6-6 frame may get him drafted, but unless he gets quicker, he’ll have trouble getting separation in the NFL. Produced at 1-AA, accumulating 824 yards last year and 14 touchdowns the past two seasons.
10/19/08: Darius Passmore opened some eyes this year with a 7-catch, 95-yard outing at Wisconsin. He has improved, and even registered 165 yards at UAB on Oct. 18.
10/19/08: A disappointment this year, Mike Wallace has only 18 catches in seven games. His 40 may get him drafted.
5/22/08: Mike Wallace came on in 2007, notching 38 passes, 716 yards and six touchdowns. He’s also an effective kick returner. You have to love his 40 – especially if you’re a 250-year-old owner of an NFL team on the West Coast.
10/19/08: Brennan Marion had a solid season entering the UTEP game. Solid became excellent, as Marion caught six balls for 233 yards and three touchdowns.
5/22/08: Brennan Marion’s 40 will get him noticed, as will his 2007 numbers: 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. Oh, and he didn’t play in two of Tulsa’s 13 games.
2007: Despite starting just eight games, Marko Mitchell recorded 53 receptions, 1,129 yards and eight touchdowns in 2007. His yards per catch (21.3) was good for second in the nation. Mitchell also has a nice 40 at his size.
10/19/08: Old Man Cosby had nine receptions for 122 yards against Oklahoma, and followed that up with seven catches and 74 yards against Missouri.
5/22/08: Quan Cosby is much more talented than an average mid-round prospect. He’s got the 40. He also has the production (680 yards, five touchdowns). And he can return kicks as well. So, what’s the problem? He’ll be 27 as a rookie.
10/19/08: Jeremy Gilchrist has just 19 receptions in five games.
5/22/08: A transfer from Virginia Tech, Jeremy Gilchrist led Hampton with 69 catches, 1,043 yards and seven touchdowns in 2007.
10/19/08: Michael Jones has been more consistent this season, catching at least four passes in all but one game. He’s on pace for 60 receptions and 854 yards. He’s only been to the end zone once, however.
5/22/08: Michael Jones was pretty inconsistent last year, but he came on in the final game of the year. Jones had eight receptions, 107 yards and two touchdowns against Texas in the Pacific Life Holiday postseason exhibition match.
10/19/08: Tons of drops and lacking production (14 catches before the Connecticut game on Oct. 18) has dropped Tiquan Underwood’s stock. His 40 will still intrigue some teams. 5/22/08: Tiquan Underwood had six games of more than 100 receiving yards, totaling 1,100 and seven touchdowns for the entire year.
10/19/08: Maybe Aaron Kelly should have declared early. Kelly had his first 100-yard performance against Georgia Tech, but struggled at times with Cullen Harper tanking.
2007: After declaring for the 2008 NFL Draft, Aaron Kelly has decided to stay for his senior year.
Kelly put up great numbers with Cullen Harper emerging as an elite quarterback. Kelly had 88 receptions, 1,081 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, Kelly really needs to improve his 40 if he wants to get drafted in the first two rounds.
10/19/08: After a solid start, Mike Thomas’ production has dropped in Pac-10 play.
5/22/08: If it weren’t for Mike Thomas’ height… Thomas, a kick returner with a solid 40, caught 83 passes for 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. His 5-9 frame hurts his draft stock.
10/19/08: A disappointment this season, Demetrius Byrd has either two or three receptions in every game this season, save for one.
5/22/08: Demetrius Byrd improved throughout the year and had a pair of 6-catch performances in November. Byrd finished with 35 receptions, 621 yards and seven touchdowns.
10/19/08: Deon Butler actually leads the team in receiving. He had eight grabs for 105 yards against Michigan.
5/22/08: Probably the most talented Nittany Lion receiver in this draft class. Unfortunately, Deon Butler’s lacking size hurts his draft stock.
2007: Everyone always doubts Deon Butler because of his size, but Butler managed to lead the Nittany Lions in receiving last season with 48 catches and 637 yards. Butler actually had more success as a freshman (691 yards, nine touchdowns), but his production picked up at the end of the year, as Anthony Morelli matured. In fact, Butler had 11 catches for 216 yards in a 33-7 victory against Northwestern. Butler’s size will restrict him to the third or fourth rounds, despite the fact that he has the tools of a first-rounder. Definitely a sleeper.
10/19/08: An undersized, but a quick and productive receiver, Sammie Stroughter has 38 catches, 496 yards and four touchdowns on the year.
10/19/08: Jamarko Simmons, currently on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time in his career, had 13 catches and 118 yards at Central Michigan on Oct. 18.
5/22/08: I find it odd that Jamarko Simmons had his best production against the likes of West Virginia (14 rec, 144 yds, 2 TDs) and Missouri (10 rec, 98 yds), and had his worst outings versus Central Connecticut State (3 rec, 33 yds) and Central Michigan (2 rec, 22 yards). In all, Simmons finished with 84 catches, 980 yards and six touchdowns.
10/19/08: Kenny McKinley missed three games with a hamstring injury. He had seven catches, 88 yards and a touchdown at Kentucky, but dropped a key pass in LSU territory the following week.
2007: Kenny McKinley followed up a 51-catch 2006 season with 77 receptions, 968 yards and nine touchdowns despite playing with a toe injury.
10/19/08: Jarrett Dillard has at least seven receptions in every game this year. Pretty amazing. His size and lacking 40 time kills his stock.
5/22/08: A lot like DeSean Jackson without the blinding speed. How is Jarett Dillard going to get off the line of scrimmage at the next level? That has to be a concern despite his 79 receptions, 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2007.
2007: I don’t care whom you play against – production is production. Jarett Dillard caught 91 passes for 1,247 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2006. Yeah, 21 touchdowns. His weight bothers me, however.
7/26/08: Despite missing Boise State’s postseason exhibition match, Jeremy Childs managed 82 catches, 1,045 yards and nine touchdowns, earning himself a spot on the All-WAC first team.
10/19/08: David Richmond has become more consistent this season. He’s on the edge of draft consideration. We’ll have to see what he does at the Combine or his Pro Day.
5/22/08: David Richmond compiled 55 catches, 852 yards and three touchdowns in 2007. Richmond had a 10- and a 9-reception game. Other than that, he averaged 3.6 receptions per contest.
5/22/08: A mediocre 40 hurts Greg Orton, who had 67 receptions for 752 yards and three touchdowns in 2007.
10/19/08: Brooks Foster doesn’t have more than three catches in any game this year. You still have to love his projected 40 at his size.
5/22/08: Brooks Foster has nice size, but the production just isn’t there (29 receptions, 417 yards in 2007).
5/22/08: Like Deon Butler, Jordan Norwood is a talented receiver whose small frame will hinder his draft stock. And if Norwood doesn’t make it in the NFL, ESPN can just hire him as a bracketologist; he was one of the top finishers in the 2006 Facebook NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge.
2007: Another small Penn State receiver who will probably be successful in the NFL. Jordan Norwood caught 45 passes for 472 yards and two scores in 2006. However, unlike Derrick Williams and Deon Butler, Norwood’s production decreased asthe 2006 campaign progressed; 13 of Norwood’s 45 receptions came in the first two weeks of the season.
7/26/08: Brian Hartline finished behind Brian Robiskie in receptions (52) and yards (694) as a sophomore. He’s talented, but his mediocre 40 is going to hurt his draft stock.
10/19/08: Nate Swift just had the best game of his 2008 season – an eight-catch, 112-yard performance at Iowa State. He’s on pace to have the best year of his career.
5/22/08: Nate Swift’s production in Bill Callahan’s offense was limited; he had 36 receptions, 520 yards and three touchdowns.
10/19/08: Prior to the Kansas game in which he suffered an arm injury, Manuel Johnson led the Sooners in receiving with 32 catches, 553 yards and eight touchdowns.
10/19/08: Nothing special this season. Hope Patrick Turner’s working on his 40!
5/22/08: Patrick Turner’s 40 is going to kill him. He had 48 receptions, 569 yards and three touchdowns last year, so that’s not too great either.
2007: Patrick Turner hasn’t done much at USC (29 receptions and 272 yards were career highs in 2006), but he’ll have an opportunity to shine now that Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith are gone. If Turner improves his 40, he could sneak into the first round.
10/19/08: Jaison Williams’ production is down, but considering the dropoff at quarterback in the wake of Dennis Dixon’s departure, it’s not really a surprise.
5/22/08: A 4.6 isn’t good for a receiver, but if the guy’s 6-5, 240, who cares? Jaison Williams was a powerful weapon for Dennis Dixon; Williams notched 55 receptions, 844 yards and eight touchdowns. NFL GMs be warned – Williams is known for his butter fingers.
2007: An intriguing prospect. Look at his weight. How can anyone defend him inside the end zone? If Jaison Williams can run a 4.5, he’ll go in the first two rounds. Caught 68 passes for 984 yards and six touchdowns in 2006.
5/22/08: Though he’ll be the main receiver at Kentucky with Keenan Burton and Steve Johnson gone, Dicky Lyons’ production could slip because Andre’ Woodson will no longer be under center. Lyons had 56 catches, 655 yards and seven scores in 2007. Not bad for a fourth option (Jacob Tamme).
10/19/08: George Smith has just four receptions on the year, as he’s coming off foot surgery.
5/22/08: Registered 32 receptions, 397 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Will be entering his third year as a starter in 2008.
5/22/08: Jamayel Smith may have just caught 33 passes for 510 yards in 2007, but look past that. Check out his performance against Arkansas in mid-November: 10 catches, 208 yards and two scores. A sign of things to come?
5/22/08: Casey Fitzgerald had one of the most dominating performances of the year in college football when he ripped apart SMU’s secondary for 18 catches, 327 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzgerald finished with 111 receptions, 1,322 yards and 12 scores. For what it’s worth, he had 126 yards at Oklahoma in the season opener.
5/22/08: Greg Carr, who figures to be an imposing red-zone target in the NFL, hasn’t been able to show what he’s made of because of mediocre quarterback play at Florida State. Carr caught 45 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 2007.
2007: Greg Carr caught 12 touchdowns but only 34 receptions in 2006. A nice end-zone target at 6-6.
5/22/08: Though he’s one of the smaller receivers in this class, Dante Love made a huge impact on the field last year, catching 100 balls for 1,398 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s also an effective kick returner.
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