I realize there is another thread about WRs, but it is rather old and ran its course before the season. I am not an expert and do not begin to pretend to have an eye for WR talent that will convert to the NFL (I thought Jarrett was a steal), but I look for things I never used to care about now. These things are:
1. Can he beat the jam. This is huge in the NFL. If you can't beat the jam, you will be jammed every play. I shall call thee, "Smuckers." (That is a jam company.)
2. Speed after the cut. It is not measured with a watch so it is hard to analyze, but I look for separation and explosion out of the cut. The WRs with good explosion tend to get bigger cushions before the snap. So, a lot of yards is a bit deceiving. Players who have speed and no real explosion are often played in press man coverage. These players occasionally burn the CB.
3. Watch the Safeties. A good WR is always on the safeties' radar. The roll toward him a lot. Problem here is, on TV, you miss this a good bit.
4. Hands. Can he catch the ball without a bobble. I do not like body catchers--body catching is OK for some on here, and, at times, it is smart. But a WR who drops passes in his hands or bobbles them is not going to make it in the NFL. Body catching is a sign that the WR does not trust his ability to catch the ball cleanly--that is why he does it when he does not have to.
5. Route running. Solid route running reflects a knowledge of football as much as it is needed to get open. It requires patience because timing is critical in the NFL. Breaking off routes because a WR feels open is a huge mistake because many NFL defenses make you feel open when you are not. It also causes the QB to rush throws and the WR to catch the ball on the "wrong foot",
That is about all I know to look for, and everything above is what I stole from listening to the pros. Not an original thought up there. Not one.
Here is why I am excited about the WR crop this year:
There are 3 WRs who are legit first rounders, which means that there are probably 3 more who will be by the end of the season. If there are 5 first rounders, we have a legitimate shot to get one in the first. However, the second round will have some gems too.
First Round Locks
Watkins, Clemson. He is a stud.
Lee, USC, He could be a very special WR in the NFL--but he hails from the land of Jarrett and Colbert.
Evans. Tex Tech. I love this guy. He is big, has speed, and can move. Reminds me of Julio.
Others who may become first rounders with solid seasons
Moncrief, Ole Miss. This player can get vertical.
Matthews, Vandy. He is nothing special on paper, but everything to Vandy. He sees double teams and the best DBs in the SEC every week.
Personally, I think there is some talent at Rutgers, Louisville, and scattered throughout the SEC.
I have not shopped around much yet,but these are names I have noticed. I say, compared to the last few years, this WR crop is a TON better--- We should come away with one or two in the first 4 rounds.
My pick? Moncrief is realistic. I expect Carolina to be picking around 20, and he should be there. If any of the top 3 fall, yes.
That is all. Just peeking into the WR jar for next year and thought I would share my enthusiasm.