To wrap up our look at pre-combine rankings collections we'll go to the Wide Receiver position. The Chargers have a number of WRs with uncertain futures. Vincent Jackson was franchised, but with his history you can only take his status one day at a time. Malcom Floyd could be a Restricted Free Agent or an Unrestricted Free Agent. On top of that, he's never proven that he can be a starter throughout a full season. Legedu Naanee got some chances to start early in the 2010, but got hurt and then this offseason had a run-in with the law. His contract is also up. Patrick Crayton does have a contract for 2011, but he's not a long term solution and it's questionable as to whether he can be a reliable starter. Seyi Ajirotutu is young and inexperienced and those are not qualities that will keep the Chargers from bringing in new blood.
In most years you'll have at most a couple of WR prospects that everyone can agree on as being studs. To get one of these guys it's usually best to be picking in the top 10. That's something the Chargers rarely do these days, and this year is no exception. So, unless another bold trade is on the horizon you can forget about a couple of the WR prospects in this draft. The rest of the WR crop is usually a mixed bag. Speed merchants who are deep threats, tall and strong receivers who can win jump balls and get out of breaks, shifty guys who get separation in small spaces and guys with great hands than can become third down targets. Those previously mentioned "studs" are usually a combination of these assets and the other guys will end up as role players unless they develop their skills further, The key is finding the ones that are most likely to develop while still being assets. There is always disagreement about who these guys are, as you'll see below the jump:
|Player||Nat'l Football Post||Scouts, Inc. (ESPN)||Mel Kiper, Jr||Draft Countdown||Walter Football||Mocking The Draft||CBS Sports||Scout.com (Fox Sports)||DraftAce|
In case it wasn't obvious, A.J. Green and Julio Jones are the "studs". Untouchable for the Chargers unless they give up some valuable picks in a trade. The rest are the mixed bad.
Baldwin fits into the category of "tall and strong receivers who can win jump balls and get out of breaks" and seems to be the guy that you can find the most people thinking that he can develop into more. Still, no one sees him having value where the Chargers pick in the 1st round. Moving down in the 1st round would rectify that.
Hankerson and Smith aren't as tall as the top 3 guys, but perhaps have some room to develop. They have speed and they can work on their hands. They just aren't necessarily 1st round worth. Maybe they can be 2nd round trgets.
Young, Cobb and Jernigan are all speed guys. Some are a been shiftier and some are better deep threats. None are over 6'0. Not exactly the Chargers cup of tea.
Doss has no chance at the 1st round and maybe even the 2nd round is a reach. He has great hands so he probably best fits into the "guys with great hands than can become third down targets" category, but he also has some size and speed so he could be something more.