Several analysts have raved about the depth of talent in the 2014 NFL Draft class as a whole with some even calling it the deepest class in the last decade. That fact is still somewhat debatable from top to bottom, but at the wide receiver position there is no doubting its supremacy.
And this upcoming class of receivers only continued to solidify its status as the deepest position in the upcoming draft with the performances on display at the NFL Scouting Combine. There were physical marvels and speed demons alike, but what was most impressive was the fact that nearly every player at the receiver position in this year’s class could realistically be seen making an immediate impact at the next level in 2014.
Sammy Watkins confirmed status as best of the group with 4.34 time in the 40-yard dash at a physical 6-foot-1, 211-pounds. He may have the top spot at the position on lockdown, but both Marqise Lee and Mike Evans are right behind him. Lee had a ridiculous 38-inch vertical jump with an equally insane 127-inch broad jump at 6-foot, 192-pounds, and his 4.52 time in the 40-yard dash was awesome as well. Evans was perhaps even more impressive running a 4.53 time at 6-foot-5, 231-pounds which is absolutely insane for his size to accompany his 37-inch vertical.
In addition to the guys expected to go in the top half of the draft, players like Kelvin Benjamin, Davante Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. also proved to be worthy of first-round consideration. Beckham was outstanding in receiving drills in combination with some serious explosiveness shown by his 4.53 40-time. Adams and Benjamin are both monstrous, physical guys with speed at 4.56 and 4.61 respectively. This trio could all find themselves being vaulted into late round one conversation thanks to these showings.
But the wideout who earned the biggest man crush for me was none other than Brandin Cooks. His potential is absolutely through the roof with explosiveness that can’t be rivaled by anyone in this class. His 4.33 time in the 40-yard dash at the top of the charts among the receivers, and he showed more speed than anyone else running the gauntlet while catching the ball on the move with ease. There’s no doubt he will be a complete nightmare to try and stop at the next level as Cooks is completely ridiculous with ball in his hands. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him slip into the late first-round with a team like the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks either.
So with that there is the potential for seven receivers to be taken in the first-round whenever May 8 rolls around, and as many as 40 wideouts in this year’s class could be selected in the entire seven-round process. In today’s pass-happy league these guys are in high demand, and there’s a great chance more than a handful of them turn out to be legit stars. It truly is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to this year’s wide receiver class, but you won’t hear any NFL general managers complaining.