Harry Douglas had a fantastic rookie year and added an excellent threat in the aerial attack, as well as raising all the other WRs game around him. Douglas is coming back from an ACL injury and won’t be ready until training camp in August. Brian Finneran has been the consummate Falcon, but has had 3 knee injuries in the last 4 years and will be 34 this year. Marty Booker was an emergency addition that added little threat and won’t return. Eric Weems showed some flashes throughout the year, but nothing that strikes fear into opponents. Troy Bergeron showed promise in the Arena Football League, but hasn’t ever gotten the chance on the field. Even though there is some obvious talent in the receiving corps, its safe to say that there is also a ton of uncertainty and lack of playmakers. Lucky for the Falcons this is an extremely deep draft class for wide receiving prospects.
Special thanks to NFLDraftScout.com and DraftCountdown.com for their draft rankings and superior draft analysis. Since the Falcons likely won’t take a WR first and don’t have a second round pick, the following receivers have either been analyzed previously or will likely be gone by the 3rd round: Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, Demaryius Thomas, Arrelious Benn, and Damian Williams.
Brandon Lafell – 6’3 – 211 – LSU
4.58 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – 792 Rcv Yds – 11 TDs
Lafell possesses the height and bulk that is the big trend in the NFL and College Football now and has good speed to add to it. Runs very good routes and has superior body control when going up for the ball and in open space. Extremely good blocker. Doesn’t have burner speed, questionable work ethic, and doesn’t get tons of separation. 3 very productive years at LSU in the SEC. Likely gone in the second round, but may slip to the Falcons.
Carlton Mitchell – 6’3 – 215 – South Florida
4.46 Forty – 16 Bench Reps – 706 Rcv Yds – 4 TDs
Eric Decker – 6’3 – 217 – Minnesota
4.55 Forty – 16 Bench Reps – 758 Rcv Yds – 5 TDs
Decker has been an extremely productive receiver at Minnesota, even if not highly recognized. Has terrific hands, a good frame, and very nice speed for such a big receiver. Highly known for his superior work ethic. Goes across the middle with ease. Coming off a Lisfranc foot fracture that has derailed many NFL player’s careers. After Peria Jerry and William Moore’s injury history proving detrimental, the Falcons may opt to pass. But his excellent upside might be too hard to pass up.
Taylor Price – 6’1 – 204 – Ohio
4.40 Forty – 16 Bench Reps – 784 Rcv Yds – 5 TDs
Price is a very underrated talent that has very nice speed, but he’s best known for his excellent route running ability. Gets a lot of extra yardage after the catch. Needs work in blocking. Suffered from offense that didn’t put a heavy emphasis on their passing attack. Not the biggest name, but might be a steal for someone.
Jacoby Ford – 5’9 – 186 – Clemson
4.22 Forty – 15 Bench Press – 779 Rcv Yds – 6 TDs
Like his former teammate CJ Spiller, Jacoby Ford is lightning in a bottle. His speed and playmaking ability is off the charts. He is a pure deep threat that is not a great route runner or polished receiver. Ford does have amazing athleticism and could be a perfect in the right offense. Imagine pairing Harry Douglas, Jacoby Ford, and Jerious Norwood together in the same series.
Mardy Gilyard – 6-0 – 187 – Cincinnati
4.61 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – 1,191 Rcv Yds – 11 TDs
Many believed that Gilyard had potentially moved himself on the fringe of the first round after his very good performance in the Senior Bowl. After running a slower 40 time than he had hoped (4.61) and as the time has gone by, Gilyard has slipped all the way down to the 3rd or 4th round as the draft nears. Gilyard had amazing production in college with over 1,100 yards receiving and 11 TDs two years in a row. Also an outstanding special team player as well.
Riley Cooper – 6’4 – 222 – Florida
4.53 Forty Time – Bench Reps N/A – 961 Rcv Yds – 9 TDs
Cooper developed as Tim Tebow’s favorite target and for good reason. Cooper is very fast for a big and tough wideout. Cooper has the speed and quickness to pair with a big body to become an immediate impact on a given team. Was overlooked after being behind Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy for his first 3 years. NFLDraftScout.com has him slotted for the 4th round, not the 3rd.
Blair White – 6’2 – 209 – Michigan State
4.49 Forty – 18 Bench Reps – 990 Rcv Yds – 9 TDs
Very physical receiver who was extremely productive who projects more than just a possession wideout. Makes tough catches and runs good routes. Also has a good penchant for blocking and is known as a high effort guy.
Andre Roberts – 5’11 – 195 – The Citadel
4.40 Forty – 15 Bench Reps – 792 Rcv Yds – 8 TDs
Roberts might be one of the absolute best sleepers in the draft and could go much earlier than the 4th round. Unbelievably productive in college with over 3,700 yards receiving and 37 TDs. Fast, quick, good route runner, and receiver with excellent hands. Played against smaller competition but would be perfect for the slot position.
Jordan Shipley – 5’11 – 193 – Texas
4.6 Forty – 16 Bench Reps – 1,485 Rcv Yds – 13 TDs
Shipley was one of the top receivers in college football receiving almost 1,500 yds receiving and 13 TDs. Tremendously quick and one of the best route runners in the game. Projects as an ideal comparison to Wes Welker and is suited perfectly for the slot. Dropped some due to poor 40 time. Slotted to go in the 2nd or 3rd by DraftCountdown.com
Dezmon Briscoe – 6’2 – 207 – Kansas
4.66 Forty – 9 Bench Reps – 1,337 Rcv Yds – 9 TDs
Briscoe has been one of the more overlooked receivers and was quietly one of the most productive in college. Nice height and bulk and is very athletic. Poor combine showing in 40 time has caused him to drop. Doesn’t get much separation, but could do well with the right team.
Jeremy Williams – 6’0 – 206 – Tulane
4.59 Forty – 14 Bench Reps – 1,113 Rcv Yds – 7 TDs
Williams isn’t overly fast or explosive, but is a receiver that just makes plays. Excellent hands and good route runner. Good blocker and not afraid to go over the middle. Not much of a vertical threat. Had a very good Senior Bowl game and is slotted to go higher by other sites.
Joe Webb – 6’3 – 223 – UAB
4.46 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – QB in Senior Season
Webb is an interesting candidate who has played receiver in the past, but started his senior year at quarterback. Has very good speed and is an extremely good athlete that may translate to receiver well, but which ever team takes him will need to give him time.
Armanti Edwards – 5’11 – 187 – Appalachian State
4.43 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – QB in Senior Season
Edwards is another quarterback that looks to make the conversion to wide receiver. Extremely athletic as he threw and ran as a QB very well. Will also take time if drafted by an NFL team, but could make a nice slot prospect.
Emmanuel Sanders – 5’11 – 186 – Southern Methodist
4.40 Forty – 12 Bench Reps – 1,339 Rcv Yds – 9 TDs
Sanders projects to be an extremely good pick and value where he can come in and compete for a slot position immediately. Good production, quickness, and explosion after the catch. Could go earlier than the 6th round.
4.39 Forty – 16 Bench Reps – 893 Rcv Yds – 8 TDs
Easley is shooting up the draft boards with his speed, size, and strength. Had good production in college, but not outstanding. Easley may very well go much earlier for teams looking for a big and tall receiver. Not polished receiver that may need some time.
Freddie Barnes – 6’0 – 215 – Bowling Green
4.67 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – 1,770 Rcv Yds – 19 TDs
Barnes might be one of the best sleeper prospects of all, as he was the most productive college player in college football with almost 1,800 yards receiving, almost 20 TDs, and breaking the record for most receptions in one year by a college WR. Not a burner, but finds ways to get open. Will come in with a chip on his shoulder after not getting a NFL Combine invite.
Danario Alexander – 6’5 – 215 – Missouri
4.62 Forty – Bench Reps N/A – 1,781 Rcv Yds – 14 TDs
Alexander is slotted to go in the 2nd or 3rd round by many other draft sites due to his great size and bulk. Not top speed, but may can be the next big receiver. Dropped way down by many sites because he’s torn his ACL in the same knee twice.
Other Wide Receivers: Shay Hodge-Ole Miss, Ryan Wolfe-UNLV, David Reed-Utah, David Gettis-Baylor, Mike Williams-Syracuse
-What receivers should the Falcons target?
-Should the Falcons draft more than one receivers?
-List out your top 5 receivers throughout all the rounds