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2011 NFL Combine - Receiver Analysis
Torrey Smith, A.J. Green, Julio Jones
Torrey Smith, A.J. Green, Julio Jones
Posted Feb 25, 2011

Pre-Combine quick looks at the receivers invited to Indy.

2011 NFL Pre-Combine

Receiver Rankings

2011 Pre-Combine Buzz
- The Tim Tebow Factor
- The Luckless quarterback class
- Cam Newton is expected to do it all
- The star defensive tackles
- All the North Carolina talent and what they'll do
- Where have all the good running backs gone?
- The lousy tight end class
- The 40 star speedster will be ...
- The three players everyone will be talking about
- The offensive tackle pecking order
- The strongest position is ...
- Da'Quan Bowers' knee
- Breaking Down the 2011 NFL Combine

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Cs | OTs | OGs 
- DEs | DTs | ILBs | OLBs | Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Cs | OTs | OGs 
- DEs | DTs | ILBs | OLBs | Ss | CBs 

- 2010 NFL Combine - Offensive Winners  
- 2010 NFL Combine - Offensive Losers 
- 2010 NFL Combine - Defensive Winners 
- 2010 NFL Combine - Defensive Losers  

1. A.J. Green, Georgia 6-4, 205
Positives: Extremely productive even though he was the No. 1 target everyone was trying to stop. He always came through with great catches and clutch plays whenever needed. … Has all the tools with size, speed, hands, length, and toughness. He’s not a diva and will go across the middle and isn’t afraid to take big shots to make a play. … Makes quarterbacks look better. He makes up for a lot of throwing mistakes by adjusting on the fly and making the spectacular look routine.
Negatives: Thin. He’s not a big, thick receiver like a Larry Fitzgerald or an Andre Johnson, and while he’s tough, he’ll have to prod he can handle getting shoved around by the more physical NFL defensive backs. … He’s not the quickest or most fluid of targets. He’s more of a sprinter than a jitterbug on short, sudden routes. … A willing blocker, but not a great one.

2. Julio Jones, Alabama 6-4, 220
Positives: It’s all there with tremendous size, great hands, and the toughness to shove around NFL defensive backs without a problem. … Ready to go right now. In fact, he was polished enough and good enough to be an NFL starter about ten minutes into his freshman season. … Perfect attitude and perfect personality. He wants to be a great receiver and he wants to be a No. 1 target, but he doesn’t have the jerkweed diva streak. More Calvin Johnson than Terrell Owens.
Negatives: Always hurt. While he was able to play through his bumps and bruises, there was always something that kept him from being consistently explosive. … Not a blazer. He’s extremely quick and runs terrific routes, but he’s not an NFL deep threat flier.

3. Torrey Smith, Maryland 6-0, 205
Positives: Great speed and size ratio. He’s not the fastest receiver in the draft, but he plays like he is. … Physical enough to get open against the stronger defensive backs, and fast enough to blow past the speedier defenders. … Phenomenal returner who can be used in a variety of ways and will do whatever is asked. Great leader and great character.
Negatives: Needs work on the route tree. He might be a deep threat only to start his career. … Not a natural receiver. Seems to fight the ball a bit too much. … Doesn’t have NFL No. 1 skills, but could be a whale of a complementary target.

4. Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt 6-4, 225
Positives: The best combination of size, speed, and raw skills among the receivers in this draft. Is built like a tight end and can fly. … Turned into a big-time playmaker who managed to make big things happen both as a deep threat and with yards after the catch. … Can jump out of the stadium. With his height and leaping ability, he’ll get every jump ball.
Negatives: Looks the part. LOOKS the part. He has a lot of work to do to harness all of his skills. He’s not Antonio Bryant, but he’s not Larry Fitzgerald. … He has to learn how to be a real, live NFL receiver. Could be heartbreaking if he doesn’t want it. … Decent hands, but will miss a few balls.

5. Greg Little, North Carolina 6-2, 215
Positives: The potential is there to be terrific. Great size, great strength, and extremely physical. … He’ll push around NFL defensive backs. No one will outmuscle him, and he has the strength to bust through tackles. … Former running back who’ll hit people. He’ll block without a problem.
Negatives: Attitude and character. Beyond getting suspended all of last year, he’s also going to have to prove he wants to be a special player and will do all the little things needed to work his craft. … Not fast. His game is about being physical. He’s not going to blow past anyone. … Not for every offense. He could end up being just an inside target who doesn’t have to stretch the field.

6. Randall Cobb, Kentucky 5-11, 185
Positives: Did it all for Kentucky. Was a quarterback when he had to be, was a runner, was a returner, and was a top receiver who got better once he concentrated mostly on being a No. 1 target. … Extremely quick. Gets in and out of his breaks in a heartbeat. … Will work to be better. Great effort player.
Negatives: Not big. He doesn’t have NFL No. 1 size and might end up being forced to be just a slot target … Not a deadly blazer for his size. He’s not fast, but he’s not deadly. … Not physical. He’ll get beaten up at times.

7. Jerrel Jernigan, Troy 5-9, 181
Positives: Extremely fast with the wheels to be used in a variety of ways. He can be a runner, a returner, or a deadly deep threat. … Zips in and out of breaks smooth as silk. Cuts on a dime. … Tough for his size. He’s not physical, but he’ll take a pounding and will keep on producing.
Negatives: He’ll get pushed around a bit too much. He’s not a physical target and he’ll get knocked off his routes by a stiff breeze. … Small. He’s not going to outleap anyone and he’s not going to block anybody. … Might be more of a returner than a receiver and could get pigeonholed into a role. Could be Steve Breaston (which isn’t all that bad).

8. Leonard Hankerson, Miami 6-1, 205
Positives: Productive. Turned in a great senior season despite a soap opera at quarterback. Was fantastic during Senior Bowl week. … Smooth as glass. He runs, cuts, and looks like a natural receiver. Great route runner. … Will work to be better. Almost no bust potential. He’ll make sure he improves at the little things.
Negatives: Not the greatest of athletes. Decent speed, but nothing that’ll scare anyone. … Missed too many catches. Nice hands, but he’ll blow a few layups. … Limited upside. He might be good, but he’s not going to be special.

9. Dwayne Harris, East Carolina 5-10, 200
Positives: Nice hands and makes lots of plays. Extremely productive over the last two seasons and made 268 career catches for over 3,000 yards. … Can be used as a return man with the quickness to make things happen as a receiver. … Will make plays inside and out. Isn’t afraid to go across the middle for the tough catch.
Negatives: Not all that fast. Quicker than blazing and he isn’t going to be a deep threat. … Old. Already 24, he has been around for a while thanks to injury problems with a broken foot. … Might only be a returner and he doesn’t have the all-around skills to be a special receiver.

10. Vincent Brown, San Diego State 5-11, 184
Positives: Extremely productive. Might have been the best receiver in America over the first half of 2009 before suffering a hand injury, and was rock-solid last season. … Decent size and decent speed. A good all-around set of tools. … Nice hands. Catches everything that comes his way.
Negatives: He’s a good talent, but doesn’t have the skills to be anything special. … Not built to take too much of a pounding. He’s not going to do much as a blocker. … Will be erased by any above-average NFL corner who can get an early jam.

11. Titus Young, Boise State 5-11, 174
Positives: Fast, fast, fast. If nothing else, he’ll be a deadly No. 2 or 3 target as an explosive deep threat. … Nice moves and mobility. Great yard-after-catch target. … Nice hands. Catches everything that comes his way.
Negatives: Smallish and thin. Not a physical receiver. … Needs route running work. Might be a one-trick pony (deep threat only) for a while. … Doesn’t have exceptional skills at anything but speed.

12. Tandon Doss, Indiana 6-3, 200
Positives: Has the frame and the strength to be a deadly possession receiver. He has the hands and the talent to be a reliable go-to target. … Rock solid. Not spectacular, but he’ll run the right routes and do most of the little things right. … Nice hands. Won’t make any quarterback look bad.
Negatives: SLOWWWWWW. Forget about him running past anyone at the next level. … Nothing truly special about his game. Low floor on his bust potential, but there’s a hard ceiling on what he can do. … He’s not going to work on the outside and needs to be surrounded by more talented receivers.

13. Terrence Toliver, LSU 6-4, 211
Positives: The basics are all there. He’s very big, fast, and looks the part of an NFL receiver. … Makes a lot of plays with great hands. Considering how poor LSU’s quarterback play has been over the last few years, his marginal stats shouldn’t be seen as an issue. … Can become a matchup nightmare on the outside. He won’t blow by anyone, but he could simply be too big for many corners.
Negatives: Doesn’t use his skills nearly well enough. He doesn’t push anyone around and he didn’t do enough as a deep threat. … No quickness and not enough explosion. He’s not going to do much after the catch. … Looks the part, but doesn’t play like it. Does he want to be great?

14. Edmund Gates, Abilene Christian 5-11, 189
Positives: Fast, fast, FAST. A deep threat with some of the best wheels in the draft. … It was at a lower level, but he was a big-time producer on big plays averaging close to 20 yards per career catch. … Smooth as glass. He’s a special athlete who can be molded into a dangerous wide receiver.
Negatives: More of a track guy playing football than the other way around. He needs a lot of work on the finer points after dominating at the D-II level. … OLD. Is already 25 and won’t have a long shelf life. … Purely a one-trick pony. He’s a deep threat. That’s it.

15. Niles Paul, Nebraska 6-1, 225
Positives: Big, physical receiver who uses his bulk well. Might be the best blocking receiver in the draft. … Phenomenal speed for his size. Can be a dangerous, tough deep threat who’ll fight to make the big play. … Could be a gem in the rough. He didn’t exactly have top passing quarterbacks throwing to him, and he has the work ethic and the want-to to become a good pro.
Negatives: Despite being a returner, he doesn’t cut all that well. He’s a point A to B runner. … Was shut down way too often. That might be a function of playing for Nebraska, but he didn’t always stand out when he needed to. … Has to prove he can do it all. He was good for the Huskers, but he only made five touchdown catches in 46 games.

16. Jeremy Kerley, TCU 5-9, 188
Positives: Great value as a returner and a No. 3 receiver. He could be deadly as a third option in the right system, and he’s a game-breaker with the ball in his hands. … Zips. Great when he gets the ball on the move, and he can also start and stop on a dime. … Stronger than he looks. Doesn’t get pushed around.
Negatives: Wasn’t exactly a superstar receiver at a non-BCS level. Ten of his 12 touchdown catches came last season. … Small. Very, very small. He’s a little target who might only be a slot target. … Not an elite speedster. He’s quick as a hiccup, but his straight-line is just above-average for his size.

17. Greg Salas, Hawaii 6-1, 206
Positives: Ultra-productive as the go-to target in the Hawaii system. Caught a whopping 225 passes for well over 3,500 yards in the last two years. … Big. Is a strong, tough target who made a lot of plays by fighting for the ball. … Surprisingly creative with the ball in his hands. Not fast, but he uses his quickness well.
Negatives: Not fast. He’s not going to be a deep threat of any sort and will only play in the slot. … Got knocked around a lot. Plenty of tread on the tires with all the catches he made, and he got beaten up. … Numbers inflated by playing for Hawaii.

18. Austin Pettis, Boise State 6-2, 205
Positives: Ultra productive and got better as his career went on with 39 touchdowns and 24 in his last two seasons. … Nice size and good hands. Sucks in every pass that comes his way and is good at getting physical. … Makes plays. Adjusts to the ball extremely well and makes the quarterback look good. Could be a great, reliable possession receiver.
Negatives: Way, way too slow. He’s slow for a tight end much less a wide receiver. … Will strictly be an inside target. Won’t beat anyone deep and there won’t be any yards after the catch. … Needs to get stronger to have a bigger role. He’ll hit, but he’s thin and won’t beat anyone up.

19. Cecil Shorts, Mount Union 6-0, 200
Positives: A nice combination of skills with good size, great speed, and terrific hands. … Superior production catching a whopping 247 passes and scored 60 times over the last three years. … Good leader and good character. Will take the question marks about playing at a lower level and will use it for positive motivation.
Negatives: Good speed, not great speed. He’s not going to blow past anyone and might be limited to becoming a solid possession receiver. … Not strong. Needs to get far more physical and far stronger to beat the jam on a regular basis. … Only decent in and out of his cuts. Managed to look better because of the competition.

20. Jock Sanders, West Virginia 5-6, 175
Positives: Phenomenal speed. Untouchable quickness who’ll be uncoverable at times and will be terrific with the ball in his hands. … A top return prospect. Great at making the first man miss. … Can be used in a variety of ways. Might be a fun X factor for a top offensive coordinator to play around with.
Negatives: Extremely small. EXTREMELY small. Was even tinier than the scouts expected at the Senior Bowl. … Not physical in any way. He’s a willing blocker, but he won’t be able to do it. … Not nearly creative enough. He always relies on his tremendous quickness.

21. Armon Binns, Cincinnati 6-2, 211
Positives: Great size and is physical. Great at fighting and outmuscling for balls. … Terrific hands and catches everything thrown his way. Bails out quarterbacks with his adjustments. … Ultra-productive. Caught 21 touchdown passes over the last two seasons and was consistent.
Negatives: Lacks the needed wheels. He doesn’t have breakaway speed and won’t pull away from any NFL defensive back. … Not a great athlete. Doesn’t have any explosion and has to use his size to make plays against the better DBs. … Needs route running work. Can’t be anything but perfect on his cuts to make up for his lack of quickness.

22. DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss 6-5, 240
Positives: HUGE. Built like a tight end but with better athleticism and quickness. … Tough and isn’t afraid to go across the middle. He doesn’t have any deep speed, but he still manages to get behind the secondary. … Moves like a much smaller player. The all-around skills are there.
Negatives: Not fast. He’s not a blazer of any kind and isn’t going to be able to get by an NFL defensive back without pushing his way past. … Not nearly the same player he was after a brutal leg injury. Lost his wheels. … Needs to work at wanting to be better. He’ll need a fire lit under him.

23. Ronald Johnson, USC 5-11, 186
Positives: Fluid. He has no problems getting in and out of his breaks and finding the openings. … Can stick on a roster as a returner. He might not be a special returner, but he’s good enough to get a shot. … Terrific hands. Won’t put anything on the ground.
Negatives: Doesn’t have great tools. Isn’t all that big and isn’t all that fast. … Will get pushed around. Isn’t physical enough and won’t be able to block anyone. … If he doesn’t show anything as a returner, he could have problems making a roster. He needs to stand out right away as an inside target.

24. Ryan Whalen, Stanford 6-1, 204
Positives: Tremendous hands. Makes every play close to him and makes many difficult grabs look easy. … Great toughness on the inside. Never afraid to take a hit on the tough catch. … Terrific for the running game and special teams. He’ll do all the little things to be a factor.
Negatives: No speed. He’ll never get past an NFL defensive back who’s trying. … Doesn’t do anything with the ball in his hands. He’ll make the catch, and then that’s it. … If he doesn’t produce on special teams, he’s not going to make it. He’s not a good enough pure receiver to make a difference as anything but a No. 4.

25. Darvin Adams, Auburn 6-3, 185
Positives: Excellent size and uses it well. Extremely tough and will take a shot. … Turned into a dangerous deep threat over the last two years, and it wasn’t just because of Cam Newton last season. Averaged more than 17 yards per catch over his career. … Will fight for the ball and will outmuscle most defensive backs for it.
Negatives: Not fast and not quick. He doesn’t have the extra gear and made most of his big plays as a function of being in the right offense. He was always open. … Mediocre hands. Put way too many on the ground. … Needs to be surrounded by a ton of talent. Will never be a key target and will always be a complementary receiver.