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2012 Preseason Player Rankings - Receivers
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Posted Aug 21, 2012

CFN's Top 30 Players of 2012 By Position - The Receivers

Preview 2012

Player Rankings - WRs

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Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects.

2012 CFN Preseason Player Rankings  
Preview 2012 | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers 

Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers
Cornerbacks | Safeties | Punters | Placekickers | Returners 

1. Robert Woods, Jr. USC
Less than two years. That’s about how long it took for Woods to evolve into an NFL-ready receiver. If the league allowed it, he probably would have been taken in the first round of last April’s draft. The total package at the position, and a reigning Biletnikoff Award finalist, the 6-1, 190-pounder caught 111 passes for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns a year ago. Woods has the jets to get behind a secondary, but he’s so much more than just a straight-line burner with picture-perfect ball skills. He tight routes and can make acrobatic catches appear routine. With Matt Barkley as his battery mate and Marqise Lee flanked to the other side, Woods will once again be unstoppable and should make a big statement for the NFL types.

2. Sammy Watkins, Soph. Clemson
No one is surprised that Watkins adjusted quickly to the college game. It was, however, a little shocking at how easily he dominated defensive backs at this level. He’s the new mega-star of this program—if not the entire conference—displaying uncommon explosiveness and precision for such a young athlete. His precocious debut included 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns, and a spot on the all-league team as a receiver and kick returner. He has blinding speed. More important, though, he has near flawless ball skills, using his long arms and big mitts to pluck the ball out of the air. However, it will take a little while to get the season going. Head coach Dabo Swinney has suspended Watkins, who was arrested on drug-related charges on May 4.

3. Da’Rick Rogers, Jr. Tennessee
Justin Hunter is back and could become the team’s No. 1 target at times, but at the very least Rogers should be in for another phenomenal season as one of Tyler Bray’s main men. The hope was for Rogers to grow into his talent and potential, and he did with 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine scores, highlighted by a ten-catch, 100-yard, two-score day against Cincinnati and a ten-catch, 116-yard, two-score day against Vanderbilt. A deep threat with 6-3, 208-pound size, elite wheels and tremendous all-around athleticism, it’s all there. The star of the 2010 recruiting class and Parade All-American set the Georgia state record for a season with 1,641 yards and 22 scores, and now it’s all coming together. The NFL will be calling very, very soon.

4. Marquess Wilson, Jr. Washington State
Wilson was a gamebreaker in his first two seasons on the Palouse. With Mike Leach installing the Air Raid attack, now the sky is the limit after going from Freshman All-American in 2010 to All-Pac-12 a year ago, rewriting the single-season school record book by catching 82 balls for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns. He blew up Arizona State for 223 yards and three scores on eight catches and hanging 236 yards and two scores on San Diego State. At 6-4 and 183 pounds, he uses his size as a valuable weapon, striding past or elevating high above overmatched defensive backs. One of the game’s more polished all-around pass-catchers, he has great hands, runs precise routes and has been ultra-consistent despite Wazzu’s revolving door at quarterback.

5. Terrance Williams, Sr. Baylor
No one liked to mention it last year when Kendall Wright was catching 108 passes for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns, but Williams is a more talented receiver. At 6-3 and 205 pounds, the senior has excellent size, great deep speed, and has the type of pro talent to make him a possible first rounder next year. Yes, he was helped by all the attention paid to Wright, but he also did a great job of putting up huge numbers on his own catching 59 passes for 957 yards and 11 scores averaging 16.2 yards per catch with 126 yards and two scores against TCU and with three straight 100-yard days against Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Missouri. Ultra-consistent, he should be more than fine in the No. 1 receiver role, and he knows how to come through in the clutch making the game-winning grab in the final moments to beat Oklahoma.

6. Tavon Austin, Jr. West Virginia
7. Marqise Lee, Soph. USC
8. Keenan Allen, Jr. Cal
9. Alec Lemon, Sr. Syracuse
10. Darrin Moore, Sr. Texas Tech
11. Quinton Patton, Sr. Louisiana Tech
12. Markus Wheaton, Sr. Oregon State
13. Jamal Miles, Sr. Arizona State
14. Ryan Swope, Sr. Texas A&M
15. Justin Hunter, Jr. Tennessee
16. Cody Hoffman, Jr. BYU
17. Colin Lockett, Jr. San Diego State
18. Anthony McClung, Jr. Cincinnati
19. Josh Boyce, Jr. TCU
20. Conner Vernon, Sr. Duke
21. Jared Abbrederis, Jr. Wisconsin
22. Trey Metoyer, Fr. Oklahoma
23. Darius Johnson, Sr. SMU
24. Tracey Lampley, Sr. Southern Miss
25. Devin Street, Jr. Pitt
26. Matt Miller, Soph. Boise State
27. Aaron Dobson, Sr. Marshall
28. Erik Highsmith, Sr. North Carolina
29. Cobi Hamilton, Sr. Arkansas
30. Justin Hardy, Soph. East Carolina