2007 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - WRs

Posted Aug 6, 2007

CFN 2007 All-Americans and Top 25 Players - Wide Receivers

2007 CFN All-Americans

Wide Receivers

CFN 2007 All-Americans and Top 25 Players
2007 Preview | Quarterbacks | Running Backs
Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards | Centers 

2007 CFN Preseason First Team All-Americans

Earl Bennett, Jr. Vanderbilt
If Bennett played for Florida or LSU, he'd likely be everyone's preseason First-Team All-American. The two-time All-SEC star has been unstoppable catching 161 passes for 2,022 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first two seasons, and has the attention of NFL scouts that first saw him work well with Jay Cutler in 2005. At 6-1 and 202 pounds, he has the size to outmuscle most corners to go with the speed to run by the mediocre ones. Few players in the nation are better when they get into a groove with nine career games with eight catches are more. Just ask Kentucky how hard it is to handle the junior, who caught 24 passes for 319 yards and six touchdowns in the two meetings with the Wildcats.
Mario Manningham, Jr. Michigan
A case could've been made that the 6-0, 181-pound Manningham was the best player in college football over the first half of the season before he suffered a knee injury against Michigan State. After starting off the year with five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in wins over Vanderbilt and Central Michigan, he exploded with three straight 100-yard games and eight touchdown catches in four weeks, including a 113-yard, two-score effort in the pivotal win over Wisconsin and a four-catch, 137-yard, three score performance against Notre Dame. He returned late in the year, but wasn't quite the same despite catching 12 passes for 165 yards against Ohio State and USC. Most known for his last second touchdown catch to beat Penn State in the 2005 classic, he's a big-play target with sub-4.4 speed. Now he has to prove he can hold up.

Preseason 25 Best Receivers
1. Mario Manningham, Jr. Michigan
2. Earl Bennett, Jr. Vanderbilt
3. DeSean Jackson, Jr. California
4. Davone Bess, Jr. Hawaii
5. Malcolm Kelly, Jr. Oklahoma
6. Sammie Strougher, Sr. Oregon State
7. Dorien Bryant, Sr. Purdue
8. Limas Sweed, Sr. Texas
9. Adarius Bowman, Sr. Oklahoma State
10. Percy Harvin, Soph. Florida
11. Keenan Burton, Sr. Kentucky
12. Jarett Dillard, Jr. Rice
13. Marcus Monk, Sr. Arkansas
14. Harry Douglas, Sr. Louisville
James Hardy, Jr. Indiana
16. Andre Caldwell, Sr. Florida
17. Early Doucet, Sr. LSU
18. Taj Smith, Sr. Syracuse
19. Todd Blythe, Sr. Iowa State

20. Jason Rivers, Sr. Hawaii
21. Greg Carr, Jr. Florida State
22. Chris Williams, Jr. New Mexico State
23. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Soph. Maryland
24. Mario Urrutia, Jr. Louisville
25. Darius Reynaud, Sr. West Virginia

2007 CFN Preseason Second Team All-Americans

Davone Bess, Jr. Hawaii
The Hawaii receiving corps is loaded and should blow up with an even bigger season. The best of the bunch is the 5-10, 195-pound Bess, who led the team with 96 catches for 1,220 yards and 15 touchdowns at the inside H. That's a career for most receivers, and his two-year total is something otherworldly with 185 grabs for 2,344 yards and 29 scores. He's lightning quick, always open and as glue fingered as they come. A consistent scorer, with at least one touchdown in seven straight games last season, he also shows up in prime time with some of his biggest games coming against Boise State, Nevada, Purdue and Oregon State. He'll play at the next level.

DeSean Jackson, Jr. California
The headliner of the great Cal receiving corps will once again be Jackson, arguably the single most flammable offensive player in the country.  The definition of a long ball hitter, he parlayed 59 receptions, 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns into a spot on the All-Pac-10 first team. Also a great punt returner and runner, he'll get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways.

2007 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
(in alphabetical order)

Adarius Bowman, Sr. Oklahoma State
Bowman should be in the NFL. The 6-4, 220-pound former transfer from North Carolina has the speed and talent, along with the athleticism to play on the OSU hoops team, to go to the next level right now, but he chose to come back for his senior season and should be one of the nation's most productive receivers after catching 60 passes for 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns highlighted by a jaw-dropping 13-catch, 300-yard, four score performance against Kansas. As good as he was, his production dropped off in a big way over the second half of they year and only finished the season with two-100-yard games.

Dorien Bryant, Sr. Purdue
There isn't a player in America who's produced more and received less national love than Bryant. All he's done is catch 205 passes over the last three seasons for 2,612 yards (12.7 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns. He might not be a scorer, but he's rock-solid steady in the slot making play after play with only one game with fewer than four grabs last season. While not necessarily a deep blazer, he's lightning quick and tremendous at finding the openings.

Percy Harvin, Soph. Florida
While Andre Caldwell will likely lead Florida in receiving, Harvin will be the star of the corps. A 5-11, 181-pound bolt of lightning, he took a little while to heat up in his true freshman season before becoming a dangerous playmaker as both as running back and a receiver. He was the star of the SEC title game with 105 yards and a score, along with five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas, as part of a great run to end the year with four scores in the final three games. The key will be staying healthy; he has to prove he can take a consistent pounding.

Malcolm Kelly, Jr. Oklahoma
The Sooner receiving corps is big, fast, and really good. The biggest and best of the bunch is the 6-4, 217-pound Kelly, who might be the first receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft if he leaves early and if he has someone getting him the ball on a consistent basis. The big unknown is a knee injury that he suffered early in the Fiesta Bowl that kept him out of spring ball, but assuming all is fine, the sky's the limit. He caught 62 passes for 993 yards and ten touchdowns, highlighted by an 11-catch, 153-yard, one touchdown day against Texas Tech, and a ten-catch, 142-yard, two touchdown day against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. How important is he? In his six worst games of the year, OU had to battle to beat UAB, lost to Oregon, lost to Texas, beat Texas A&M by one point, struggled to get by Oklahoma State, and lost to Boise State

Sammie Strougher, Sr. Oregon State
In dire need of a successor to all-timer Mike Hass, Strougher filled the void with a sensational breakout year in 2006, leading the Beavers with 74 catches for 1,293 yards and five scores.  More than just your garden variety deep threat, the 6-0, 183-pounder is a complete receiver that runs great routes, catches everything, and is dynamic in space.  In other words, he’ll be new quarterback Sean Canfield’s best friend this fall.

Limas Sweed, Sr. Texas
The Longhorns were loaded last year, and the top four receivers return. The leader and star is the 6-5, 219-pound Sweed, who seems like he's been around for 13 years. He's big, fast, and almost certain to be a top 50 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Now he has to play like it. Oh sure, he led the team with 46 catches for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 17 yards per catch, but his production fell precipitously over the final five games of the season, and was nowhere to be found in the loss to Texas A&M with just one catch for 14 yards. He's not the next Roy Williams, and there are other great receivers around him taking away work, but he's good enough to be more of a difference maker in big games, like he was against Nebraska with eight grabs for 119 yards and a touchdown.


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