There are some extremely talented wide receivers that are expected to come out for this draft, but the majority of them are all underclassmen. That being said, there are still some extremely talented senior wide receivers coming out this year. While underclassmen still have more potential and upside, the senior wide outs are generally more polished and ready to come straight in and play. There are some talented seniors coming out this year and these are the top-five senior wide receivers.
Honorable Mention: Dri Archer, Kent State
Dri Archer is lightning in a bottle much like Tavon Austin and De’Anthony Thomas are. Archer is technically a running back for the Kent State Flash, but will move to slot receiver in the NFL just like Austin did. Archer is a threat to take the ball to the house every time he touches it, whether that be taking a handoff, catching a pass or returning a kickoff or punt. Archer is very small and has some injuries, which will be a concern at the next level, but not many players have his big play ability and he will be sought after by many teams.
5. Mike Davis, Texas
Davis has been a productive receiver at Texas and would have been more productive if he had a quarterback worth anything throwing him the ball. Davis isn’t an elite size and speed guy, but he has good body control and adjusts his frame well to get in position to make the catch. Davis has lined up both outside and in the slot and shows good ability in his route running. He has smooth acceleration in his routes, though he isn’t all that elusive in either his routes or with the ball in his hands. Davis fights for the ball and goes up and gets the ball well at his highest point.
4. Josh Huff, Oregon
Huff doesn’t put up big numbers at Oregon, but that has more to do with the system than him. Huff has played outside mostly in his career, but is a great candidate to move inside in the pros. Huff doesn’t show elite speed on the field, but he shows great strength and toughness for a player his size. Huff uses his body extremely well and shields defenders from the ball. With his toughness and strength Huff is a tough player to bring down with the ball in his hands, showing elusiveness and breaking through arm tackles. Huff is a player who can step in on day one and produce.
3. Tevin Reese, Baylor
Tevin Reese is a bit of an enigma as a prospect. He only had 33 catches this season before going down with a wrist injury, but he averaged a ridiculous 25 yards per catch and had eight touchdowns. Reese is a burner on the field who has had some issues with drops in his career. Reese looks to be a slot receiver in the NFL who can burn defenses deep as well as be utilized extremely well on screens. Reese is a tough player, even though he only weighs 165 pounds, he doesn’t care to go across the middle though teams may want to keep him from getting killed across the middle. Reese is a player who can come in and be a spark plug for any offense with his big play ability.
2. Devin Street, Pittsburgh
Street impressed early in the year with a big game against a very good Florida State defense when he went for 141 yards on six receptions. Street is a smooth athlete with good body control and toughness to go over the middle of the field. He doesn’t shy away from contact and will take a big hit to make the catch. Street has quick feet, giving him the ability to create separation without elite speed. Street has good hands and goes up and gets the ball at its highest point extremely well, catching almost everything thrown his way. He shows good after the catch ability, though the biggest knock against him is his lack of top end speed.
1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Matthews is the top senior receiver in the draft and is the only one that if they went in the first-round it wouldn’t surprise me. Matthews doesn’t have elite athletic ability and is a better football player than athlete. Matthews is a cousin of Jerry Rice and much like Rice, Matthews is an outstanding route runner who despite not having elite speed, out runs some of the SECs best athletes. Matthews has a NFL ready body and shows a great ability to track the ball in the air. Matthews shows great body control and catches almost anything thrown around him whether it is a difficult catch or not. Matthews can play in outside or in the slot and is an extremely tough player. He is reliable moving the chains and has enough speed to keep defenders honest. Matthews is one of the most pro-ready receivers in this draft and whoever gets him will be extremely happy they did.