Sorting the Wide Receivers; Part Two


ASFN Consultant and Senior Writer
Jan 7, 2003
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Orlando, FL
I have ranked the following receivers not only using ability, but also considering how well they fit the likely offensive scheme and Murray’s capabilities. The latter is primarily their ability to make contested catches. Keep in mind I warned there is unreal disparity in how analysts see the skillsets of these guys.

Projecting the passing offense is trickier. I think Gannon wants the Cards to establish the run. The passing game would be used to retain possession, pull a safety into the box, then throwing behind them and for strengthening play action. Traits they would look for are speed, ability to get quick separation, ball security, blocking and awareness of how the play is developing. I like getting to the line to gain before the reception on third down. Other factors I looked at include handling zones, body catching (especially deep passes), playing slot or outside and YAC.

Let me make an important point clear. If any of the top 4 receivers I previously covered drop to the Texas pick they should be taken before any of the following guys, assuming the Cards haven’t taken a WR already. This should likely apply to Coleman who would mostly be effective on short and intermediate routes. He can only get deep if QB has time. Nonetheless he’s a surer thing and definitely elite. He’d be the WR leader the Cards need. Think Bolden.

The criterium of contested catches makes two receivers stand out: Xavier Legette. He has speed, achieves quick separation, plays inside or out and has outstanding YAC. I know there is a big concern. It took until his final year of eligibility until the lights came on and he became a dominant WR. This makes him a bit of a gamble.

The next best choice was Troy Franklin. He makes those contested catches. He’s very fast and achieves quick separation. He can play inside or out. Franklin can truly stretch the field. The biggest concern is his slight build. He can have his routes disrupted by fast CBs. Still that rarely happens, though the NFL will be more challenging.

Two other WRs stand out, though they aren’t especially good at contested catches. Emeka Egbuka is extremely athletic. He gets separation and has excellent speed. He can play inside & out. Egbuka provides outstanding YAC. The big drawback is he seems to disappear at critical times.

Xavier Worthy is the other top WR who is only mediocre at contested catches. He has outstanding game speed and gets the needed quick separation. YAC is one of his assets. He is also a willing blocker, though not always effective. Again he has a slight build making him somewhat vulnerable. All these slight guys could have better careers if they add some physicality.

The remaining guys who are widely considered to be in this area of the draft simply check fewer boxes IMO. Adonai Mitchell makes contested catches but is too inconsistent for my vote. Johnny Wilson is a huge target (6’7”) makes contested catches, is a willing blocker and gets YAC. Sadly he’s injury prone and his sheer size cause him to run somewhat ragged routes. His hands are questionable causing unnecessary drops. Brian Thomas is a popular choice. He gets good YAC. He has good hands and tracks deep throws well. He’s especially good in the middle of the field. Elsewhere he has problems getting separation. He drops too many passes. His game speed is only moderate. Remember Nabers drew the top CBs.

Based on sheer numbers a couple of these guys could drop to round 2. I would take a WR in round one, but it’s not inconceivable the Cards don’t. I believe there is a near desperate need to give Murray better weapons. They cannot count on free agency. I’m on record as saying I see Gabe Davis as mediocre and likely costing too much. No one else would likely be an impact addition.

What about round 3? I’ll post a brief part 3 on who might still be on the board. Predicting anything that deeply into the draft is a crapshoot.

az jam

Mar 6, 2004
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Scottsdale, AZ
Good stuff, the positive thing is that this is an excellent draft for WRs and the Cards certainly can use several.


Captain of Team Murray
Jul 21, 2002
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Orange County, CA
I'd also look at Calvin Ridley. With the cost to resign Josh Allen, the Jaguars can't pay everyone.

He's not really a #1 anymore, but he'd be a competent pass catcher and you could probably get him without paying top money.

DJ Tabooh

Hall of Famer
Jul 14, 2021
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Austin, TX
Harry, say we drop to 7. MHJ is gone. Would we be crazy to take Odunze at 7?
Odunze I think is WR1 in this draft. Getting him at 7 is a steal. I think the Chargers will take Nabers from LSU because they have a lot of big receivers but need someone who’s a bit shiftier imo.

Odunze no pun intended is a dawg. 6’3, 215 with low 4.4 speed and really good route runner. Not as fluid as MHJ but I think he’ll end up more productive.

Cbus cardsfan

Back to Back ASFN FFL Champion
May 14, 2002
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I think Egbuka is overrated and pretty sure he's returning to OSU to try and be the #1 guy. There's a youngster, Carnell Tate, that's likely to be better though. I think Egbuka's biggest problem is lack of fluidity.

I also don't like the contested ball metric in college. If you're not getting open against college DB's you're getting shut down in the NFL. I get that it's a nice skill to have but it's way down on the list for me.