The age-old saying in the NFL, “defense wins Championships” may be a staple in the history of the game, but it’s becoming less and less true as each season goes by. Fans want to see their team draft “big-name weapons” and “pro-bowl stars” instead of building the team from the inside-out to make a squad Championship-caliber.
Stars like Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr will be coming out in this year’s draft class, but there are many bright spots on the offensive side of the ball that are going to make GM’s everywhere excited to draft—and maybe even move up to take highlight-reel wide receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft.
You’ve heard the names of players like Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, but what about the under-the-radar receivers that will end up making names for themselves in camps and the pre-season. Don’t look now, but this might be the best draft class in the past ten years.
Let’s start with Jarvis Landry from LSU…
Landry has a lot to like in his game. Paired with O’Dell Beckham, another high-round prospect, Landry has thrived in Cam Cameron’s passing game. He is a very strong player that has above-average speed. Once engaged, he blocks very well, something he displayed in his game against TCU. Landry’s footwork could improve a bit, but that’s just me being picky.
I see a sure-fire 2nd round pick in this kid, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team jump with a late-first rounder. Think of the Browns. Let’s say they grab a Quarterback with their first selection; I wouldn’t be shocked to see them take Landry and come out with a great punch.
Tevin Reese from Baylor is another player that I can’t wait to see transform into an NFL player. Getting to play with Bryce Petty, Reese proved that it wasn’t just Lache Seastrunk who could elude defenders with quickness.
The Baylor standout has showed that his speed can be a devastating weapon at the next level. His game against Kansas State summed up the type of player that he is. With 184 yards, he showed NFL scouts that he can not only use his speed, but his vision downfield. I would like to see his hands be a bit better, but I believe in this guy at the next level. Look for him to impress in his individual workouts.
Now, I couldn’t write an article about under-the-radar receivers without mentioning one of my favorite NFL prospects—Devin Street from Pittsburgh.
You probably haven’t heard Street’s name too much, but it’s about time the world knows who the next Anquan Boldin is!
I compare him to Boldin for a few reasons. First of all, he isn’t going to kill you with his speed. He is a pure reception-receiver that will get plenty of touches and hard-earned first downs. Street is also a tall guy that will turn heads with great route-running and tough catches.
Street won’t have the ability for the long-ball very much. Some scouts won’t like that he is a one-dimensional player, but we’ve seen this kind of player thrive at the next level. He doesn’t have ridiculous play-making ability, but his tough yards and many catches will be something that one NFL team will be thrilled with.