Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham (3) runs with the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Best Fits for Top 5 Wide Receivers


Wide receiver figures to impact the first round a lot in the 2014 NFL draft.  Where to the five best options fit?

Sammy Watkins – Best Fit:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Williams was dealt to Buffalo, leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in difficult straits with Vincent Jackson as their only notable receiver.  Josh McCown may have had success in Chicago but it was due to his large selection of weapons.  Sammy Watkins not only fills the wide receiver need, but also the parameters offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford highlighted at the beginning of the off-season.  The Buccaneers need more speed.  Watkins has plenty of that, along with a host of other talents that would compliment the big, strong Jackson in a myriad of ways.

Mike Evans – Best Fit:  Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t enjoyed the benefits of a big wide receiver for a long time.  Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace were great option, sure, but one must imagine how and he might’ve been with a legitimate monster to throw to on money downs.  Mike Evans could end that drought.  The 6’5″ star out of Texas A&M has the ability to go up and get the football but his also faster than advertised and rather good at finding ways to get open down the field.  Putting him across from the smaller, quicker Brown makes loads of sense.

Marqise Lee – Best Fit:  New York Jets

One of the cornerstones of a West Coast offense wide receiver is the ability to get open and then create plays after the catch.  That is something Marqise Lee does better than almost any other receiver in this 2014 NFL draft class.  He has great agility and vision with the ball in his hands and the refined technique and savvy to beat man or zone coverage to get open.  The New York Jets would love to have him across from Eric Decker, giving them a nice blend of possession an big play options.

Odell Beckham Jr. – Best Fit:  Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid loves fast receivers who can create with the ball in their hands.  DeSean Jackson was a perfect example during his time in Philadelphia.  The Kansas City Chiefs have need for a speed threat and Odell Beckham Jr. is a great choice.  Though still somewhat raw he’s a high upside talent with loads of athleticism that make him hard to corral for defenders.  On top of that, he would make an outstanding addition for top notch special teams coach Dave Toub, the same man who turned Devin Hester into the all-time leader in return touchdowns.

Kelvin Benjamin – Best Fit:  San Francisco 49ers

This just feels like two entities that need each other.  The San Francisco 49ers are starving for a target with athleticism and huge body for Colin Kaepernick to target.  Somebody who can matchup with those towering Seattle defensive backs.  At the same time, Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State is that kind of wide receiver but seems to lack the direction and work ethic required of a first round pick.  Most agree he will need a coach who is going to push him to be great.  Jim Harbaugh certainly qualifies.  If any hookup makes sense in the 2014 NFL draft, this one does.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Featured Kansas City Chiefs Kelvin Benjamin Marqise Lee Mike Evans New York Jets Odell Beckham Jr. Pittsburgh Steelers Popular Sammy Watkins San Francisco 49ers Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • TheSportologist

    Where’s my Browns?

    • Erik Lambert

      They already have a legit #1 receiver. You can easily find #2 in the 2nd or 3rd.

  • seattleseahawks360

    @ Erik Lambert…. Everything made perfect sense until Benjamin??? The have a fast, big bodied WR who’s tagged TE in Davis??? The Seahawks are a far better fit… And I want him in a Hawks uniform!!!!!

    • Erik Lambert

      Benjamin is not only two inches taller than Davis he also has 35-inch arms. His length is unreal. Davis is a big target, sure, but a much bigger threat in the middle of the field. Benjamin is that big target who can get high for the ball. From what I’ve seen of the Seahawks, they favor speed over size.

      • seattleseahawks360

        I agree he has the size, but come on man… Benjamin 4.6 40 32.5 Vertical (this is very important) 13 Bench Reps….
        Davis 4.3 40 42 INCH VERTICAL (NEGATES THE 2″ argument) and 33 reps @ 225

        • Erik Lambert

          All those stats you mentioned, while important, can be improved with work. Benjamin is slighted somewhat for his lagging work ethic. Give him a year and those will improve. My guess is you’re just arguing because you don’t want the 49ers to get him.

          • seattleseahawks360

            You are definitely right about that… I just believe he is a better fit for the Hawks now that we don’t have Sidney Rice…. I’ve been following this kid for awhile and I just love everything about him.

            I really wanted Da’Rick Rogers last year too… I believed in the right system/team he could be a BEAST too… However, as we all know, trying to figure out who JS/PC will draft is impossible!

          • Erik Lambert

            I can relate, as a Bears fan we’ve tried for two years to figure out where Phil Emery is going but he’s like the Cheshire Cat, disappearing with that crooked smile when we get close and then reappearing out of nowhere with the pick we least expected. Don’t forget about Donte Mocrief and Allen Robinson. The Seahawks should have a shot at both of them. I’m a huge fan of Moncrief. Kid gets overlooked, which is a mistake. He’d be a great big target for Wilson.

          • afannaz

            the 49ers need energy, gritty guys who really want it. they can’t afford to take a risk on a guy who “might,” in the name of possible “potential.” they’re too close to bringing home a lombardi to draft a project who may or may not think he needs to work to be great! if he thinks that by being drafted, he’s “made it,” the 49ers should run not walk in the other direction, because that’s not someone who is driven to work to improve/grow. i hope i’m wrong about him.

  • gdubb

    The only way the buc’s and the steelers get those picks is to trade up which they won’t watkins will not make it out the top 5 picks and evans won’t make it out the top 10

    • Erik Lambert

      Probably true but this isn’t about where they’ll end up, it’s about finding the right fit.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I’d argue that Brandin Cooks is also an excellent fit for the Kansas City Chiefs.
    He’s a DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin type wideout.

    • Erik Lambert

      Cooks might be a bit faster than Lee but he’s also shorter. He’s an ideal slot receiver. Lee has more height and length which allows him to play almost anywhere on the field. Granted though the Chiefs are in good shape with either.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        He’s a lot like DeSean Jackson. Same height, but thicker and much stronger. I think he could play both inside and outside in Reid’s offense.

        • Erik Lambert

          He might, for sure. Not saying he won’t. I just feel OBJ offers the same amount of ability on offense with the added bonus of special teams.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            No doubt about that. Kansas City could use help in the return game with McCluster and Demps gone.

    • Ryan

      Jackson and maclin are totally different. How can a guy be both of them. I’d call him a Victor Cruz.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        They’re slightly different. Jackson’s a bigger play wide receiver than Maclin, but they can both stretch the field. Cooks is more like Jackson than Maclin, but all three are faster wideouts who run reliable routes and have natural hands.

        • Ryan

          Interesting the way I see them is Jackson is a speedy deep threat who’s scared to go over the middle while maclin is a complete reciver who can run all the routes and will go anywhere on the field. I know they are both fast and have good hands but that’s kind of the definition of a WR. I see Jackson as one dimensional who disappears in the red zone and maclin as the opposite.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Kelvin Benjamin doesn’t have either of those qualities. Not every is fleetfooted and sure-handed.

          • Ryan

            I don’t get where the kelvin Ben thing is coming from I don’t like the kid. While I see the potential his work ethic is a big ? And I think he’s got flop written all over him. I would put cooks over him on any and every board

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Just a quick example to illustrate my point. There are different kinds of receiver prospects.

  • afannaz

    i differ with the choice of benjamin to the 49ers. they took a project receiver in the mid 1st round in 2012, aj jenkins, and that was a complete disaster! it seems like the GM hasn’t chosen WR’s well in the draft, or the coaches weren’t able to coach him up or whatever. imo, i don’t think a WR in the 1st is a good idea for the 9ers either. they need speed, as well as size, someone already well developed, who can also return kicks/punts, which they have lacked. odell beckham would be great, but will require a big move up. anyway, imo they should take a CB first.

    • Erik Lambert

      Jenkins was projected as a clear 2nd round pick that year and he wasn’t nearly as talented. Benjamin has received high grades across the board and his ceiling is way higher.

  • Ryan

    Didn’t see Cooks on here and i saw Benjamin so no Eric i disagree.