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.