Top 40 Wide Receiver Prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft

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31. Russell Shepard, LSU, 6’0″ 188 (Junior)

Again, with any LSU wide receiver, the speed and talent is definitely there, but do they have someone to get them the ball. Shepard is a top flight wide receiver prospect who would probably be hot on NFL radars had he gone to Boise State or something like that, but because he plays in such a run-oriented offense, it’s hard for him to get noticed. Last year, he had 33 receptions for 254 yards and just one touchdown reception. He still will have two more years to step up his game, but he is definitely one of the top juniors LSU features offensively, and he is a name to watch going forward.

32. Travis Benjamin, Miami, 5’10” 175 (Senior)

Very talented all-around player who has a ton of speed and playmaking ability down the field. Not a physical receiver, but his numbers do not lie–this guy is a playmaker. Since coming to Miami in 2008, he has been a Freshman All-American and a top notch return man as well as a big play receiver. In 2008, he came in and caught 18 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, as well as a rushing touchdown. He also returned 22 kicks for 496 yards, and 21 punts for 181 yards. As a sophomore, he had another big year with 29 receptions for 501 yards and a career high four touchdowns. He averaged over 17 yards per reception and had a very limited impact on the return game. As a junior, he showed some consistency, catching 43 passes for 743 yards and three more  touchdowns, and he added his first return touchdown with a punt return score. Benjamin is a versatile playmaker who has a good amount of speed, and can really help out an NFL team in many different ways. He is experienced, and has solid production. He should be a 5th round pick or higher barring injury, and he is a big play waiting to happen.

33. Lance Lewis, East Carolina, 6’3″ 200 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

34. Roy Roundtree, Michigan, 6’0″ 176 (Junior)

The chances of Roundtree going pro after this season are higher than Robinson’s.  I do believe, however, that Roundtree, like Robinson, would benefit immensely by returning for his senior season.  Roundtree will be a good player in the NFL someday, but he would probably jump up at least one round by returning to school next season.  If he does declare for the draft, look for him to be a 4th-5th rounder.  Seeing that he does not have top-end speed, as well as the fact that he will drop a occansional pass, he will likely be used as a slot receiver in the NFL.

35. Junior Hemingway, Michigan, 6’1″ 225 (RS Senior)

Hemingway will need to show that he can be a great receiver in the pro style offense this season.  He has great size, listed at 6 foot 1 inch and 227 pounds, ideal for a wide receiver in the NFL.  Hemingway did not excel as a pass catcher in the spread offense, however, he is probably the most sure-handed out of all the wide receivers on the squad this season.  The earliest round that I can see Hemingway being taken in is the 3rd round, but more likely he will be a late round pick.

36. A.J. Jenkins, Illinois, 6’1″ 185 (Senior)

Jenkins really broke out as a junior, especially in the later portion of the season. In four of Illinois’ final five games, Jenkins had a touchdown reception and finished the season with 56 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has some ability in the return game, as he had 22 returns for 490 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman, when he also added 11 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Jenkins was easily Illinois’ best receiver last year, with more than double the yardage total of Jarred Fayson, who had 355 yards. Here’s what his QB had to say about him:

“He’s a confident player, he loves the competition and is willing to go up against any DB in the country I promise you that, so that’s we like throwing to him,” Scheelhaase said of Jenkins.

Jenkins is a speedy, athletic receiver who should undoubtedly get looks from NFL teams, especially if he continues to improve off of his excellent play in 2010.

37. Joe Adams, Arkansas, 5’11” 190 (Senior)

Sources close to Adams say he was close to making a decision to leave for the NFL before a disasterous Sugar Bowl performance in which Joe dropped 6 passes, 3 of which would have been touchdowns.  Even with 6 drops Adams still had 9 receptions for 120 yards & a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl.  Adams is the most explosive player on the Razorback roster, maybe in the country.  Adams is build from the Percy Harvin mold.  He is used primarly as a wide reciever but has lined up at running back and is used on bubble and tunnel screens.  Adams YAC is among the best as is his speed and explosivenes.. However his hands have been a concern since he was a freshman.

Who could forget the infamous Sugar Bowl? It appeared the Razorbacks were well on their way to absolutely crushing the Ohio State Buckeyes, but three dropped TD passes absolutely killed any chance of that happening. This is a guy who needs to come out in 2011 with a chip on his shoulder. The size and speed are all there, and obviously the playmaking skills are as well. I would love to see him have a huge rebound year, and prove that his issue of dropping passes is behind him, because that WILL decrease his NFL stock.

38. Jarius Wright, Arkansas, 5’10” 180 (Senior)

Wright may the least known of the great WR corps at Arkansas but he just may be the best.  Wright quietly caught 42 passes for 788 yards and five touchdowns.  Wright is the best route runner on the team and very sure handed.  During the spring Wright also timed the fastest 40 yard dash time of the razorbacks, 4.27.  Wright doesn’t have ideal size for the NFL, but with the onslaught of successful smaller recievers lately Wright might be worth a look.  Wright is also very well spoken, has the same type of like-ability that DJ Williams has.

Jarius Wright will be an interesting story to watch this year. How will all of these supremely talented receivers respond to losing star QB Ryan Mallett? Well, if the scouting report Andrew provided is accurate, then this guy could be a very successful NFL player. He will need to prove that he can contribute on special teams in some way, but if he is a good route runner and sure-handed, there is a spot for him in the NFL, especially with that speed. It sounds as though he is in the mold of an Eddie Royal type, both on the field and off in terms of character.

39. Rishard Matthews, Nevada, 6’2″ 215 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

40. Jordan White, Western Michigan, 6’0″ 212 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**