Wide Receivers in the 2009 NFL Draft
by Jay Horne - 02/25/2009
The 2009 NFL wide receivers class will be a good bit better than last year's class, which was the first class in 18 years to not have one single wideout selected inside the first round. However, that will definitely change in this year's NFL Draft with the possibility of at least two players being selected inside the Top 10 and up to five players have a chance to be selected inside the first round. One thing that is certain is this year's receivers will be among one of the fastest classes from top to bottom in recent memory. A total of 20 players were clocked in the 4.3 and 4.4 range. These talented receivers will bring a load of speed to the NFL and a few of them could give defenses nightmares for many years to come.
1. Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)
Crabtree leads the 2009 wide receiving class with good size and tremendous talent. In his two seasons at Texas Tech, Crabtree racked up more than 3,000 receiving yards while amassing 41 touchdowns and he proved to be unstoppable time and time again. Crabtree may not have the blazing speed some receivers have, but makes up for it with great hands and athleticism.
2. Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)
Maclin broke the NCAA record for a freshman, racking up 2,776 all-purpose yards and also backed that up with a solid sophomore campaign. Maclin does not stand very tall for a receiver, but has a ton of quickness to add to the package. Maclin posted a 4.5 even at the NFL Combine, which was a slight bit slower than many experts would have liked.
3. Darius Heyward-Bey (Maryland)
Heyward-Bey has impressed the NFL scouts the most through the early sessions of the NFL Combine. Heyward-Bey posted the fastest 40-yard time in the first session with a blazing 4.3 flat and his speed has allowed his stock to really rise. While many believed he would be a late first-round to early second-round selection heading in, we could see the star wideout from Maryland selected as high as the Top 15.
4. Percy Harvin (Florida)
Percy Harvin was the most effective weapon of the Florida Gators championship offense this season. Whether lined up in the backfield or at wideout, Harvin can break the game open with speed and moves. The NFL experts believe Harvin's inexperience with route running may hurt him a bit. Still, it will be interesting to see how Harvin will be used at the next level.
5. Hakeem Nicks - (North Carolina)
Nicks draft position will rely heavily on his speed in front of scouts. Nicks has great hands and can turn busted plays into big gains. Nicks led the ACC with 1,222 yards while adding 12 touchdowns last season and will likely be the fifth receiver that has a legitimate chance to be selected in the first round.
6. Kenny Britt (Rutgers)
Look for someone to gamble on Rutgers former standout Kenny Britt. Britt has great size at 6'4, 215 lbs and is one of the bigger receivers on the board. While he may not blow you away with speed, he is still one of the more favorable targets for any quarterback because of his stature.
7. Brian Robiskie (Ohio State)
Robiskie is in a similar situation to Derrick Williams as untapped talent due to both coming from Big Ten offenses based primarily around the running game. Robiskie had nearly 1,000 yards as junior before a down senior campaign, but has a lot of room to improve.
8. Juaquin Iglesias (Oklahoma)
Iglesias was the leader of the potent receiving corps of the Sooners this season and was often targeted by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Iglesias averaged more than 15 yards per catch with 1,150 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Iglesias was another with a disappointing 40 time as he clocked at a 4.51, but he could likely improve on that by the next timing.
9. Louis Murphy (Florida)
Murphy actually edged out teammate Percy Harvin to lead the Gators in receiving yards. The majority of his catches came straight up the middle of the field as he has a knack for getting behind defenders undetected. After a sold 4.43 in the workouts, Murphy could climb the board even more.
10. Derrick Williams (Penn St.)
Williams made a lot of big plays as a returner as well as a receiver at Penn State. However, the team that targets Williams will likely look for the former Nittany Lions star to add some support in special teams play while he develops. Williams' stock dropped a bit after a disappointing 4.58 time clocked in the Combine.
11. Ramses Barden (Cal Poly)
Barden may be the least known name on the board, but perhaps the most complete in all phases of the game. Good hands, great blocking, and the ability to break tackles after the catch gives him a promising future. However, Ramses could very well be drafted and used as a tight end instead of a wide receiver, which makes it a bit unpredictable where he will be selected.
12. Mohamed Massaquoi (Georgia)Massaquoi really came on strong towards the end of his senior season and his stock climbed with that success. Massaquoi was one of Matthew Stafford's main targets and with some time to develop he could become an every down receiver in the NFL.
13. Aaron Kelly (Clemson)
Kelly has good size (6'5, 190 lbs) and can be a very physical receiver. While he may not be a primary target he could work great in an offense that has an established playmaker at wide receiver, emerging as a secondary option.
14. Demetrius Byrd (LSU)
Byrd averaged 15 yards per catch through his career in Baton Rouge despite quarterback issues during his senior season. Byrd has the ability to run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash and he could climb the board.
15. Brandon Tate (North Carolina)
Unfortunately for Tate he was unable to have the big senior season he likely would have had due to injury. Tate did show glimpses of big play ability and could be the diamond in the rough.
16. Quan Cosby (Texas)
Cosby was a leading force of the Longhorns offense last season, catching 92 passes for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns. The down side for Cosby is his size as he stands at only 5'11 200 lbs despite an abundance of talent.
17. Greg Carr (Florida State)
Carr recorded a career of spectacular catches at Florida State and is polished target on the outside. Carr's big size (6'6, 215lbs) and speed is a great combo that will intrigue interest and possibly make him a second-day steal.
18. Brandon Gibson (Washington State)
Gibson lead the Cougars offense that only won two games last season. Teams locked down on the star wide out and he still was able to make some big plays. Gibson's junior campaign is proof his talent, however, as he tallied in 1,180 yards and nine touchdowns.
19. Brennan Marion (Tulsa)
Marion was a leading attribute in the Tulsa offense that ranked first in 2008 in total offense. Marion has put together two straight seasons of 1,000 yards or more of receiving, but the competition was not that great and some boards have his stock too high.
20. Kenny McKinley (South Carolina)
McKinley broke Green Bay Packers great Sterling Sharpe's all-time receiving record during his tenure at South Carolina with 2,781 yards. McKinley has great hands a solid speed, (4.4 40) but lacks the size of a primary target. However, he could be used effectively as a No. 3-type receiver that will give him a chance to get playing time.