Draft Dose: Who needs a wide receiver?

Posted March 25, 2011 @ 9 a.m.
Posted By Andrew Struckmeyer

As the A.J. Green-Julio Jones debate rages on, one thing is undeniable: There is some serious receiving talent available at the top of this year's draft. In the 20th installment of the Draft Dose series, we take a look at some of the teams that might be in the market for a receiver this year.

Bengals — Entering the 2010 season, Cincinnati felt it had a dynamite 1-2 combination in Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. However, both receivers fell short of the 1,000-yard mark, the team stumbled through a 4-12 season, and QB Carson Palmer has since demanded a trade. Many felt that the freelancing on the part of Ochocinco and Owens frustrated Palmer last year, a season that saw him tie a career high in interceptions with 20. Adding a skilled receiving target could appease Palmer, or at least make the transition smoother for whoever is under center next year in Cincy.

Browns — The Browns haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Braylon Edwards in 2007, and their leading receiver in 2010 was TE Ben Watson, with a paltry 763 receiving yards. Their two leading wide receivers, Mohamed Massaquoi and Chansi Stuckey, didn't amass 1,000 yards combined. Clearly, the Browns like what they have at quarterback in '10 third-round pick Colt McCoy, who started eight games as a rookie. But if new head coach Pat Shurmur wants his new West Coast system to flourish, adding a top-tier talent with the sixth overall pick would be a wise decision.

Redskins — Santana Moss had a tremendous year in 2010, hauling in 93 passes for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns. The bad news for the Redskins is that Moss is now a free agent, and it is uncertain whether he will be with the team next season. That would leave rookie revelation Anthony Armstrong as the top target in D.C. Armstrong came out of nowhere to snag 44 passes for 871 yards, but he isn't exactly the kind of player you build an offense around. There is a possibility that Julio Jones will be available when Washington picks at No. 10, and Jones' physicality and impressive size-speed combination might be too tempting for Mike Shanahan to pass up.

Rams — The Rams struck gold with their first-round pick in 2010, selecting Sam Bradford No. 1 overall. Bradford was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL after throwing for more than 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, his receiving corps was often banged up and unreliable, especially in a Week 17 play-in game with the Seahawks when the receivers dropped several passes at inopportune times. They have some serviceable complementary pieces like Danny Amendola and Danario Alexander, but adding a premier talent could take this offense to the next level, especially with Josh McDaniels on board as the new offensive coordinator and another year of seasoning for Bradford. Don't be surprised to see the Rams look to a wide receiver with the No. 14 overall pick.

Chiefs — Dwayne Bowe had a remarkable season in 2010, catching 72 passes for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to his first career Pro Bowl. However, the production from the No. 2 receiver spot was almost nonexistent. Chris Chambers did catch 22 passes for 213 yards, but these are hardly the numbers of a bona fide No. 2 target. The Ravens caught on to this imbalance in their wild-card game with the Chiefs, focusing their efforts on stopping Bowe. They held Bowe without a catch and subsequently shut down the Chiefs' offense, winning 30-7. If this team hopes to advance further in the playoffs, finding a true threat opposite Bowe is a must, making it very possible that the Chiefs will take a receiver in this year's draft.

Ravens — Bringing in Anquan Boldin last offseason represented a significant upgrade to this position. However, while Boldin excels as a possession receiver, Baltimore still lacks that true vertical threat in the passing game. Derrick Mason had another solid season, snagging 61 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns, but Mason is 37 years old and entering the final year of his contract. Besides, Mason has never been the type of receiver to stretch the defense down the field. Finding a burner (a la Mike Wallace) to catch up to Joe Flacco's cannon arm would take this offense to the next level. Local product Torrey Smith, from Maryland, should be available when the Ravens are on the clock at pick No. 26, although it might be a bit of a reach to take Smith there. Still, Smith's blazing speed — he posted a 4.43 40-time at the Combine — could prove to be too tempting to pass up.