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Recent posts by Matt Feminis
Very few receivers have impactful rookie seasons. Accordingly, first-round whiffs on receivers have been numerous and memorable for all the wrong reasons. The list is enough to make general managers cringe: Peter Warrick, David Terrell, Charles Rogers, Rashaun Woods, Troy Williamson, Mike Williams. Most recently, the Raiders made Darrius Heyward-Bey the first receiver taken last year and a discouraging season has detractors poised to slap the "bust" label on him. With so many cautionary tales, Round Two and beyond has become a haven for promising receivers.
A year away from a potentially special class of receiver prospects, the 2010 class does offer intriguing prospects after the likes of Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas:
- Riley Cooper, Florida: Texas Rangers draftee stood out on special teams as a young player while waiting his turn in a deep Florida receiving corps. Cooper has outstanding size, natural athletic ability and very good speed to go along with a competitive streak that shows up in his blocking, which is an asset. Though he was only a one-year starter, had some concentration drops and only recently committed himself full-time to football, Cooper's balanced skill set and special-teams ability will appeal to teams running a West Coast system. Has upside and could wind up making Jeff Samardzija jealous.
- David Gettis, Baylor: In a league full of explosive passing offenses, Baylor does not jump to mind. That is not indicative of the Bears' receiving talent, however, as Gettis would have been more prominent and productive at a bigger school or one with a more effective quarterback. He hauled in a modest 81 receptions over his last two seasons, a total that pales in comparison to his measurables. At 6-2 and nearly 220 pounds with 34-inch arms and sub-4.5 speed, Gettis, who has a track background, looks every bit the part of an NFL receiver and flashes vertical speed and playmaking ability. Drops, average football intelligence and inconsistency limit his draft value, but the tools are there if the light ever comes on.
- Marcus Easley, UConn: With one of the most interesting backstories in this year's draft class, Easley went from feel-good story to legitimate pro prospect by showing speed in the low-4.4s at nearly 6-3 and 210 pounds. The former walk-on was hidden in the Huskies' run-oriented offense and did not start full-time until his senior season, but the long-strider provided a glimpse of his ability with an 88-yard catch-and-run against West Virginia. A good blocker with football aptitude, Easley is a raw, developmental project with moldable tools and upside who appears to be a late bloomer.
- Blair White, Michigan State: Another walk-on, White was a try-hard story with green in his blood who was destined for a career in dentistry before opening eyes as a junior and turning into a bona fide prospect as a senior. He punctuated his ascent by posting impressive workout numbers to supplement his sure hands, toughness and football IQ. White, a Spartan captain, is not a blazer, but plays with confidence, competes in traffic and shows toughness to take a hit and maintain possession. Needs to get stronger, but has special-teams ability, works to get better and could be hard to cut if he's able to handle man coverage at the next level.
- Michael Moore, Georgia: A.J. Green rightfully grabs the headlines at UGA, and after losing a pair of elite talents in Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, attention was not intensely focused on the Bulldogs this past fall. Those factors meant Moore flew under the radar. A team captain, he only caught 59 balls in four years, but has nice size, runs solid routes and shows a knack for getting open. He's not flashy or explosive, but Moore is suited for the slot and could develop into a reliable short-to-intermediate receiver. A character player, he blocks and is willing to go over the middle. He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 22 times, besting all receivers at the Combine.