NFL Draft 2018: Top Wide Reciever Prospects for the Redskins
Alabama, 6-foot-1, 190 lbs
2017 Stats: 14 games, 63 receptions, 967 yards, five touchdowns
Ridley’s round-one projection ranges from the Bears at eight to the Ravens at 16. The likely first receiver off the board despite suppressed numbers after playing for the run-heavy Crimson Tide. The route-running skills are impressive and he offers plenty of speed. Just don’t view Ridley as a monster prospect like former Alabama standout Julio Jones.
That he turns 24 during his rookie season might have some teams fearful of his potential. Jamison Crowder is 24 now and has already completed three NFL seasons with the Redskins.
SMU, 6-foot-3, 216 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games, 68 receptions, 1,085 yards, 12 touchdowns
If teams are looking for pure speed in the first round, Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk could end up as the second receiver selected behind Alabama’s Calvin Ridley. If they want the size advantage, Sutton is the call. Offers red-zone ability, but also uses his physical prowess effectively in run blocking. Averaged at least 16 yards per catch in each of his final two seasons with the Mustangs.
Texas A&M, 5-foot-11, 200 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games, 71 receptions, 919 yards, 10 touchdowns
The top half of the first round is probably a bit ambitious for Kirk, but that could change if he rocks the NFL Combine with a sub-4.4 40-time. The playmaker returned six punts for touchdown during his three seasons with the Aggies and averaged 22 yards as a kick and punt returner in 2017. Ultimately, he will or won’t land in the first based on his receiving skills.
Walter Football: “Kirk saw a lot of double coverage his direction in 2017, plus quarterback Kelly Mond struggled to get Kirk the ball. As a result, some teams are down on Kirk. … One team said they had him as late in the first round, but another said Round 3. Kirk is a fast playmaker who really competes and has special potential for the NFL.”
Maryland, 5-foot-10, 215 lbs
2017 Stats: 12 games, 80 receptions, 1,033 yards, eight touchdowns
The Terps struggled collectively in 2017, but Moore proved to be a worthy heir to former Maryland receivers Torrey Smith and Stefon Diggs. Reached at 75 receiving yards in nine of 12 games, including a whooping 210 on 12 receptions with two touchdowns against Northwestern. The playmaking ability with the ball in his hands has some believing Moore is worthy of first-round status.
Also served as a punt returner at Maryland.
Colorado State, 6-foot-1, 198 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games, 100 receptions, 1,418 yards, seven touchdowns
Gallup used the Senior Bowl week for good. Ended up impressive scouts during practices and then leading the North squad with 60 yards on three receptions in the actual game. More in the Pierre Garcon mold due to his toughness and strength in the intermediate passing game, but with enough deep speed.
Washington, 6-foot-0, 195 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games, 63 receptions, 761 yards, seven touchdowns
Breaking news: The Redskins struggled in the punt return game last season. Seeing as Coach Jay Gruden repeatedly stated that Jamison Crowder was the only option, adding another one this off-season is key.
How about the Pac-12 all-time leader in punt return touchdowns? Pettis (nine) passed DeSean Jackson for the record after taking four punts back for scores in 2017 while averaging a staggering 20.4 yards per return.
As for his receiving skills, Pettis is certainly viable. Whether his 40-time lands above or below 4.5 likely determines whether he goes in the third round.
Iowa State, 6-foot-4, 227 lbs
2017 Stats: 13 games, 71 receptions, 941 yards, 10 touchdowns
Saved his best for as Lazard rocked Memphis in the Liberty Bowl for 10-142-1. Then he maintained momentum with a strong Senior Bowl showing.
Thoughts on his practices from Pro Football Focus: “Iowa State WR Allen Lazard had his best day of practice on Thursday and really stood out among both team’s wide receiver groups. Lazard had a strong day in red zone drills against defensive backs displaying good hands and body control to go along with his physicality.”
Florida State, 6-foot-4, 225 lbs
2017 Stats: 12 games, 40 receptions, 548 yards, 10 touchdowns
Draft range is all over the place for Tate, entered the draft after only 22 games with the Seminoles. In that time, he flashed red-zone skills, but is that enough to jump into Day Two range? Then again, some already think he is there.
WalterFootball.com ranks Tate as the fifth best receiver while others suggest round 4-5 projections. Don’t be shocked if teams fall hard for the big target, meaning a rise up draft boards.